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Nursing theory

Nursing theory

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Nursing theory is the term given to the body of knowledge that is used to define or explain various aspects of the profession of nursing
Nursing is a healthcare profession focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life from conception to death....


Grand nursing theories

Grand nursing theories have the broadest scope and present general concepts and propositions. Theories at this level may both reflect and provide insights useful for practice but are not designed for empirical
The word empirical denotes information gained by means of observation or experimentation. Empirical data are data produced by an experiment or observation....

 testing. This limits the use of grand nursing theories for directing, explaining, and predicting nursing in particular situations. Theories at this level are intended to be pertinent to all instances of nursing.

Mid-range nursing theories

Middle-range nursing theories are narrower in scope than grand nursing theories and offer an effective bridge between grand nursing theories and nursing practice. They present concepts and propositions at a lower level of abstraction and hold great promise for increasing theory-based research and nursing practice strategies.

Nursing practice theories

Nursing practice theories have the most limited scope and level of abstraction and are developed for use within a specific range of nursing situations. Nursing practice theories provide frameworks for nursing interventions, and predict outcomes and the impact of nursing practice.

Major nursing theorists and theories

  • Helen Erickson
    Helen Erickson
    Helen Lorraine Erickson is the primary author of the theory, Modeling and Role-Modeling. Her work, co-authored with Tomlin, E. and Swain, M.A., was derived from years of clinical practice, was first published in 1983 by Prentice Hall and later by the EST Company...

  • Virginia Henderson
    Virginia Henderson
    Virginia Henderson, FRCN was a nurse, researcher, theorist and author. She was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the fifth of eight children of Lucy Abbot Henderson and Daniel B. Henderson. She graduated from the Army School of Nursing, Washington, D.C. in 1921. She graduated from Teachers College,...

     - Henderson's need theory
  • Imogene King
    Imogene King
    Imogene King was universally recognized as a pioneer of nursing theory development. Her interacting conceptual system for nursing and her theory of goal attainment have been included in every major nursing theory text, are taught to thousands of nursing students, form the basis of nursing...

  • Madeleine Leininger
    Madeleine Leininger
    Madeleine Leininger is a pioneering nursing theorist, first published in 1961. Her contributions to nursing theory involve the discussion of what it is to care...

  • Betty Neuman - Neuman systems model
  • Margaret A. Newman - Health as expanding consciousness theory
  • Dorothea Orem
    Dorothea Orem
    Dorothea Elizabeth Orem , born in Baltimore, Maryland, was a nursing theorist and creator of the Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory , also known as the Orem model of nursing....

     - Self-care deficit nursing theory
  • Ida Jean Orlando (Pelletier)
  • Ramona T Mercer
    Ramona T Mercer
    Ramona Thieme Mercer is the author of a mid-range nursing theory known as maternal role attainment. Mercer has conributed many works to the refinement of this theory and is credited as a nurse-theorist. She was the Nahm Lecturer 1984 at the University of California.- See also :* Maternal role...

     - Maternal role attainment theory
  • Anne Casey
    Anne Casey
    Anne Casey, FRCN is a New Zealand-trained nurse based in England, who developed Casey's model of nursing. She is currently the editor of the journal Paediatric Nursing, published by the Royal College of Nursing...

     - Casey's model of nursing
  • Hildegard Peplau
    Hildegard Peplau
    Hildegard E. Peplau As the first published nursing theorist since Florence Nightingale , Hildegard E. Peplau created the middle-range nursing theory of Interpersonal Relations and helped revolutionize the scholarly work of nurses...

     - Theory of interpersonal relations
  • Rosemarie Rizzo-Parse - Human becoming theory
  • Isabel Hampton Robb
    Isabel Hampton Robb
    Isabel Adams Hampton Robb was one of the founders of modern American nursing theory and one of the most important leaders in the history of nursing.She graduated from the Bellevue Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1883...

  • Nancy Roper, Winifred W. Logan, and Alison J. Tierney - Roper-Logan-Tierney model of nursing
    Roper-Logan-Tierney model of nursing
    The Roper, Logan and Tierney model of nursing is a model of nursing care based upon activities of living. It is extremely prevalent in the United Kingdom, particularly in the public sector . The model is named after the authors – Nancy Roper, Winifred W. Logan and Alison J...

  • Martha E. Rogers
    Martha E. Rogers
    Martha Elizabeth Rogers was an American nurse, researcher, theorist, and author. Rogers is best known for developing the Science of Unitary Human Beings and her landmark book, An Introduction to the Theoretical Basis of Nursing....

     - Science of unitary human beings
    Science of unitary human beings
    The science of unitary human beings is a grand nursing theory developed by Martha E. Rogers. The details of the theory are included in her book, An Introduction to the Theoretical Basis of Nursing.- Overview :...

  • Callista Roy - Adaptation model of nursing
  • Katharine Kolcaba
  • Phil Barker - Tidal Model
    Tidal Model
    The Tidal Model is a recovery model for the promotion of mental health developed by Professor Phil Barker, Poppy Buchanan-Barker and their colleagues. The Tidal Model focuses on the continuous process of change inherent in all people. It seeks to reveal the meaning of people's experiences,...

  • Moyra Allen - McGill model of nursing
  • Erickson, Tomlin & Swain - Modeling and Role-Modeling
  • Katie Eriksson
  • Dr. Jean Watson
    Jean Watson
    Jean Watson was born in a small, close-knit town in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia in the 1940s. Jean Watson graduated from the Lewis Gale School of Nursing in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1961. She continued her nursing studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, earning a B.S. in...

  • Paterson & Zderad
  • Boykin & Schoenhofer

Purposely omitted from this list is that most famous of all nurses, Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale OM, RRC was a celebrated English nurse, writer and statistician. She came to prominence for her pioneering work in nursing during the Crimean War, where she tended to wounded soldiers. She was dubbed "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night...

. Nightingale never actually formulated a theory of nursing science but was posthumously accredited with same by others who categorized her personal journaling and communications into a theoretical framework.

Also not included are the many nurses who improved on these theorists' ideas without developing their own theoretical vision.

See also

  • Nursing
    Nursing is a healthcare profession focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life from conception to death....

:Category: Nursing theory
  • Nursing process
    Nursing process
    The nursing process is a modified scientific method. Nursing practise was first described as a four stage nursing process by Ida Jean Orlando in 1958,. It should not be confused with nursing theories or Health informatics...

  • Nursing assessment
    Nursing assessment
    Nursing assessment is the gathering of information about a patient's physiological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual status.-Stage one of the nursing process:...

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