A principle that can explain the operation of a certain phenomenon, with considerable supporting evidence.
Theories borrowed by one discipline from another discipline; previously the primary basis of nursing. An example of borrowed theory from physiology is Hans Selye's stress theory. Examples of theories that nurses use from psychology are Erik Erikson's developmental theory and Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
An early nurse researcher educator best known for her coauthored Textbook of the Principles and Practice of Nursing (1955), who focused her attention on physiological balance. Theory similar to Erickson's and Marlow's; taught that the patient is a person who requires help toward independence.
developmental needs theory
A theory that focuses on the person as a developmental being with needs that could be met by health care professionals, including nurses and physicians.
A nurse whose Interpersonal Relations in Nursing: A Conceptual Frame of Reference for Psychodynamic Nursing (1952) focuses on developmental needs of patients but even more on interpersonal relationships by using a psychological model; worked on an interpersonal theory; described the nurse-client relationship.
A theory concerning interactions and interpersonal relationships; a common model of verbal interaction in psychology and psychiatry during the 1950s and 60s.
Myra E. Levine
Best known for her development of four conservation principles, including the conservation of energy and the conservation of structural, personal, and social integrity.
The branch of physics that is concerned with laws governing heat production, changes, and conversion into other types of energy.
A report by the National Commission for the Study of Nursing and Nursing Education that laid the groundwork for a greater emphasis on clinically oriented research with a strong theory base.
A theory designed to help nurses provide culturally congruent, competent, and safe care in a multicultural world.
The first professional nurse to have a Ph.D. in cultural and social anthropology; developed culture care theory.
Believed that life, health, and well-being are maintained by activities that people initiate on their own, such as breathing and eating; focused on nursing as a way to restore self-care in patients.
Sister Callista Roy
Focused on adaptation and believed that the goal of nursing was to promote adaptive responses.
Developed the goal attainment model, which focused on three interacting systems: personal, interpersonal, and social.
Assumes that all living systems are open systems that constantly exchange information with the environment.
A renowned and influential nursing theorist who is also controversial for her focus on energy-based practices such as therapeutic touching and Reiki; orginator of the theory of the science of unitary human beings.
The former dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Colorado and founder of the Center for Human Caring at the University of Colorado; considers caring the essence of nursing practice. Wrote about humanistic transpersonal caring in Nursing: Human Science and Human Care; A Theory of Nursing (1985).
Judith Allen Shelly and Arlene B. Miller
Co-authors of Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing (2006), a textbook about caring from a Judeo-Christian perspective.
Theories that are specifically focused, have fewer related concepts than more general theories, and are generally more testable in research and clinical practice.
theory of uncertainty
Mid-range theory used in nursing research and clinical practice; its assessment tool, the uncertainty in illness scale, is frequently used with cancer patients, originated by Merle Mishel
health promotion model
A mid-range theory that focuses on variables known to impact health behavior developed by Nola Penders
Recent theory being used as a basis for nursing practice and a foundation for nursing research; developed by Katherine Kolcaba.
How is nursing theory related to nursing practice?
Nursing theory guides and directs nursing practice. Nurses in practice settings are continually testing theory even though they may not be aware of it. Whenever nurses are engaged in any nursing activity, they are generally operating on the basis of a theory that what they are doing actually works.