Nursing theories are concepts, definitions, relationships, and assumptions or propositions derived from nursing models or other disciplines and project a purposive, systematic view of phenomena by designing specific inter-relationships among concepts to describe, explain, predict, and /or prescribe nursing care. They provide a framework to guide the development and testing of nursing practices and provide a basis for continuing education, research and quality improvement.

Contribution of Nursing Theorists to the Discipline

Nursing theorists have made significant contributions to nursing by providing frameworks and concepts that guide nursing practice, education, and research. These theorists have helped shape the understanding of nursing as a distinct and autonomous profession and have influenced the development of nursing as a science. Some of the most well-known nursing theorists include Florence Nightingale, Virginia Henderson, Dorothea Orem, Jean Watson, and Betty Neuman. Their theories cover various topics, including nursing as a caring practice, patient-centred care, health promotion and maintenance, and the nurse’s role in the healthcare system. The contribution of nursing theorists continues to be important in the ongoing development and advancement of the nursing profession.

Some of the Nursing Theories used in Nursing Studies

Nursing theories provide a framework for nursing practice and guide nursing knowledge development. Some of the commonly used nursing theories are:

Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory also known as the Self-Care Theory, was developed by Dorothea Orem, a nursing theorist. The theory proposes that individuals naturally desire to care for themselves and maintain their health but may need assistance. According to the theory, the ability of an individual to engage in self-care is influenced by three interdependent concepts: self-care agency, self-care requisites, and therapeutic self-care demands. The theory provides a framework for nursing practice and has been widely used to guide the development of nursing interventions and educational programs. Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory focuses on the individual’s ability to perform self-care and the nurse’s role in facilitating and supporting self-care.

Roy’s Adaptation Model (RAM) is a nursing theory developed by Sister Callista Roy. The model is based on the premise that individuals are adaptive systems constantly engaging in a dynamic adaptation process to their environment. According to RAM, individuals have innate physiological and psychological systems that continuously adapt to internal and external stimuli. Roy’s Adaptation Model views the individual as an adaptive system in constant interaction with the environment and emphasizes the importance of mutual goal-setting and problem-solving between the nurse and the patient.

The model consists of four main concepts: the person, health, environment, and nursing. The person is seen as a holistic, adaptive system composed of physiological and psychological systems. Health is defined as a state of adaptation and the absence of disease. The environment is the physical, social, and cultural context in which individuals exist and interact. Nursing is defined as a helping process that seeks to promote adaptation by assisting the person in adapting to the changing demands of the environment.

RAM is widely used in nursing practice and education to guide nursing assessment, diagnosis, and intervention. It has also been applied to various healthcare settings and patient populations, including individuals with chronic conditions and those undergoing treatment for serious illnesses.

Nightingale’s Environmental Theory/ “Sanitary Movement” was developed by Florence Nightingale in the 19th century. It posits that the physical environment in which a patient is housed, such as cleanliness, ventilation, light, and noise levels, can significantly impact their health and recovery. Nightingale believed that a well-designed and well-maintained environment was important to patient care. Her ideas were influential in the development of modern nursing and hospital design.

Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring is also known as Watson’s Caring Theory. It is a humanistic approach to nursing that focuses on the person as a whole rather than just their physical symptoms. The theory emphasizes the importance of empathy, caring, and human dignity in the nurse-patient relationship. According to Watson, caring is an essential aspect of nursing practice and can significantly impact patient outcomes. The theory has ten curative factors demonstrating caring in nursing, including creating a healing environment, developing therapeutic relationships, and fostering hope.

Benner’s Novice to Expert Theory is a nursing theory that describes the progression of nurses from beginners to experienced professionals. Patricia Benner developed it in the 1980s. The theory outlines five stages of competence for nurses: novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient, and expert. At each step, the nurse acquires new skills and knowledge and builds on their previous experiences to provide high-quality patient care. The ultimate goal of the theory is to help nurses reach the expert level, where they have a deep understanding of their practice, can make complex clinical decisions, and provide safe, effective, and compassionate care.

These theories provide a foundation for nursing practice and research and are used in nursing education and practice to guide decision-making and improve patient outcomes.

How to write a paper on nursing theory?

  1. Choose a nursing theory to focus on: Research different nursing theories and select one that aligns with your interests and the focus of your paper.
  2. Understand the theory: Read literature on the theory and make sure you fully understand its key concepts and principles.
  3. Develop a research question: Formulate a research question that will guide your paper and help you explore the theory more deeply.
  4. Conduct a literature review: Search for and review relevant literature on the nursing theory and the research question you have developed.
  5. Write the introduction: Introduce the nursing theory and the research question, providing background information and context for the reader.
  6. Discuss the theory: Describe the key concepts and principles of the nursing theory, including its origins, development, and current applications.
  7. Analyze the literature: Summarize the main findings of the literature review and evaluate the evidence supporting the nursing theory.
  8. Discuss the implications: Identify how the nursing theory can be applied in practice and discuss any limitations or areas in need of further research.
  9. Write the conclusion: Summarize the paper’s main findings and provide future research recommendations.
  10. Revise and proofread: Review and revise the paper, checking for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.

Note: It’s also important to follow the appropriate formatting style, such as