This is the "Montante Family Library Subject Guide" page of the "Nursing Theory" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Nursing Theory  

Last Updated: Sep 28, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
Montante Family Library Subject Guide Print Page

How This Works

This subject guide has been developed with individual nursing theorists. All are different as access to each theorist is different.

Where available I have included:

  • individual websites
  • links to individual theory
  • links to online articles or books
  • listing of articles for further research
  • original work
  • link to what is available at D'Youville College
  • link to order an article or book through ILL

**The library now provides a document delivery service. Create a profile in ILLIAD and submit your request for any journal article you may be looking for and the library will send it in pdf form to your DYC email .

Fay Glenn Abdellah

National Women's Hall of Fame

Faye G Abdellah Patient-Centered Approaches to Nursing

Abdellah, F. G.  (1953).  Some trends in nursing education.  American Journal of Nursing, 53(7), 841-843.

Abdellah, F. G., & Levin, E.,(1957).  Developing a measure of patient and personnel satisfaction with nursing care.  Nursing Research, 5(2), 100-108.

Abdellah, F. G.,(1981). Nursing care of the aged in the United States of America.  Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 7(11), 657-663.

Abdellah, F. G. ,(1990). Reflections of a recurring theme.  Nursing Clinics of North America,25, 509-516.

Faye Glenn Abdellah selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article

Patricia Benner

 Benner, P., (1985). Quality of life: a phenomenological perspective on explanation, prediction, and understanding in nursing science. Advances in Nursing Science, 8(1), 1-14.
Benner, P., (1987). How expert nurses use intuition. American Journal of Nursing, 87(1), 23-34.
Tanner, C.A., Benner, P., ( 1993). The phnomenology of knowing the patient.  Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 25(4), 273-280
Original Work:  From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing 1984
( ISBN 020100299X)

Lydia E Hall

The Aspects of Care, Core, Cure

The Three C's of Lydia Hall

Hall, L.,(1963). Center for nursing. Nursing Outlook, 11(11), 804-806.

Hall, L.,(1964). Nursing: what is it?. The Canadian Nurse, 60(1), 150-154.

Lydia Hall selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article


Virginia Henderson

Virginia Henderson The Priciples and Practice of Nursing

Virginia Henderson and Her Timeless Writings

The Concept of Nursing

Henderson,V., (1964). The Nature of Nursing. The American Journal of Nursing, 64(8), 62-68.

Henderson, V., (1978). The concept of nursing. Journal of Advnaced Nursing, 3(2), 113-130.

Henderson, V., (1982). The nursing process-is the title right? Journal of Advnaced Nursing

Original Work:  Nature 0f Nursing 1966 (ISBN 0023535202)



Virginia Henderson selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article

Dorothy Johnson

The Behavioral System Model

The Behavior System Model for Nursing

Johnson, D.,(1943). Learning to know people. American Journal of Nursing, 43(3), 248-252.

Johnson, D., (1959). A philosophy of nursing. Nursing Outlook, 7(4), 198-200.

Johnson, D., (1959). The nature of a science of nursing. Nursing Outlook, 7(5), 291-294.

Johnson, D., (1961). The significance of nursing care. American Journal of Nursing, 61(11), 63-66.

Johnson, D., (1968). Theory in nursing: Borrowed and unique. Nursing Research, 17(3), 206-209.

Johnson, D., (1974). Development of a theory: A requisite for nursing as a primary health profession. Nursing Research, 23(5), 372-377.


Dorothy Johnson selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article

Imogene M King


King's Conceptual System and Theory of Goal Attainment and Trancultural Process

King, I. (1968). A conceptual frame of reference for nursing. Nursing Research, 17(1), 27-30.

Daubenmire, M.J., King, I. (1973). Nursing process models: a systems approach. Nursing Outlook, 21(8), 512-517.

King, I., (1990). Health as the goal for nursing. Nursing Science Quarterly, 3(3), 123-128.

King, I., (1992). King's theory of goal attainment. Nursing Science Quarterly, 5(1), 19-26.

King, I., (2006). A systems approach in nursing administration structure, process, and outcome. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 30(2), 100-104.

Imogene King slections available at the Montante Family Library


Katharine Kolcaba

Comfort Line Comfort Theory

An Analysis of the Concept of Comfort

Comfort Theory A Unifying Framework to Enhance the Practice Environment

Kolcaba, K., (1994). A theory of holistic comfort for nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 19(6), 1178-1184.

Kolcaba, K., (1995). The Art of Comfort Care. The Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 27(4), 287-289.


Madeleine M Leininger

Culture Care Diversity and Universality

Leininger, M., (1985). Transcultural care diversity and universality : a theory of nursing. Nursing & Health Care,  6(4), 209-212.

Leininger, M., (1999). What Is transcultural nursing and culturally competent care? Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 10(1), 9.

Leininger, M, .(2001). Current Issues in Using Anthropology in Nursing Education and Services.  Western Journal of Nursing Research 23(8), 795-807.

Leininger, M., (2002). Culture care theory: a major contribution to advance transcultural nursing knowledge and practices. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 13(3), 189-192.

Madeleine Leininger selections avialable at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article

Myra Estrin Levine

The Conservation Model

On the Humanities of Nursing

Levine, M., (1966). Adaptation and assessment: a rationale for nursing intervention. American Journal of Nursing, 66(11), 2450-2453.

