Is Reflective Practice Essential For Generating the Theory That Will Advance the Discipline of Nursing

From the integration of practitioners’ personal knowledge, valid disciplinary knowledge and theories are developed. Critical thinking and reflection on various nursing practices help to generate new theories. The theories are again used in nursing practice for solving problems and for determining procedures in future cases.The concept of the theory is defined by Higgins. Moore (2000: p.179) as the creation of relationships among two or more concepts to form a specific view of a phenomenon. As constructions of our minds, theories provide explanations about our experiences of phenomena in the world. The understanding provided by theories is of two types: explanatory or predictive. In nursing, theoretical thinking uses concepts and their relationships to organize and critique existing knowledge, and guide new discoveries to advance practice.Nurses are taking on new roles: as professionals involved in health promotion, giving diagnostic and prognostic information to patients, assessing health risks and screening for early signs of treatable disease (Thompson. Dowding (2002: p.5). To perform successfully in all areas of nursing work, advances in the discipline of nursing is called for. Progressive learning and greater capabilities can be achieved through increasing knowledge base, which is dependent on practice, research and generation of new theory.GENERATING THEORY FROM PRACTICE: Lumby (2000: p.332) states that the term theory may refer to a variety of different things, depending on the context. Theory can be used when referring to the knowledge underpinning a concept or a practice, in which case theory is based on previously discovered scientific knowledge within disciplines. Theory may also refer to anything which is not categorized as practice. Nurses are able to generate theory (Lumby, 2000: p.340) from their every-day practice by a process of critical reflection.