Nursing Theory

Has nursing reached the level of “normal science”? Why or why not?

The profession of nursing can be considered as attained the level of a normal science. To reach the level of normal science, the discipline must be able to recount past scientific achievements, expand on the body of accepted theory, compare applications with ideal experiments and observations, and show successful theory application (Chinn & Kramer, 2018). The acceptance of paradigm comprising of four concepts of person, nursing, environment, and health means that nursing meets those requirements. A paradigm is considered an achievement very exceptional that it draws a group of scholars away from rival models and concepts (Aligood, 2018).  In addition to that, nursing has seven varied bodies of normal science called nursing models. Each of them has its followers who use the models for research and knowledge development, practice and education. While these models are varied in research question presented, language, and implementation, each of them is based on the four concepts. Thus nursing can be considered to have reached normal science.

Identify a concept that you have read about and observed in nursing practice. Write a theoretical definition and an operational definition (hint: for the operational definition you will need to find a way to measure the chosen concept).

The concept I have observed in nursing practice is the measurement of body temperature. The theoretical definition of temperature is a measure of one’s internal energy. Aligood’s theoretical definition is that body temperature is “a homeothermic range of one’s internal environment maintained by the thermoregulatory system of the human body” (Aligood, 2018, pp. 35). Operationally, body temperature is the measurement of the degree of temperature using an oral thermometer. To measure body temperature, oral thermometer is put under the tongue for 1-2 minutes before taking the reading.


Alligood, M. R. (2018). Nursing theorists and their work (9th ed.). St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby.

Chinn, P. L., & Kramer, M. K. (2018). Knowledge development in nursing: Theory and Process (10thed.).St. Louis: Mosby.

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