The theory-practice gap in nursing: a new dimension


Ahstair Hewison, Senior Lecturer, School of Health and Social Sciences, Coventry University, Priory Street Coventry CV1 5FB England


The existence of a theory-practice gap in nursing in the United Kingdom has been an issue of concern for many years However recent events have resulted in a new dimension of the theory-practice gap emerging This paper explores the origins of the contrasting values attributed to nurses and health care managers and identifies areas of conflict It is argued that the theory-practice gap in nursing is being compounded by a more fundamental divergence of approaches to the delivery of health care and that this represents a major challenge to nurse educators Nursing is at a crossroads in its development, and if it is to survive it must incorporate some elements of the new managerialism whilst demonstrating to managers the importance of recognizing professional values The future of nursing can be secured, but it will involve partnership and cooperation with the new managers