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  1. Veo, Parrie MEd, RN, NEA-BC


Advocates of a return to theory-based practice believe that this will improve clinical outcomes and nurse satisfaction. The research question of whether concept mapping is an effective method of teaching nurses how to apply theory to their daily practice was tested during an action research project conducted at a community hospital. Registered nurses serving on a practice council were presented a review of nursing theory and given instruction on concept mapping. Symbols representing theoretical application were added to the usual concept map components of idea nodes and interconnecting relationship lines. Participants developed concept maps of familiar nursing tasks and were able to apply the theoretical symbols to those maps. Although the limitations of action research are evident in this study, observations of the members of the small participant group and their interview responses show a positive effect from the instructional intervention. The researcher suggests that review of nursing theory and the use of concept mapping to analyze its application should be considered for staff nurse development.