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Nursing Theory

To gain a strong foundation in nursing practice and develop an understanding of nurse care, students should be well-versed in nursing theory.

View several common nursing theories:

  • Helen Erickson Response
  • In Celebration of Virginia Avenue
  • Inspiration for the Modeling
  • Johnson Behavioral System 

Submit a Nursing Theory

This collection of nursing theories is consistently updated. If you find other sites for any nursing theorists or you would like your work to be posted to this site, please email Dr. Lisa Wright Eichelberger at

As with any material on the web, you must evaluate its validity and reliability. Download a check list to help in your evaluation, and good luck with your searches. - If you would like to contribute working links for this page, find any broken links or would like to make suggestions for improving the site, please send an email to Dr. Lisa Wright Eichelberger.

Nursing Theory Art Gallery

View this art gallery where students post their artistic interpretation of various nursing theories. Email Dr. Lisa Wright Eichelberger to post yours!

General Nursing Theory Information

Eichelberger, L. W. (2011). Pioneering nursing theory on the world wide web – Evolution of nursing theory on the internet. In Sitzman, K., and Eichelberger, L. W., Understanding the work of nurse theorists: A creative beginning. 2nd Edition. pp.217-226. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Website with general information about nursing theory and classifications of nurse theorists

Development of nursing theories

Overview of Nursing Theory

Nursing Theory

Research and Nursing Theory

Application of Nursing Theory

Rear Admiral Faye Glenn Abdellah

Description of Dr. Abdellah's 21 nursing problems

Website with a Synopsis of Abdellah’s work

Listing of documents at NIH related to Dr. Abdellah's work

General biographical information

Patricia Benner

Patricia Benner’s Faculty profile

From Novice to Expert

Reference list of Benner's Writings

Homepage for Dr. Hubert Dreyfus Emeriti Professor 2009-2010

University of California – Berkley

Boykin and Schoenhofer's Theory Nursing As Caring

International Association for Human Caring website

Boykin and Schoenhofer Reference List

Information and photos of theorists

Corbin and Strauss Chronic Illness Framework

Medline Reference to article by Corbin

Information on Nursing Model Website

Dr. Joanne Duffy's Quality-Caring Model

Quality Caring Assessment Tool

Link to Duffy's theory book

Facilitated Sensemaking Midrange Theory

Citations for literature using Facilitated Sensemaking as model

Facilitated Sensemaking: A Strategy and New Middle-Range Theory To Support Families of Intensive Care Unit Patients

Facilitated Sensemaking: A Feasibility Study for the Provision of a Family Support Program in the Intensive Care Unit

Joyce J. Fitzpatrick's Life Perspective Rhythm Model

Link to Biographical Sketch about Fitzpatrick

Website giving overview of Model website

Link to NLN journal where Dr. Fitzpatrick is Editor

Lydia E. Hall's Core, Care and Cure Circles

Virginia Henderson

YouTube presentation about Miss Henderson

Website with Synopsis of Henderson’s Work

Virginia Henderson International Nursing Library

Tribute originally published on the Sigma Theta Tau Web Site

Pointillism depicting Virginia Henderson's Work

Henderson's Writing

Photos of Virginia Henderson’s Grave site

Hodges' Health Career Model (HCM)

Work of Brian Hodges of Sheffield England

Dorothy Johnson's Behavioral Systems Model

Website with Synopsis of Johnson’s Work

Bio sketch at Vanderbilt University Website

Essay on Johnson's Model

Listing of articles written by or about Johnson's Model - Mayo Clinic Library

Imogene King's Open Systems Model

Personal Note: Dr. Imogene King passed away on December 24th 2007. We lost one of the pioneers in nursing theory. At the time of her death, she was professor emeritus at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Web Site for King International Nursing Group

Website with Synopsis of Dr. King’s Work

Website Describing Application of King’s Work

Link from NurseScribe

Advancing King's Systems Framework and Theory of Nursing

by Maureen A. Frey (Editor), Christina Sieloff (Editor)

Imogene King : A Conceptual Framework for Nursing (Notes on Nursing Theories)

by Christina Sieloff

Kathy Kolcaba's Theory of Comfort

Comfort Line

Artistic Interpretation of Kolcaba's Work

Website for information about Dr. Kolcaba's book on Comfort

CEU article on Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort

Leininger's Transcultural Nursing

Dr. Leininger's website

The Transcultural Nursing Society and Transcultural Nursing Society Website

Application of Transcultural Nursing Model

Basic Concepts of Transcultural Nursing

Wikipedia about Leininger site for Leininger

Levine's Conservation Model

Website with Synopsis of Levine’s Work

Kari Martinsen

Care and Vulnerability - Martinsen's Book in English

Affection Research

Quality in Research

Blog with content information about Martinsen

*I no longer have a valid email address for Dr. Martinsen

Afaf Meleis-Transitions Model

Home page

Meleis' Theoretical Nursing: Development and Progress 4th Edition 2006

This definitive text demonstrates the connection between theoretical nursing and nursing practice, and shows how research is related to both.

