Nursing Conceptual Frameworks Essay Paper

Nursing Conceptual Frameworks

Conceptual frameworks in nursing are the guiding light to nursing practice. They enable the advanced nurse to base their practice on particular reasoning that explains why certain actions are taken the way they are. In other words, conceptual frameworks provide the foundation upon which nursing practice is built (Nurse Key, 2017; Rosemary et al., 2015; McEwen & Brown, 2002). The component metaparadigms of theoretical concepts in nursing are the (i) person or patient, (ii) nursing, (iii) environment, and (iv) health. This paper proposes a conceptual framework that may be useful to nursing practice for the advanced practice nurse in the intensive care unit. Nursing Conceptual Frameworks Essay Paper

The Conceptual Framework

A conceptual framework can be summarized in short related statements that immediately give an understanding of what the conceptual framework is all about (Greensboro School of Nursing, n.d.). In the case of this conceptual framework for nursing practice in intensive care, the summarizing statements are as follows: Health in the context of the critically ill intensive care patient is the result of his or her interaction with the ICU environment that comprises of the critical care nurse and the certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) among others, the mechanical ventilator, the continuous ECG monitor and other gadgets. Nursing as an art and a science is there to facilitate this interaction in a therapeutic way to actualize health. From these statements, it is clear that the component metaparadigms of the concept of health, the person/ patient, nursing, and environment are included.

How the Conceptual Framework Relates to the Metaparadigms

The conceptual framework chosen for this scenario is one that can be used to guide advanced practice in the intensive care unit (Celestino da Silva et al., 2015). Its relationship to its component metaparadigms of health, the person, nursing, and environment is as explained below:


  1. Health

Health in the critical care context will be the outcome of successful application of nursing scientific knowledge and art in using the ICU environment comprising of human resource and equipment to bring about a return to wellness in the critically ill patient. Health will be a restoration to the patient’s pre-illness status or at least a return to near pre-illness status. It is a restoration of normal physiological functioning and a reversal of the pathophysiologic processes that took the patient to the ICU.

  1. Nursing

Nursing is both a science and an art. In the context of the ICU, nursing is the medium through which the human resource communicates. It informs and directs their actions as they manipulate the ICU environment to bring about a return to wellness in the critically ill patient. It is a science because the advanced practice nurse must use evidence-based interventions in evidence-based practice or EBP. It is also an art because the advanced nurse must have advanced psychomotor skills that enable them to effectively use the ICU environment to bring about change in the ICU patient’s condition.

  • Environment

The ICU environment is dominated by specialized equipment. The advanced practice nurse is part of this environment but in ultimate control of it. Equipment such as the mechanical ventilator, the CRRT dialysis machine, and the continuous ECG monitor form part of the ICU environment.

  1. The intensive care patient

The intensive care patient s the critically ill person brought to the ICU with a high acuity level. He or she is in need of close nursing attention and supervision and round-the-clock monitoring.


Celestino da Silva, R., Ferreira, M., Apostolidis, T., & Brandão, M.A.G. (2015). A conceptual framework of clinical nursing care in intensive care. Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem, 23(5), 837-845.

Greensboro School of Nursing (n.d.). Conceptual framework.

McEwen, M., & Brown, S.C. (2002). Conceptual frameworks in undergraduate nursing curricula: Report of a national survey. Journal of Nursing Education, 41(1), 5-9.

Nurse Key (March 1, 2017). Theoretical and conceptual frameworks.

Rosemary, W., Christina, M.G., Kim, S., Jennifer, M., Amanda, R-W., & Natalie, L. (2015). Exploring conceptual and theoretical frameworks for nurse practitioner education: A scoping review protocol. JBI Evidence Synthesis, 13(10), 146-155.  Nursing Conceptual Frameworks Essay Paper





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