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Nursing Theory Page


[Early Nurse Theorists]

 [Adaptation Models] [Anthropological Models]  [Energy Field Models] [Humanist Models] [Interaction Models] [Self-Care Models] [Systems Models] [Other Theories/Models] [Middle-Range Theory] [Other Theory Pages] [Book Reviews] [Study Guides on the Web]

 Early Nurse Theorists


Florence Nightingale

Faye Abdellah

Hildegard Peplau

Virginia Henderson

Lydia Hall

Myra Levine

Ida Jean Orlando

Ernestine Weidenbach

Books on Nursing Theory from Amazon.com

Analysis and Evaluation of Contemporary Nursing Knowledge, by Jacqueline Fawcett (2000)

Nursing Theories and Nursing Practice, by Marilyn E. Parker (2001)

Perspectives on Nursing Theory by Pamela G. Reed (Editor), et al (2003)

Coming October 2004: Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists: A Creative Beginning, by Kathleen Sitzman


Adaptation Models


Callista Roy

Anthropological Models


Madeleine Leininger

Energy Field Models


Martha Rogers

Humanistic Models


Patricia Benner

     Patricia Benner was interested in the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition and applied it to nursing.  Her area of concern was not how to do nursing but, rather, "how do nurses learn to do nursing?"  She worked for several years in intensive care, then became a nurse researcher at the University of California at San Francisco, where she studied the nature of nursing practice and how nurses gain expertise. She published From Novice to Expert in 1984 and became a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 1985. She studied with Richard Lazarus, a social psychologist who developed a phenomenological theory of stress and coping.  She was also influenced by Heidegger, who stressed phenomenological descriptions of people, defined by their concerns, practices, and life experiences.  In other words, the knowledge embodied in the practical world is important for the development of the nurse's skills and ability to care.


Benner's page at the University of California at San Francisco

Short biography


Margaret Newman         


Margaret Newman's theory is one of the more esoteric and fascinating nursing theories.  She defines health as "expanding consciousness," or increasing complexity.  The nurses role is to recognize the person's unique pattern of life and to work within that pattern with the person to achieve the person's goals.  Newman has worked with the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association and considers nursing diagnoses to be tools to understand the person's pattern.

Rosemary Parse

Josephine G. Paterson and Loretta Zderad

Jean Watson

Books on Humanistic Nursing Practice:

Interaction  Models


Imogene King


Modeling & Role-Modeling Theory

Self-Care Models


Dorothea Orem

Books About Self-Care Theory

Systems Models


Imogene King

Betty  Neuman

Other Theories/Models

  • Hodges' Health Career Model - Provides a conceptual framework upon which health care professionals can map a patient’s care problems, across four knowledge domains: Interpersonal; Sociological; Scientific; & Political (Autonomy). Patients and their carers may also use the model, enabling engagement, understanding and concordance in care planning and outcome evaluation ... Brian Hodges' original notes, a resources page and links (800+) are included. Additional material on health informatics and the potential role of visualization in care assessment and evaluation can also be found. Referenced throughout.

Middle-Range Theory*

* "Midrange theories deal with a portion of nursing's total concern but not with the totality of the discipline." (Hickman, Hickman, J.S. (2002).  An introduction to nursing theory.  In George, J.B. (Ed.).  Nursing Theories: the Base for Professional Nursing Practice. Upper River Saddle, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, p. 6.)


Coming in January 2004:  Middle-Range Theories: Application to Nursing Research by Sandra, Ph.D. Peterson (Editor), et al

Other Theory Pages

Study Guides on the Web


Study Guide from the Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western

[Book Reviews] [Study Guides on the Web] [Early Nurse Theorists]  [Adaptation Models] [Anthropological Models]  [Energy Field Models] [Humanist Models] [Interaction Models] [Self-Care Models] [Systems Models] [Other Theories/Models] [Middle-Range Theory] [Other Theory Pages

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