How the critical social theory should be utilized as a framework for academic nursing practice

This article discusses how the critical social theory should be utilized as a framework for academic nursing practice.  The preface of critical social theory is that nurses must maintain a level of self-reflection to maintain the areas of practice without forgetting that patient problems are as important as treating the condition.  This includes being able to assess all of the dimensions utilized as nursing care is delivered.  This is bigger than locating a problem and instituting a solution it also involves a behavioral shift to utilize emotional and behavioral solutions as well.  They discuss how the nurses actions are dictated by actions other than the nurses original intentions such as; the manner the situation is being treated, the view regarding who should be in charge of the interaction, the center of commitment to the client, practitioner, organization, and the nature of communication that is appropriate for that specific interaction (Swartz, 2014).  They further discuss how the nursing profession is somewhat oppressed in that many advanced practice nurses feel that they are powerless without their physician backing them.  They also discuss how nursing has difficulty obtaining support to institute programs such as proper nutrition for cardiac wellness but there is significant backing for bypass procedures.  This is similar to the oppression discussed in the critical social theory.  The discussion of transpersonal learning through active participation from teachers and learners instead of the traditional forms of presenting material.  This learning format promotes respect and collaboration.  Utilizing the critical social theory to assess areas of oppression, in order to open the discussion for change and improvement would greatly benefit any nursing and education in nursing environment.  Empowering the nurses to be actively engaged in the process of change encourages commitment to the organization and allegiance to improvements.


Swartz, M. K. (2014, May). Critical Theory as a Framework for Academic Nursing Practice. Journal of Nursing Education, 53(5), 271-276.

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