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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Undergraduate student presents research findings at conference

Elizabeth Johnson, a senior in the Connell School of Nursing and an undergraduate research fellow, presented the initial findings from the study of Nursing Theory and Education: A Survey Analysis at the Roy Adaptation Association Tenth Annual Conference.



Elizabeth Johnson, a senior in the Connell School of Nursing and an undergraduate research fellow, presented the initial findings from the study of Nursing Theory and Education: A Survey Analysis at the Roy Adaptation Association Tenth Annual Conference. The conference was held at Boston College on June 13, 2009, and featured nursing scholars from across the globe. Conference attendees learned of the most recent and significant nursing scholarship based on the Roy Adaptation Model, which was developed by Boston College Professor Sr. Callista Roy.

Johnson was involved in surveying over 1000 accredited schools of nursing with associates, bachelors, masters and doctoral programs, with a response rate of nearly 50 percent. The study was the first of its kind done in the past 25 years and reported use of theory in nursing education at all levels. 20 percent of basic education programs base the curriculum on one nursing theory, whereas 35 percent integrate theory, and 17 percent use nursing theory in one course. The integration of nursing theory in 100 percent of courses was reported by 22 percent of the courses, and 24 percent reported integration in 25 percent of courses. Nearly 80 percent of the programs reported a course that teaches major nursing theories and 35 percent reported that theories are used in one or more courses. At the PhD level, nearly 30 percent report a required course and close to 40 percent teach nursing theory as a strategy for knowledge development. The pattern for the DNP was quite similar. In reporting the use of theory as a framework for research, 40 percent reported that theories are used to synthesize the var iables of the study and a similar number reported that the use of theory as a framework for depends on the faculty. An unexpected finding was that the theory most used at all levels of education was that of Callista Roy.

The audience responded positively to the report. Professor Jacqueline Fawcett from the University of Massachusetts at Boston commented that the study was significant and that Johnson should publish the work soon. Roy, who serves as Johnson's mentor, will work with her on the next stage of the project including publication of the findings.