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If the nursing profession is to continue to make advancements, it must envision new ways of perceiving the phenomena peculiar to nursing and must propose meaningful explanations for these perceptions. The approaches to nursing theory development are spread out over a theory practice continuum, ranging from Martha Roger's pure scientific approach to Dickoff and James’ practice approach. The very existence of this continuum signifies nursing's problem in deciphering the nature of the relationship between nursing theory and nursing practice. While the development of nursing theory is essential to the establishment of a theoretical body of knowledge unique to nursing as a science, this must not be its only function. Theory development must be integrated with nursing practice if the profession is to survive and grow.