Theoretical and Scientific Underpinnings- Reflections

Theoretical and Scientific Underpinnings- Reflections


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Please consider how you have developed the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that enable your achievement of the Course Goals listed in the syllabus. Then write an APA-style essay reflecting on how this course has helped you achieve these goals. Theoretical and Scientific Underpinnings- Reflections


This course focuses on the integration of scientific and theoretical concepts that impact advanced nursing practice. Students will examine the scientific foundations for nursing, including pathophysiological, psychosocial, and environmental sciences. Students explore the patterns and processes of knowledge development and the current utilization of new knowledge in professional settings. Developing a review of literature on a topic of the student\’s passion based on a theoretical framework will be expected.  Theoretical and Scientific Underpinnings- Reflections

Students will also examine the role of immersion in the DNP program and develop a roadmap to achieve the overall 820 hours required in this program.


Course Goals

By the conclusion of this course, student will be able to:

Investigate and apply theory and scientific concepts into professional nursing practice.

Integrate the role of evidence-based practice in quality healthcare delivery.

Examine knowledge from all sciences for developing quality healthcare delivery and professional nursing practice.

Analysis of knowledge acquisition and evaluation of applicability to practice.

Compose theoretical and scientific knowledge for integration into professional nursing practice.

Discover applications for communication of knowledge developed using theoretical and scientific evidence from multi-dimensional sources.

The Theoretical and Scientific Foundations of the Practice of the Nurse Practitioner, at the Highest Entry Level Point of Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP

Nursing as a profession is based on a solid theoretical and scientific foundation that informs everyday practice. Thus aside from the conceptual framework on which the whole philosophy of nursing practice is based, the profession is firmly grounded in science with every aspect of nursing practice governed by evidence. This paper takes a cursory look at these two important attributes of nursing practice especially at the practitioner level – theory and science. Theoretical and Scientific Underpinnings- Reflections

Nursing practice has a firm basis in the human sciences of anatomy, physiology, psychology, pathology, and so on. It begins by understanding the human body and how it looks and works in the non-morbid state. This is normal anatomy and physiology. It is only by understanding how the normal looks and functions that the abnormal can be understood. As a nurse practitioner, this scientific grounding is one of the basics that the NP undergoes before proceeding on to the more complicated science of pathology and pharmacology. In fact, the extended and extensive training that a NP undergoes up to thr DNP level is deliberate to have the NP well grounded in the theiry and science of nursing. From normal anatomy and physiology, the NP has to rigorously internalise the scientific concepts of pathology, pathophysiology, psychology, and the impact to the human body of ither environmental sciences. Because of all this, a NP at the DNP level is required to accumulate at least 1,000 hours of clinical practice before certification as a nurse practitioner. Some of these hours may however be compensated by those accumulated at the Masters level to at most 600 hours. The remaining 400 hours must therefore be achieved at the DNP level. This is where the role of immersion in the DNP program becomes important. In this, the NP student sets individual goals and outcomes that they have to attain. This is achieved through supervision and direction by the designated preceptor DNP. At the end of a satisfactory round of clinical practice, the NP will therefore have achieved the goal of 400 hours through immersion.

Scientific Competencies

From the scientific foundations of nursing practice described above flow the scientific competencies that the NP has to acquire and possess. This is essential if they are to practice safely and properly according to the NP standards of practice. The scientific foundation competencies required of the NP therefore include the following ((Stewart, n.d.):

  • The ability to critically analyse clinical data and available scientific evidence with a view to ameliorating the advanced practice of nursing as a NP. It is essential in this to understand that the aptitude for this analysis and recognition of evidence is shaped by the firm scientific foundational studies of anatomy, physiology, pathology, pathophysiology, and so on.
  • The seamless ability to integrate knowledge from the humanities and other sciences into the very body of nursing practice. This can only be possible if there is already a thorough grounding in the science of the human body. Also, an appreciation of the relationship between the human body and the environment must be internalised from a scientific standpoint.
  • The translation of research and other shades of scientific knowledge into the advanced practice of nursing. This is done with the sole aim of improving practice through evidence-based interventions.
  • The development of novel approaches to advanced nursing practice. This is to be achieved by way of the integration of theory, research, and practice into one formidable body of knowledge that wirks synergistically from its component parts. Theoretical and Scientific Underpinnings- Reflections

Theoretical Framework

The theoretical model of nursing forms the conceptual framework on which the entire practice of nursing is built. According to Chaiklin and Sievert (2019), this nursing theoretical model represents the tackling of the patient’s illness by making use of the available resources, while respecting their wishes so that they may continue living with dignity. Three distinct patts are therefore evident in this model: the patient’s medical condition, their wishes, and lastly the resources at the NP’s disposal to take care of the first two (Chaiklin & Sievert, 2019).

Evidence-Based NP Practice

The concept of evidence-based practice stemmed from the need to question traditional practices that have been observed religiously fir decades. This means questioning some aspects of clinical practice (i.e. clinical inquiry) to find out whether they really add value (Henderson & Fletcher, 2014). If not satisfied, a systematic literature search is done after which data is analysed for evidence. If there is evidence that supports the practice, then it can be continued. But if not, then the practice can be reviewed and appropriate planning for care done. Evidence-based advanced nursing practice is therefore the use of what is known to direct healthcare delivery and avoid guesswork. However, the biggest barrier to successful evidence-based practice in the healthcare profession has been discovered to be the time factor. Nurse practitioners and other clinicians often find themselves so pressed for time with many patients waiting to be seen that proper clinical inquiry is at times not possible (Henderson & Fletcher, 2014). Theoretical and Scientific Underpinnings- Reflections


Chaiklin, S. & Sievert, A. (2019). A theoretical model of nursing practice: Implications for a competence approach to nursing education. Nurse Education in Practice, 36, 58–63. Doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2019.02.008

Henderson, E.M. & Fletcher, M. (2014). Nursing culture: An enemy of evidence-based practice ?A focus group exploration. Journal of Child Health Care, 1-8. DOI: 10.1177/1367493514530956

Stewart, J.G. (n.d.). The nurse practitioner: Historical perspectives on the art and science of nurse practitionering. Retrieved 24 October 2019 from

Theoretical and Scientific Underpinnings- Reflections

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