Application of Nursing Theory to Clinical Practice


Health standards are reviewed on a regular basis to improve the service delivery to the patient. Mothers are vulnerable to the adverseeffects of low-quality nursing. The World Health Organization has labeledpoor maternal care as the leading cause of premature deaths, both on the foetus and the mothers. In the present years, various governments have joined hands to curb the fatalities, which are caused by lack of enough facilities and professionals to handle the infirm. The paper will focus on the maternal care systems and give recommendations on the best way to achieve quality. Additionally, Mercer’s theory will be reviewedand possible application in the field of medicine.

Maternal Care

It is defined as the health during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period. Global attention has been diverted to the health of women, who stand the high chance of death during the pregnancy period. According to Meighan (2010), hospitals should have the right skilled professionals and necessary tools to execute the role of alleviating pain from the patients. The study conducted by World health Organization affirmed that about 30% of women died in the year 2016 due to complications associated with inadequate maternal care. Some succumbed to bleeding while others due to obstructed labor (Miles et al., 2011).

While there has been areduction in mortality rates due to improved maternal care, much has to be done to attain efficiency. According to the research conducted by Meighan (2010), it was noted that impoverished nations such as Africa and Asia recorded the high cases of poor health services. His observation was seconded by Parrat & Fahy (2011), who linked lack of enough resources to dismal care in hospitals. Prevention of maternal deaths is abated by adhering to four recommended elements. One is prenatal care, which is usually offered before the child born. According to the nursing ethics, pregnant women are advised to attend at least four-session, to check the health of thefoetus and the mother (Parrat & Fahy, 2011). Through the visits to the doctor, complications are detected early and treated appropriately. Second, skilled birth attendance is needed. According to the study conducted by Meighan (2010), most of the deaths witnessed during child delivery are attributed to lack of skills by professionals. Thedelivery process should be conducted with the emergency backup. Presence of doctors, qualified nurses, midwives and other should be readily available in case of onset of complications.

The third element is emergency obstetrics. Meighan (2010) describes it as the management of causes of maternal deaths. Conditions such as sepsis, hemorrhage and other associated complication can result to fatalities. Informed examination of the pregnant woman can mitigate the adverse effects. Finally, postnatal care is the period following birth. It is one of the most neglected stage, but crucial to the health of the child. According to the World Health Organization, 2.9 Million newborn babies died in the year 2016(Miles et al., 2011). Poor handling was cited as the cause of thedecline of maternal survival. Meighan(2010) notes that this is the period when optimal care should be given to both the baby and mother.

Nursing Theory of Mercer

Mercer is recognized for offeringalarge contribution in the field of nursing. Maternal role attainment theory is a framework used by nurses to assist the mothers to develop suitable attachment with the infants. According to the proposition of this theory, the relationship built at early stages determines the behavior of the child (Parrat & Fahy, 2011). The primary role is to develop interaction, which brings joy to the mother in her purpose of bringing up a mature kid. The concept put across is based on four nursing pillars. One is ananticipatory stage, which involves fantasizing about the purpose of becoming a mother. It is also the level where the woman adapts psychologically and learns new tricks of observing both personal and foetushealth (Miles et al., 2011). Second, the formal phase involves assumptions of maternal roles after delivery. The behavior is controlled by the people in the social circle. Additionally, the mother is assistedin making decisions concerning the care of the infant.

Moreover, the informal stage follows the phase of assisted mothering. It is at this level where the mother develops her way of thinking, not conveyed by immediate friends and family members (Meighan, 2010). She can decide what is right for her and the child regarding nutrition and also thefavorable environment. Finally, thepersonal stage is the pleasure of motherhood. The parent finds confidence in nurturing the child and might also look forward to having another one. There are concepts that are widely covered in Ramona Mercers model. The first one is human beings. According to her argument, she affirms that individuals perceivethemselves as alone pair, and disconnect from others. She propose that self-esteem hasanextraordinary impact in motherhood, and developing a healthy child (Parrat&Fahy, 2011). The next idea is the role of environment in impacting the maternal functions. Ramona argues that external factors influence the mothering process. It is essential to withstand the influences and understand the issues at hand.


A medically unstable child can distress the parent. According to the theory of Mercer, the maternal health of the mother and the infant are taken into consideration with much emphasis (Miles et al., 2011).  She identified that delayed protective services couldresult to deaths. In response to the highlights discussed by thetheorist, the bond between the child and the mother is paramount to guarantee quality health. The child can regularly be monitored to prevent the chances of contracting fatal conditions (Parrat & Fahy, 2011).  Even though motherhood can be complicated, Mercer theory provides an excellent framework and guide in dealing with real-lifesituations. One of the areas whereit has found broad application is in the nursing discipline. Professionalsplay a significant role in ensuring mothers deliver healthy babies. Mercer affirms that only the skilled medical professionals should be entrusted with the delivery process (Meighan, 2010).  The proposition of interaction is core in all developmental stages of the child. The parents should have a close watch of the infant, to identify any symptom of a disease.

The health of the mother and the father is also put forward by Mercer. She affirms that the parents should understand their health status since it can be translated to the child, during birth (Miles et al., 2011). Also, the healthy lifestyle could contribute to the upbringing of a well-nourished infant. It is crucial to give education to the mothers after delivery, to minimize the chances of risking the toddler. The ideas put across by theorist provides a clear reflection of theimportance of maternal care. The nurses and parents have the responsibility of propagating public health education, to equip the populace with exceptional skills of primary care.


Maternal care is an issue of concern in the world. The World Health Organization has set out measures which nursing professions should adhere to. The postnatal deaths are witnessed mainly due to disconnection and ignorance of the parents to embrace true motherhood. Additionally, the impoverished nations suffer most because they lack enough skilled professionals and tools. Although considerable efforts have been employed by thevarious governments to reduce the mortality rates of thefoetus and mother, more efforts are needed to reduce the number to near zero. Mercer proposed a theory that has been embraced in the nursing industry. According to her argument, she notes that bonding is core to ensuring good health. The cycle of care begins from the prenatal stage, then transition to postnatal levels. At each step, the mother is directed on how to eat and carry out the normal daily activities. As the time for giving birth approaches, more care is taken, with acontinuous check of thestatus of the foetus.

Mercer’s theory is applicable in pediatric care. It enables the nurses to educate the best parenthood strategies. The learning outcomes captured from this topic is that maternal care is paramount for the survival of the infant. Nurses and other medical practitioners have a role to play in educating the mothers to continually check the progress of the kid. Additionally, the social network gives moral support during postnatal stages. The level involves counselling to offer psychological comfort, until the mother is stable to make independent decisions.


Meighan, M. (2010). Ramona T. Mercer: Maternal role attainment-becoming a mother. In M. R. Alligood & A. M. Tomey, Nursing theorists and their work (7th ed., pp. 581-597). Maryland Heights, MO: Mosby Elsevier.

Miles, M. S., Holditch-Davis, D., Burchinal, M. R., & Brunssen, S. (2011). Maternal role attainment with medically fragile infants. Research in Nursing & Health, 34(1), 20-34.

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