Title Text: Understanding the Work of Nursing Theorists: A Creative Beginning Crane Photo
  Messages from the Authors

Nursing theory is unquestionably complex, and it is sometimes tempting to try and offer beginning students much more information than they are able to grasp. I think nursing theories are profoundly beautiful expressions of the heart and soul of nursing, and I am weary of folks saying theory is boring and irrelevant. In my experience, this tends to squash enthusiasm and interest, and instill distaste for further study of this important subject. I have used the principles contained in this little text for a year and a half, and the results have been dazzling. The students consistently become engaged and passionate rather than overwhelmed and eager to "get it over with". Instead of trying so hard to illuminate the depth and breadth of nursing theory, I have found it helpful to offer creative glimpses, a variety of tools for learning, and a good dose of joyous discovery.

Through this approach, I have been rewarded with inquisitive and engaged students. The students have been rewarded with a gentle entry into a vast realm that will challenge and stimulate their own nursing perceptions long after the formal class is over.

Kathleen Sitzman MS, RN, Weber State University

Nursing theory completes nursing for me. Theory has been what has challenged me intellectually and made me proud of the great thinkers in our profession. When I first was introduced to nursing theory, it helped me to understand the larger significance of all the prescriptions, facts, research data and information that I had acquired as a result of my basic nursing studies. I am surprised and disappointed when our students dread taking "Theory", when students have the attitude that theory doesn't really matter. As theory teachers, I think most of us have searched for ways to engage our students and convince them of the real value of theory. Unfortunately, most theory texts have traditionally proffered dry and lofty writings of nursing theorist and their concepts and offered too little or too much information. Students have difficulty understanding the basic principles and often become even more frustrated with theory.

This text was born out of a sincere desire to make theory engaging, fun and imaginative. The use of art and its many familiar forms to explain the major theorists allows each student to use their own inventiveness to create meaning for him or herself. Our text presents a totally different way of approaching the study of nursing theory and the results have been exciting! I hope you will consider this very innovative approach to nursing theory and have the pleasure of watching your students embrace the content.

Dr. Lisa Wright Eichelberger, Clayton College and State University