NR 510 Week 2: Theory and APN Role Discussion Part Two

NR 510 Week 2: Theory and APN Role Discussion Part Two

As a future CNP, Karen will establish relationships with patients and colleagues. She is a primary care provider who will deal with patients of all ages. Karen will be trained to individually assess health problems and risk factors and to develop treatment plans. She may decide to collaborate with other health providers and colleagues to identify patients’ health problems and implement the appropriate interventions. Karen’s overall goal is to improve the health of the individual and family. To foster a strong relationship between herself, her patients, and other healthcare providers on her patients’ healthcare teams, Karen must master the art of interpersonal communication. This is the process that allows people to exchange information and feelings through verbal and non-verbal messages (Lee & Doran, 2017). Interpersonal communication is face-to-face communication that determines how well patients and CNPs understand each other and work together to reach health goals (Lee & Doran, 2017).

Psychiatric nursing pioneer, Hildegard Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations model points out four sequential phases, the primary areas of communication essential to the nurse/patient relationship: orientation, identification, exploitation, and resolution (, 2016). These frameworks help nurses understand their behavior in relation to listening to patients describe their health problems and working with other health providers. Peplau describes nursing as a “therapeutic, healing art” that becomes an interpersonal process because of the interaction between the NP, patient, and other healthcare providers (Aro

NR 510 Week 2 Theory and APN Role Discussion Part Two

NR 510 Week 2 Theory and APN Role Discussion Part Two

ra, 2015). Interpersonal communication guides the way NPs create treatment plans and set health goals for patients and their families. Positive, open, and respectful interpersonal communication help the nurse and patient work together to become mature, knowledgeable partners in the care process (Arora, 2015). In my experience, patients often feel nervous and anxious around medical personnel. Many patients become defensive, passive-aggressive, shy, or uncomfortable all because they do not want to be perceived as uneducated about their health or the diagnosis/treatment information being relayed. Patients feel nurses and doctors talk at them instead of with them. I have heard patients complain that nurses are rude just because the patient did not understand what the nurse said about a diagnosis or treatment. Karen can use Peplau’s theory to engage in better ways to communicate with patients and help them feel valued. Undergraduate nursing school taught me best practices in creating a solid patient-nurse relationship. In Peplau’s model, this begins with the orientation stage. First, I should introduce myself to the patient then state my credentials and the role I will play. I should ask the patient his or her preferred name. I want to relieve the patient’s anxiety, so I ask the patient if there are any recent health changes he or she would like to discuss with me. I want to normalize the situation, so I may even ask about family life, hobbies, talk about the news, etc. There are so many ways for me to help the patient feel comfortable talking to me. The point is to let the patient know through verbal and non-verbal communication that I am here to help.


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Arora, S. (2015). Integration of nursing theories in practice. International Journal of Nursing Science Practice and Research1(1), 8-12. Retrieved from

Lee, C. T., & Doran, D. M. (2017). The role of interpersonal relations in healthcare team communication and patient safety: A proposed model of interpersonal process in teamwork. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research49(2), 75-93. Retrieved from (2016). Hildegard Peplau Theory. Retrieved from

Thank you Dr. Storms. I truly believe the concept of care or caregiving is central to the role of the FNP. I agree with your point that nursing theories provide a foundation for nurses to refer to in regard to improving patient outcomes and carrying out treatment plans. Care and compassion go hand-in-hand. Nurses are obligated and have a duty of care to apply these elements when serving patient populations, but nurses should also remember to apply the concepts of care and compassion to themselves.  I sometimes feel nurses are expected to be perfect, which is unrealistic. Brandford and Reed (2016) state nurses suffer from depression more than other professionals due to job stress. There is a shortage of nurses because they do not feel valued or respected. When nurses continue to work through their depression caused by a lack of compassion and empathy from patients, colleagues, and other medical professionals, nurses make mistakes due to trouble concentrating (Brandford & Reed, 2016). Nurses then begin to show less compassion to patients and colleagues. It is also important for nurses to receive emotional and professional support.


Brandford, A. A. (2016). Depression in registered nurses: A state of the science. Workplace Health and Safety64(10), 488-511. Retrieved from

Great choice of theory. In my experience as a nurse, effective communication is the most important thing to patient care and collaboration with all the staff involved in a patients care. A simple greet of the day and calling them by their last name in the first introduction usually establishes a rapport. After a rapport is established, we can begin to ask patients what they prefer to be called. I always take advantage of the first introduction to establish a rapport. If patients feel uncomfortable, asking them how they are feeling is a very simple way to give them the opportunity to open up to you. If they remain uncomfortable, I let them know to call me if there is anything they need. And when they call for something, I ensure I accomplish it. Doing this almost always reduces anxiety and creates a strong rapport between me and my patient and family members.

Theory in communications will help us improve holistic care. Far too often, I have patients coming into the hospital with inadequate information after leaving a doctor’s office, which boggles my mind. This is also common in the hospital setting, where doctors leave the patients room and they don’t have a clue what the doctor said to them in regards to medications and treatment plans. This just tells me that, holistic care is not being taught because acute care continues to dominate health care. I hope that one day, holistic care dominate health care and health care education.