Posted: December 5th, 2022

Concept Analysis paper – NURS 6104 Theory for Graduate Nursing Practice

Concept Analysis paper – NURS 6104 Theory for Graduate Nursing Practice


CONCEPT PAPER – Assignment: Write a 4-5-page paper on a concept analysis.

A concept analysis, concept development, and concept synthesis is described by McEwen and Willis (2019) as the “rigorous process of bringing clarity to the definition of the concepts used in science. Concept Analysis paper – NURS 6104 Theory for Graduate Nursing Practice Concept analysis is used to promote understanding.” Under-standing how concepts are used within nursing is critically important because how a concept is understood and used in nursing is not necessarily the same as how that concept is understood and used in other disciplines. Some concepts relevant to nursing are coping, quality of life, abuse, self-esteem, spirituality, health, nursing, managed care, and parenting.


A concept analysis is the first step in communicating meanings, understandings and
feelings. The purpose of concept analysis is to “clarify, recognize, and define concepts
that describe a phenomenon”. A concept is usually a measurable variable in a hypothesis, assumption, or proposition. Remember, the study of theoretical knowledge as an advanced degree nurse is to prepare you for abstract thinking skills in problem solving and to advance your understanding of how theories are the basis for practice. Concept analysis can be used to evaluate the level of development of nursing concepts by:
• Identifying gaps in nursing knowledge
• Determining the need to refine or clarify a concept when it appears to have several
• Evaluate the adequacy of competing concepts in their relation to other phenomena
• Examine the congruence between the definition of the concept and the way it has been operationalized
• Determine the fit between the definition of the concept and its clinical application
(Morse et al., 1996)

Activities and Directions
To begin the process, choose a concept you are interested: The Effect of a person’s spiritual belief and healing

  1. Read the published concept analysis papers. By reading the articles, this will help your understanding of the concept analysis assignment. Remember you are focusing on the concept. So, if the concept is quality of life, focus on quality of life generally and not the nurse’s role in treatment or quality of life among the elderly.
    2. The focus of this paper is to select and analyze a concept of interest to you and the
    discipline of nursing. See examples of theoretically and operationally defined concepts in McEwen and Willis on pg. 53. You will need to describe the concept in clear and simple language, and why it is of interest to you.
  2. State the purpose of the analysis. Clearly identify the concept to be analyzed. Concept Analysis paper – NURS 6104 Theory for Graduate Nursing Practice
  3. Review the literature for definitions. State the databases used. This should be done in a formal way- don’t just write Galileo because this is a repository of databases and you
    would want to identify specific databases used to help narrow down this information.
    Google Scholar is acceptable to use but not Google.
    6. Identify all the uses of the concept.
    7. Describe defining attributes (how do you know it when you see it).
    8. Give an exemplar (model case) of the concept from your practice. Include empirical
    findings if located. Give real life examples.
    9. Identify a choice of 2 of these: borderline, related, contrary, invented, and illegitimate
    10. Identify the antecedents and consequences of the concept.
    11. Determine empirical referents for the concept (how is the occurrence of the concept

Other tips in writing this paper:
1. Use the steps in concept analysis from your textbook (Box 3-2, pg. 58) and the
PowerPoint provided.
2. You must have five or more references from peer reviewed resources- this means
scholarly journals that you find through a library search- you can also use your
textbook or a website that would be scholarly- this means the website of a
respected national organization and usually doesn’t end in .com but .edu, .gov,
or .org.
3. Do not use more than three direct quotes.
4. Use headings for each section of the paper. (For example for each grading criteria
use a heading. HINT: Heading makes it easier for faculty to see you have
followed the grading criteria).
5. Review rubric (See rubric on the GoVIEW website under Rubrics)
6. This paper should be written in APA with a title page and reference page, which
are not part of the page limit- this page limit (4-5 pages) is for the body of the
paper. You are not required to include an abstract. Refer to the APA section under
Content for help with formal writing and an example of a paper with APA format. Book used for class: Theoretical Basis for Nursing 5th Edition – Melanie McEwen and Evelyn M. Wills

