Theory can be considered grand when it is nearly as abstract as the model itself and when the usefulness of the model depends on the soundness of that theory.Grand theory is especially useful in research and practice because it is more general, and theories specifying the details of practice can be derived from it.Philosophies are theoretical works that address one or more of the metaparadigm concepts (person, environment, health, and nursing) in a broad philosophical way.
Fawcett (2005) proposes a nursing metaparadigm based on Kuhn’s (1970) philosophy of science and paradigm development.
The metaparadigm specifies disciplinary boundaries of human beings, environment, health, and nursing as a context to understand the interrelationships among those elements of contemporary nursing science (Fawcett, 2005).
• The metaparadigm is the most abstract set of central concepts for the discipline of nursing (i.e., human being, environment, health, nursing), and these concepts are defined within each of the conceptual models and according to the philosophy of that model.
• Philosophies present the general meaning of nursing and nursing phenomena through reasoning and logical presentation of ideas (Alligood, 2005).
The content of nurses’ decisions may be unique nursing knowledge, but the modes of making practice decisions are generic processes of logic and critical thinking (Scriven & Paul, 2004).
Nursing theoretical works (philosophies, models, theories) are knowledge structures that link logically with inherent critical thinking processes.
A good fit between the nurse and the theoretical work selected is important and is usually related to mutual values inherent in a theoretical work and the nurse.
Chapter 4 presents an insightful discussion of the moral obligations and values inherent in theoretical works.
Descriptions of the levels of abstraction of these nursing works from seven nursing models, three philosophies of nursing, and six theories of nursing illustrate their linkages with the practice level in middle-range theory.
The theoretical frameworks guide professional practice; organizing the thought processes for decision making and reasoning for quality nursing practice.