Email Dr. Meleis

Ramona Mercer's Role Attainment

Biography Information

Merle Mishel - Uncertainty in Illness Model

Biography Page

Managing Uncertainty in Cancer Webpage

Links Page

Bibliography of article and books detailing use of Uncertainty in Illness Model

Modeling and Role-Modeling Theory

Modeling and Role-Modeling: A View from the Client’s World, (Ed. H. Erickson, 2006) New book expands the underlying concepts of the theory and paradigm in Erickson, Tomlin & Swain, 1983 book. It is designed to complement the original book, not to replace it..

Explanation of the inspiration for the MRM theory by Dr. Helen Erickson

Answers to questions from students by Dr. Erickson

Betty Neuman Systems Model

Overview of Neuman Model

Main Site for Neuman Systems Model at Neumann College

Website with Synopsis of Neuman’s Work

Website Describing Application of Neuman’s Work

Link to Neuman, B. & Fawcett, J. (Eds.) (2002). The Neuman Systems Model (4th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ. Prentice Hall.

Margaret Newman

Health as Expanding Consciousness

Artistic Interpretation of Newman's Work

Online Power Point Presentation by Dr. Newman of her theory!!!! PDF file

Site for the Online Exhibit of Dr. Margaret A. Newman's work University of Tennessee Health Science Library

Florence Nightingale

Dr. Eichelberger's Clayton State University International Health Care Students at the Nightingale Museum May 2006

Miss Nightingales' Uniform hanging in the Nightingale Museum

Narration about Nightingale's work on YouTube

EBook of Nightingale’s Famous “Notes on Nursing”

Exhibit about Nurse Heroine Mary Secole is located in Nightingale Museum

Mrs. Seacole loved hats - Dress up center in the Nightingale Museum

Link to website about Nightingale’s gravesite.

Search the Nightingale Letters 39 letters from the University of Kansas Nurses Alumni Association

Country Joe McDonald's Tribute to Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale, Avenging Angel book

Modern History Sourcebook: Florence Nightingale: Rural Hygiene

Miss Nightingale's use of statistics in the Crimean War

Miss Nightingale's Mathematical education

Artistic Interpretation of Nightingale Work

Ida Jean Orlando

Orlando Web site University of Rhode Island

Website with a Synopsis of Orlando’s Work

On line Audio/Video of Orlando describing her life and development of her theory

Dorothea E. Orem's Self-Care Deficit Theory (SCDNT)

Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory Home Page

Website with a Synopsis of Orem’s Work

Website Describing Application of Orem’s Work

Powerpoint on Orem

BellaOnLine - The Voice of Women Website on Orem

Rosemarie Rizzo Parse

Parse's Theory of Human Becoming

Online source for Nursing Science Quarterly journal Dr. Parse edits

Link to source for purchasing Dr. Parse's book "The Human Becoming School of Thought"

Listserv to join discussion group

Paterson and Zderad's Humanistic Nursing Theory

Paterson and Zderad's Humanistic Nursing Theory Website authored by Karen Decker-Brown RN

Powerpoint on Paterson and Zderad's Theory

Humanistic Nursing Theory This site will link you to Dr. Susan Kleiman, Professor, Lehman College, who can offer insight into the Humanistic Theory. Dr. Kleiman has many of Paterson's and Zderad's unpublished papers and personal interviews in her possession.

Pender's Health Promotion Model

Nola Pender's University of Michigan Faculty Profile

Website with a Synopsis of Pender’s Work

Blog Spot on Nursing Theories - Pender's Model

Health Promotion Assumptions by Dr. Pender

Hildegarde Peplau

Peplau's Interpersonal Relations Model

Website with Synopsis of Peplau’s Model

Website with Application of Peplau’s Work

Q.U.E.S.T. Model for Reflective Practice

Model deals with nurse as wounded healer and self transcendence by Dr. Marion Conti-O'Hare For more information about the model, you can reach Dr. Conti-O'Hare's site here.