  • Concept Analysis
  • NURS 6104
  • Theory for Graduate Nursing Practice
  • Concepts Concept Analysis paper – NURS 6104 Theory for Graduate Nursing Practice
  • Concepts are not words but are a mental image of a phenomenon, an idea or a construct about a thing or an action (Walker and Avant, 2005).
  • The words used in language are not the concepts themselves; instead, they are the means by which they are expressed and communicated.
  • In order to achieve understanding or communicate effectively with someone in your discipline, there has to be some general agreement about the meaning of the concept.
  • Within scientific disciplines where concept usage may differ from the common meaning within the wider society, there is a need for concepts to be analyzed and clarified in order to ensure there some consistency of meaning and understanding.
  • Walker and Avant method of concept analysis

1.Select a concept

  • Concept selection should reflect the topic or area of greatest interest
  • It should be relevant to practice and make some contribution to knowledge development of the discipline of nursing
  • It is best to select something that lacks clarity- this is because if it is well-defined, it is not as meaningful to analyze; for example, quality of life would be one that may mean different things so it is a concept that lacks clarity.
  • Walker and Avant method of concept analysis (cont.)

2.Determine the aims or purpose of analysis

  • To clarify the meaning
  • To develop an operational definition
  • To distinguish between the normal ordinary and scientific language usage of the concept
  • Having a personal interest in conducting the concept analysis is a reason to choose the concept and analyze it.
  • Walker and Avant method of concept analysis
  1. Identify all uses of the concept
  • Physical, psychological, and/or social
  • Dictionary, thesauruses, colleagues, literature
  • Do not limit search to just nursing or medical literature
  • While there can be an overwhelming amount of data, it helps to see the range and diversity of the use of the concept.
  • One example is fatigue- this is defined differently based on sports, healthcare, or engineering.
  • Determine whether there are commonalities in the definition of all of these or not; if not, you would discard these other definitions since these do not define the concept of fatigue as specific to healthcare.
  • Walker and Avant method of concept analysis (cont.)

4.Determine the defining attributes

  • On examining the different instances of a concept, taking notes on the characteristics that appear over and over again. These characteristics become the critical or defining attributes of the concept
  • The cluster of attributes are the most frequently associated with the concept and allow the broadest insight into the concept
  • You will synthesize what you have found in the literature to determine what these attributes are.
  • This is important to do so you can distinguish similar concepts- for example, compassion and empathy
  • Walker and Avant method of concept analysis

5.Identify model case

  • A real life example of the use of the concept that include all the critical attributes of the concept
  • The model cases can come first, or be developed simultaneously with the attributes, or emerge after the attributes are tentatively determined.

6.Identify additional cases: these help you determine the boundaries of the concept

  • Borderline Cases
  • Contain most of the defining attributes but not all
  • These cases are inconsistent in some way from the concept under study
  • Walker and Avant method of concept analysis
  1. Additional Cases (cont.)
  • Related Cases
  • Instances where the concept is similar and connected to the one being studied
  • These cases help with understanding how the concept being analysed ‘fits’ with the network of concepts around it
  • Contrary Cases. Concept Analysis paper – NURS 6104 Theory for Graduate Nursing Practice
  • These are examples of what is NOT the concept
  • These cases can help clarify the concept being analysed as it sometimes easier to say what something is not rather than what it is
  • Walker and Avant method of concept analysis
  1. Additional Cases (cont.)
  • Invented Cases
  • These are cases that contain ideas outside our own experience and can read like ‘science fiction’
  • Not all analyses need invented cases particularly if the model and other cases are such that there is little ambiguity
  • Illegitimate Cases
  • These cases are not always included but are those where the concept is used inappropriately or out of context.
  • Walker and Avant method of concept analysis
  1. Identify antecedents and consequences: these give you context on the occurrence of the concept
  • Antecedents: Events that must occur prior to the occurrence of the concept; in the example of fatigue, an antecedent may be a chronic illness, rehabilitation, or cancer
  • Consequences: Events that occur as a result of the occurrence of the concept; for example, caring for older adults can have a consequence of preserving dignity.
  1. Define empirical referents: Classes or categories of actual phenomena that, by their existence or presence, demonstrate the occurrence of the concept
  • Very useful in instrument development
  • Contributing to content and construct validity of any new instrument
  • An example of an empirical referent (or measurement) of a concept would be a survey that measures stress level if analyzing the concept of stress
  • Concept Analysis paper – NURS 6104 Theory for Graduate Nursing Practice

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