Online Course

NDNP 804 - Theory for Evidence-Based Practice

Module 8: Theory, Model or Framework Identification


In this online module, students will begin to explore the utility of middle range and practice level theories for use in understanding the clinical practice problem. Students will also have the opportunity to examine quality improvement models and frameworks that can be used in the future to guide a practice change. There are many resources both on the web and in textbooks to help guide your search. In examining theories or models of interest, consider: its purpose; its origins and scope; major concepts, definitions, theoretical propositions and assumptions; relationships in the theory/model and structure; and how it has been used contextually in research studies and practice problems.

Although models and frameworks may share some of the same characteristics of middle-range or practice theories, take care not to confuse or mislabel them as theories. Middle range or practice theories are usually more immediate in scope, have specific measurable concepts, and focused on a limited number of concepts and relationships between concepts. They are useful in helping to explain a problem or predict an outcome. Models on the other hand help to guide a process and often have stages or steps. These will be helpful to you when you actually are implementing something in the future.


At the conclusion of this module, the learner will be able to:

  • Identify at least two middle range or practice theories to guide the understanding of a project of interest or research study.
  • Identify how theories and models can be used together to understand and then implement a change.

Required Readings

  • Butts, J.B. & Rich, K.L. Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett. Chapters 6-23. (Read any chapters that pertain to your area of interest.)
  • Rawlett, K. (2011). Analytical Evaluation of the Health Belief Model and the
  • Vulnerable Populations Conceptual Model Applied to a Medically Underserved, Rural Population. International Journal of Applied Science & Technology, 1(2): 15-21.

Required Videos

What is Implementation Science?


Theories & Frameworks in Implementation Science



Additional Resources

  • George and Fay Yee, Center for Healthcare Innovation.
  • Meleis, A.I. (2010). Transitions theory: Middle range and situation specific theories in nursing research and practice. New York: Springer.
  • (2010). Theories. Retrieved from
  • Nursing theories: A companion to nursing theories and models. (2012). Retrieved from
  • Parker, M.E., & Smith, M.C. (2010). Nursing theory and nursing practice, 3rd ed. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.
  • Peterson, S.J., & Bredow, T.S. (2009). Middle range theories: Application to nursing research. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Rycroft-Malone, J. & Bucknall, T. (Eds). (2010). Models and frameworks for implementing Evidence-Based Practice: Linking evidence to action. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
    (an electronic version of this book available through HSHSL)
  • Smith M.J. & Liehr, P.R. (Eds.). (2013). Middle range theory for nursing, 3rd ed. New York: Springer Publishing Co.
  • Wiseman, B. & Kaprielian, V. (2005). Patient Safety-Quality Improvement. Duke University Medical Center. Retrieved from

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