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Middle-range theories are essential in shaping nursing practice, mainly because they provide a framework between the grand theories and nursing practice.

Middle-range theories are essential in shaping nursing practice, mainly because they provide a framework between the grand theories and nursing practice.



Middle-range theories are essential in shaping nursing practice, mainly because they provide a framework between the grand theories and nursing practice. They are a bridge to understanding the grand theories better through their ease of applicability. The middle-range nursing theories provide a firm foundation for nurses and other healthcare workers to handle complicated circumstances in the healthcare system (Liehr & Smith, 2017). The middle-range nursing theory is significant for nursing students because it gives them a middle reality perspective and more particular generic practice areas. Internal and external criticism of the middle range theories is a step in understanding its applicability in nursing practice. They are also a step in understanding the credibility of the approach. The self-efficacy theory is a person’s conviction in their ability to carry out the actions required to achieve specified performance goals (Vaughan?Johnston & Jacobson, 2020). 

Internal Criticism

Internal criticism of a theory is a part of understanding its credibility and whether its contents are believable. Therefore, the internal analysis consists of understanding consistency, clarity, logical development, adequacy, and level of theory development. The self-efficacy theory through internal criticism shows that the approach is first straightforward. The theorists achieve clarity because he explains the two primary principles, including self-efficacy and human agency. Even though the theory develops from psychology, it is clear in its explanation of terms that can apply in other fields. The approach also achieves logical development because it bases on the social cognitive theory (Schunk & DiBenedetto, 2020). The researchers establish its main principles and discuss them methodically to emphasize people’s unique role in altering their unhealthy habits.

The other factor of internal criticism is the adequacy which, in this particular theory, the theorist explicitly indicates that people play distinct roles in causing behavioral change and found that self-efficacy plays a crucial role in predicting behavior change, both directly and through its impacts on the other determinants (Alimohammadi et al., 2019). Finally, because the theory includes fewer ideas and may be generalized across diverse backgrounds, it is a middle-range theory.

External Criticism

The external criticism of a theory is essential to understand how it relates to the real world of nursing. The criticism details the scope of approach, significance, discrimination, utility, and complexity. The theorist explains two fundamental concepts in complexity: human agency and self-efficacy beliefs, making them straightforward. On the reality convergence, the essential assumption of self-efficacy theory is that perceived personal efficacy impacts the commencement, perseverance, and effort to apply to create behavior. The external criticism through significance shows that many researchers continue to develop different theories throughout the years after Bandura. As a result, to effectively apply the theory to practice, nurses caring for various patients with different diagnoses may need to use different but relevant effectiveness metrics (Klassen & Klassen, 2018). Finally, through a look at the scope of the theory, the self-efficacy hypothesis has a specific emphasis, which makes it more useful in nursing practice.

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The theory of self-efficacy is a staple in the nursing world. This middle-ranged theory was first being developed in the 1970’s to explain the reasoning behind various forms of thinking between different people. Those who will continue to try even if they fail, have high self-efficacy while those who have low self-efficacy will often blame themselves for their lack of success. This theory is usually a trait where one can control the situations that encompass their lives (Petiprin, 2020).

Internal Criticism

    When critiquing this theory based on internal criticism factors, the theory was noticeably clear. This theory is based around a lot of psychology-based research, but it is highly unlikely for anyone to need a clear understanding of psychology to understand the theories ideologies. Furthermore, I would not say the theory is inadequate for research, but I do agree with various sources that state that the theories findings do require further research in certain areas. It has been found that the theory may be influenced by external factors such as age and level of education which could affect an individual’s self-efficacy. However, the theory is still described as more than adequate for use despite newer more refined development that comes with its research. This theory is a middle level theory. Because of its ease of use across a grand array of concepts and subjects, it is highly generalized and a great guide to everyday practice in nursing (Critical Analysis of Self Efficacy Theory, 2020).

External Criticism

    When presented with more knowledge about this theory, I was able to conclude various things from a variety of sources that helped me establish external criticism of the self-efficacy theory. The self-efficacy theory is narrow, allowing for it to be better applied across nursing practice. This theory has two main concepts, the human agency concept, and the self-efficacy belief concept. These concepts serve the purpose of developing a simple, coherent explanation of what the self-efficacy theory is. This theory’s origin has profound influence form the social cognitive theory, which is critical when it comes to treating chronic diseases. It has proved to be of immense importance to the health ecosystem. With it being applied in areas to treat major diseases like diabetes for example. This theory is mostly used to treat patients with chronic diseases. Is highly emphasized on the characteristics of the patient. The self-efficacy theory has proved highly useful In nursing in order to provide more unique, one on one care with patients, making it highly significant (Critical Analysis of Self Efficacy Theory, 2020).


    The theory of self-efficacy has served a purposeful role in the world of nursing. There is no doubt that there have been many advances in the social cognitive areas of nursing due to the theory ideologies. Although the theory may have some limitations, it still serves as a reliable, clear guide to every day practice and research and should continue to make great impact in terms of nursing.

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