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Learn About Nursing Theories

Learn About Nursing Theories

Learn About Nursing Theories

Nursing theory serves to provide direction, define parameters and establish the basis of clinical decision-making in healthcare settings worldwide. Many nursing theories which have been employed continuously since the 18th Century remain in widespread use today in healthcare organizations worldwide.

What Are Nursing Theories?

If you are thinking about going back to practical nurse school and becoming a nursing professional, studying nursing theory will likely be part of your education. 

The Metaparadigm of Nursing

A metaparadigm is an umbrella concept that serves to organize how healthcare disciplines should work, in this instance, nursing theory. Below you’ll find four major concepts related to the nursing theory that form this umbrella idea.


The Person component of the metaparadigm considers both the patient themselves, as well as his or her environment and religious, social, and healthcare needs.


Health, in its broadest sense, encompasses multiple components that contribute to an individual’s well-being, such as physical, mental, intellectual, spiritual, and social dimensions -and how these may all work together effectively towards optimizing overall wellness outcomes for an individual patient.


Environmentalism refers to how an individual’s surroundings impact their health. According to this theory, an individual might alter their environment in order to improve their well-being and gain better outcomes from treatment.


This meta-paradigm aspect recognizes the relationship that exists between nurses and their patients, with particular attention paid to how this role provides safe, caring environments and emphasizes quality services provided.

Nursing models and theories serve to inform practice both domestically and abroad, with ideas expressed by nursing theorists who created these models having great influence over specific nursing practices. If you wish to become a licensed practical nurse and build a nursing career you should look for the best nursing schools offering LPN programs.

What Are the Different Types of Nursing Theories?

Nursing theories can be divided into three levels, grand, intermediate, and practice. Below is an explanation for each level.

Grand Nursing Theories

These grand nursing theories focus on abstract concepts rather than offering details for every specific nursing idea or practice. Instead, grand nursing theories provide a framework to organize ideas rather than go into too much depth on any one point.

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Middle-Range Nursing Theories

These grand theories are general in scope and do not cover any specific area of nursing practice or research. Their basis can come either through research or from nursing experience.

Nursing Theories For Practice

At this level, theories become highly targeted and specific.

What Are Some Examples of Nursing Theories?

Here is a selection of well-known 5 Nursing Theories in the nursing profession.

Environmental Theory

Florence Nightingale has long been recognized for pioneering modern nursing and creating the Environmental Theory – its principles continue to be used today. Florence was an active nurse during the Crimean War when she came up with her groundbreaking concept based on observations that the environment played a part in patient deaths; hence creating her environmental theory, which identified five vital environmental elements needed for human wellbeing; including fresh air, clean drinking water, efficient drainage system, cleanliness and sunlight as key aspects for good health.

Casey’s Model of Nursing

Anne Casey proposed this nursing theory specifically tailored for child health back in 1988 and remains one of the earliest models designed around family involvement and partnership in caregiving for a child, emphasizing partnerships between nurse, child, and family as the optimal combination. 

A Patient-Centered Nursing Approach

Faye Abdellah developed the Patient-Centric method during nursing education during world war II to efficiently direct hospital settings and care. This theory includes ten steps intended to identify direct patient care issues. It offers potential solutions, culminating in one comprehensive plan to support patients needing hospital staff services:

  • Know your patient.
  • Sort important and relevant data.
  • Based on available data, generalize similar nursing problems presented by other patients.
  • Determining the therapeutic plan.
  • Test additional generalizations and vital signs with the patient.
  • Validate patient conclusions about their nursing problem.
  • Monitor and evaluate your patient over a period of time.
  • Incorporate the patient’s family into the therapeutic plan.
  • What do nurses think when they hear the nurse’s concerns about the patient’s nursing?
  • Develop a comprehensive nursing care plan.

Self-Care Deficit Theorem

Orem’s self-care model was devised to assist patients in their healing through gradual steps; more responsibility is assigned as their abilities improve.

Culture Care Theory

Madeleine Leininger’s cultural care theory rests upon the principle that cares to patients should be culturally congruent – aligning with patients’ religious, cultural, or other practices and beliefs.

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Nurse practitioners must be able to rationalize their healthcare decisions and theories help them in clinical settings. Nurses play an important role in the healthcare of patients and professionals’ nursing degrees in Illinois facilitate nursing students with the right knowledge, nursing skills, and exposure to the nursing field.