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Nursing Theories are theoretical visions stated by persons in the nursing field as philosophies expounding on the virtues of selected nursing models. More specifically, nursing theories comprise a body of knowledge that explains observable happenings and circumstances in a systematic method, and are derived through deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning, being applicable to the practice setting.
To oversimplify, it's a point A to point B to point C set of ideas and concepts that hold true as a constant and can be used to treat patients, describe and explain illnesses and their subsequent cures, predict facets of cause, reaction and outcome, and prescribe a healing course of action. Nursing theories can be viewed as the field establishing its professional boundaries as the main component of caring is impossible to measure. The theories also seek to define what it is that nurses know and do as a separate autonomous discipline that is only recently being granted its autonomy.
There are four levels of theory: Grand Theory, Metatheory, Middle Range Theory, and Practice Theory. Many other theories fall into these categories.
To read more of the four levels of Nursing Thories and "Sub-Theories" go to http://www.topnursingcolleges.com/nur/nursing-theories-and-sub-theories.html
Search the Library Catalog (UW System search) for: keyword subject heading "Nursing Models," or "Models, Nursing" as a Medical Subject Heading.
(What's the difference? MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) is the NLM controlled vocabulary thesaurus used for indexing articles for PubMed. It is more precise search term than a keyword.)
Search the Library Catalog (UW System search) for the Medical Subject Heading "Nursing Theory"
There are many books and DVDs that discuss nursing theory. For more specific information search the theory name in CINAHL.
Searching the phrase "nursing theory" within "CINAHL Headings" will give you a sense of vocabulary and the collection of literature available to you. By clicking on the CINAHL heading "Nursing Model" you will see a variety of potential theories to search. Clicking on any one of the sub-theories will reveal a list of individual theories, such as:
Nursing models, theoretical
Benner's Professional Advancement Model
Corbin and Strauss Chronic Illness Trajectory Framework
Cox Interaction Model of Client Health Behavior
Fitzpatrick Life Perspective
Gordon's Functional Health Patterns
Henderson Nursing Model
Johnson Behavioral System Model
King Open Systems Model
Leininger's Theory of Culture Care Diversity and Universality
Leventhal and Johnson's Theory of Self-Regulation
Levine Conservation Model
Marker Nursing Model
Mishel Uncertainty in Illness Theory
Neuman Systems Model
Newman Health Model
Nightingale's Nursing Theory
Orem Self-Care Model
Orlando's Theory of the Deliberative Nursing Process
Parse's Theory of Human Becoming
Paterson and Zderad's Theory of Humanistic Nursing
Pender Health Promotion Model
Peplau Interpersonal Relations Model
Rogers Science of Unitary Human Beings
Roper's Activities of Living Model
Roy Adaptation Model
Rubin's Theory of Maternal Identity
Watson's Theory of Caring