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The congruency between theory, research and practice is essential for nursing's professional development This paper briefly examines the historical development of theory, research and practice and discusses the gap between the triad Critical social theory is discussed as an alternative in nursing education to bridging this gap Through critical enquiry, it is believed that many of the constraints to providing holistic care can be uncovered in order for the essence of nursing to be actualized It is also through critical theory that students can become ethical, moral, responsible and accountable individuals in society