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Why Nursing Models Are Important

Nursing theories and models were established as a means of advancing the nursing profession and providing an effective and efficient level of care.

Nursing models are guides to help nurses understand their profession and to provide a framework for their daily practice.

What Is A Model Of Nursing Care?

A nursing theory or nursing model is a series of principles and concepts relating to nursing practice and governing elements such as:

  • How to care for patients
  • How to deal with family and friends
  • How to organize nursing responsibilities
  • How to inform meaningful actions within the nursing profession

Nursing theories have been around since the birth of modern nursing and were even used by Florence Nightingale. The pioneering nurse educator wrote about "environmental theory", a theory that emphasizes the need for a clean environment, including plenty of light, fresh air, and pure water, all of which can assist with patient care and expedite the patient recovery process.

Why Is It Important For Nurses To Understand And Use A Nursing Theory Or Model In Practice?

Nursing theories are important because they help nurses to understand their work and ensure the field of nursing keeps moving forward.

Some of the benefits of nursing theories and models include:

  • They advance nursing through education and knowledge development
  • They assist with nursing education
  • They encourage and direct nursing research
  • They give nurses a sense of identity
  • They provide professional boundaries
  • They highlight the importance of nursing practice to patients and healthcare professionals

What are Grand Nursing Theories?

Grand nursing theories are ones that cover all aspects of nursing practice. They are constructed using professional experience, scholarly research, and inputs from nursing professionals past and present.

One such theory, from Dorothea Orem, highlights the importance of practicing self-care, something that all modern nurses are encouraged to do.

After all, nursing is a highly stressful profession with high rates of burnout and staff turnovers. By practicing self-care, nurses can keep their minds and bodies strong, allowing them to perform their duties more effectively.

Some of the other grand nursing theories include:

Virginia Henderson

Often called the "first lady of nursing", Henderson developed her nursing theory in the 20th century, stating "The unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to peaceful death) that he would perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will, or knowledge."

Callista Roy

Callista Roy created the Roy Adaptation Model in 1976. The model states that the goal of all nursing practice is to increase life expectancy, noting that nurses are "facilitators of adaptation" and should help patients to prolong their lives.

Faye Abdellah

Abdellah's Typology of 21 Nursing Problems focuses on the personalized elements of nursing care, suggesting that it should adopt more of a patient-centric approach.

Hildegard Peplau

Peplau created the Theory of Interpersonal Relations, stating that the foundation of all nursing practice was the relationship between the patient and the nurse.

find nursing schools near you

find nursing schools near you