*Conti-O Hare, M. (2002). The nurse as wounded healer: From trauma to transcendence. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Pamela Reed's Mid Range Theory of Self - Transcendence

Dr. Reed's Faculty Website

Nursing site on Self Transcendence

Link to article on Commentary about using Self Transcendence in Homeless Population

Link to abstract of article referencing Reed's Self Transcendence Scale

Joan Riehl-Sisca

Synopsis of Riehl-Sisca's work

Martha Rogers: The Science of Unitary Human Beings

Society of Rogerian Scholars website

Website with a Synopsis of Rogers’ Work

ANA Hall of Fame link

Washburn University ’s Martha Rogers’ page

Listing of articles by or about Martha Rogers

Artistic Interpretation of Roger's Theory

Link to the Martha Rogers’ Collection at Bellevue Alumnae Center for Nursing History, Foundation of the New York State Nurses Association

Link to photographs and information of Martha Roger's gravesite

Roper, Logan and Tierney's Theory of Nursing

New Book on Application of RLT Theory in Practice

Bibliography, citations and case studies retrieved from J. Norris' website, 2003

Sister Callista Roy's Adaptation Model

Link to Lecture by Dr. Callista Roy at Clayton State University on May 1st, 2015 – Speaking on role of Nursing Knowledge and Role in Affordable Care Act, IOM Future of Nursing Campaign and Academy of Nursing Edge Runner Nurses

Dr. Eichelberger’s Interview with Sr. Callista Roy - Renown nurse theorist Sr. Callista Roy is interviewed by Dr. Lisa Wright Eichelberger, author of Understanding the work of nurse theorists: A creative beginning. 3rd edition May 1st, 2015 on the campus of Clayton State University

Website with a Synopsis of Roy’s Work

Website Describing the Application of Roy’s Work

Artistic Interpretation of Roy's theory

Reva Rubin – Theory of Maternal Identity

1995 New York Times Obituary

Interview with Rubin - Theorist Collection Helene Fuld VHS

Presentation by Kathryn Barnard on Stepping Up utilizing Rubin's Theory

Gay, Engil & Douglas Article - Rubin Revisited

Website with Synopsis of Rubin’s work

Ruland and Moore's End of Life Theory

Website with general reference links

Email address for Rutland

CE Article

Ruland CM, Moore SM. Theory construction based on standards of care: a proposed theory of the peaceful end of life. Nurs Outlook. 1998; 46:169-175.

Synergy Model

American Association of Critical Care Nurses Synergy Model of Patient Care

Synergy: Framework for Professional Development and Transformation

The AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care Reference List

Excellence in Nursing Knowledge Online Journal

Synergy for Clinical Excellence: The AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care
Sonya Hardin, RN, PhD, CCRN, UNC Charlotte, & Roberta Kaplow, RN, PhD, CCRN, CCNS, AOCNS, DeKalb Medical Center

Van Sell and Kalofissudis's Complexity Nursing Theory

Work by Ioannis Kalofissudis RN of Athens, Greece and Dr. Sharon Van Sell of USA

Formulating Nursing Theory by Kalofissudis and Van Sell

Link to ON line Web Journal ICUs and Nursing Web Journal

Jean Watson's Theory of Caring

Website with a Synopsis of Watson’s Work

Colorado Center for Human Caring and Watson's Caring Theory page.

Assessing and Measuring Caring in Nursing and Health Science by Jean Watson 2001 AJN Book of the Year

Email address

Ernestine Wiedenbach

A Tribute to the Legacy of Ernestine Wiedenbach

Theory Overview on Wiedenbach Page

Pointillism depicting Wiedenbach's Helping Art

Link to a list of Wiedenbach's Books

Wittmann-Price Theory of Emancipated Decision Making

Wittmann-Price Theory of Emancipated Decision-

Making (EDM) is a theoretical model for the nursing care of

women to increase women’s satisfaction with decision-making about healthcare issues.

Links to articles researching this theoretical model


Concept Analysis


Testing Model

Other On line Nursing Theory Resources

The Theory Web Page - International group interested in web sites for nursing theory

International Network for Doctoral Education in Nursing

DVD CD-ROM Online Media Resources

FITNE Products

Excellence in Action - These products can be purchased as DVD's or Online. They are designed to show nursing students how theories are applied in practice providing examples of how implementation can save money and increase efficiency.

Individual titles include: From Beginner to Expert: Clinical Knowledge in Critical Care

Self-Care Framework Model in Practice (Orem)

Adaptation Model in Practice

Electronic Nursing Resources

The Hardin Library for the Health Sciences Electronic Homepage has: Full text Journals, Subject-specific Web resources, Governmental and statistical resources, Medical databases, and more.

On Line Journals

Evidence Based Nursing Practice Journal

Online Journal of Nursing free of charge

History of the Nursing Theory Page

This page was originally designed in Fall of 1996 by two undergraduate students at Clayton State University in Morrow, GA. as part of their Nursing Theory coursework. CSU was one of the first public universities to require laptop computers for all its undergraduate students and this project was a result of some of the technology skills developed during that process. I have revised, redone, edited and expanded the page since 1996. Lisa Eichelberger

Information on Dr. Eichelberger

Information on Dr. Eichelberger's Theory textbook>FYI!! The third edition of Understanding the Work of the Nursing Theorist is scheduled to be released in 2015.