Dickoff & James assert that theory comes from practice for practice This paper will explore the reality of this statement in nursing today The nature of nursing knowledge from an historical perspective facilitates an understanding of where nursing theory development is today The purpose of theory is debated and the motivation for its development considered Practice theory, theory which is developed from practice for practice, is analysed, and this is advocated as one method to reduce the theory-practice gap in nursing Whether practitioners are able to undertake the development of practice theory is discussed and some obstacles identified Reflection and action research have been offered as methods to facilitate the development of practice theory by practitioners