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Summary of Nursing Theories

Theorist Goal of Nursing Framework for practice
Hildegard Peplau (1952) To develop interpersonal interaction between client and nurse Interpersonal theoretical model emphasizing relationship between client and nurse
Faye Abdellah (1960) To deliver nursing care for whole individual Problem solving based on 21 nursing problems
Virginia Henderson (1964) To help client gain independence as rapidly as possible Henderson’s 14 basic needs
Joyce Travelbee (1966) To help client and family to cope with and find meaning in experience of illness Interpersonal theory emphasizing nurse-client relationship
Dorothy Johnson (1968) To reduce stress so that client can recover as quickly as possible Adaptation model based on seven behavioral sub-systems
Martha Rogers (1970) To help client achieve maximal level of wellness “Unitary man” evolving along life process
Imogene King (1971) To use communication to help client to reestablish positive adaptation to environment Nursing process as dynamic interpersonal state between nurse and client
Dorothea Orem (1971) To care for and help client to attain self-care Self-care deficit theory
Betty Neuman (1972) To assist individuals, families, and groups to attain and maintain maximal level of total wellness by purposeful interventions Systems model of nursing practice having stress reduction as its goal; nursing actions in one of three levels: primary, secondary, or tertiary
Myra Levine (1973) To use conservation activities aimed at optimal use of client’s resources Adaptation model of human as integrated whole based on “four conservation principles of nursing”
Sister Callista Roy (1976) To identify types o demands placed on client and client’s adaptation to them Adaptation model based on four adaptive modes; physiological, psychological, sociological, and independence
Jean Watson (1979) To promote health, restore clients to health, and prevent illness (Marriner-Tomey, 1989) Philosophy and science of caring: caring is an interpersonal process comprising interventions that result in meeting human needs (Torres, 1986)

(From Basic Nursing Theory and Practice, Potter and Perry)

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