Levine, M., (1967). The four conservation principles of nursing. Nursing Forum, 6(1), 45-59.

Levine, M., (1996). The conservation principles: a retrospective. Nursing Science Quarterly, 9(1), 38-41.

Myra Estrin Levine selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article

Betty Neuman

Neuman Systems Model

The Neuman Systems Theory

Neuman, B., Young, R.J. (1972). Model for teaching total person approach to patient problems. Nursing Research,  21(3),  264-269.

Neuman, B., (1996). The neuman systems model in research and practice.  Nursing Science Quarterly,  9(2),  67-70.

Betty Neuman selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article

Margaret Newman


Health as Expanding

Health as Expanding Consciousness

Newman, M. (1990). Newman's theory of health as praxis. Nursing Science Quarterly, 3(1), 37-41.

Newman, M. (1997). Evolution of the theory of health as expanding consciousness. Nursing Science Quarterly, 10(1), 22-25.

Margaret Newman selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article

Dorothea Orem


Dorothea Orem's Self-Care Theory

Dorothea Orem The Self Care Deficit Nursing Theory

Orem, D., (1988).  The form of nursing science. Nursing Science Quarterly, 1(2), 75-79.

Orem, D., (1995). Nursing theory and positive mental health: practical considerations. Nursing Science Quarterly, 8(4), 165-173.

Dorothea Orem selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request Journal Article

Ida Jean Orlando

The Dynamic Nurse-Patient Relationship

Orlando, I. J.,(1987). Nursing in the 21st century: Alternate paths. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 12(4), 405-412.

Orlando, I. J., & Dugan, A.,(1989). Independent and dependent paths: The fundamental issue for the nursing profession.  Nursing & Health Care, 2(2), 77-80.

Ida Jean Orlando selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article

Hildegard Peplau


Hildegard Peplau Homepage

Hildegard E Peplau Theory of Interpersonal Relations

Peplau, H., (1988). The art and science of nursing: similarities, differences and relations. Nursing Science Quarterly, 1(1), 8-15.

Peplau, H., (1997). Peplau's theory of inerpersonal relations. Nursing Science Quarterly, 10(4), 162-167.

Hildegard Peplau selections available at The Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article

Rosemarie Rizzo Parse

International Consortium of Parse Scholars

Human Becoming Theory

Parse, RR., (1992). Human becoming: parse's theory of nursing. Nursing Science Quarterly, 5(1), 35-42.

Parse, RR.,(2007), The human becoming school of thought in 2050. Nursing Science Quarterly, 20(4), 308-311.

Rosemarie Rizzo Parse Selections Available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article



Martha Rogers

The Science of Unitary and Irreducible Human Beings

Rogers, M., (1971). An Introduction to the Theoretical Basis of Nursing.  American Journal of Nursing, 71(10), 2026-2027.

Rogers, M., (1988). Nursing science and art: a prospective. Nursing Science Quarterly,1(3), 99-101.

Rogers, M., (1992). Nursing science and the space age. Nursing Science Quarterly, 5(1), 27-34.

Martha Rogers selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article

Sister Callista Roy

The Roy Adaptation Theory

Roy Adaptation Model

Roy, C., (1970). Adaptation: a conceptual framework for nursing. Nursing Outlook, 18(3), 42-45.

Roy, C., (1988). An Explication of the Philosophical Assumptions of the Roy Adaptation Model. Nursing Science Quarterly, 1(1), 26-34.

Sister Callista Roy selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article

Joyce Travelbee

The Human to Human Relationship Model of Nursing has seven basic concepts.

  • Suffering, which is "an experience that varies in intensity, duration and depth...a feeling of unease, ranging from mild, transient mental, physical or mental discomfort to extreme pain...."
  • Meaning, which is the reason attributed to a person
  • Nursing, which helps a person find meaning in the experience of illness and suffering; has a responsibility to help people and their families find meaning; and the nurse's spiritual and ethical choices, and perceptions of illness and suffering, which are crucial to help patients find meaning.
  • Hope, which is a faith that can and will be a change that would bring something better with it. Six important characteristics of hope are: dependence on other people, future orientation, escape routes, the desire to complete a task or have an experience, confidence that others will be there when needed, and the acknowledgment of fears and moving forward towards its goal.
  • Communication, which is "a strict necessity for good nursing care."
  • Self-therapy, which is the ability to use one's own personality consciously and in full awareness in an attempt to establish relatedness and to structure nursing interventions. This refers to the nurse's presence physically and psychologically.
  • Targeted intellectual approach by the nurse toward the patient's situation.

* Theory information obtained from

Travelbee, J.,(1963). What do we mean by rapport?  The American Journal of Nursing, 63(2), 70-72.

Travelbee, J.,(1964). What's wrong with sympathy? The American Journal of nursing, 64(1), 68-71.

Joyce Travelbee selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article


Jean Watson

Watson Caring Science Institute & International Cartas Consortium

Jean Watson Caring Science as Sacred Science

Watson, J., (1968). Death – a necessary concern for nurses. Nursing Outlook,16(2), 47-48.

Watson, J., (1981). Conceptual systems of students and practicing nurses. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 3(2), 172-192.

Watson, J., (1981). The lost art of nursing. Nursing Forum, XX(3), 244-249.

Watson, J., (1988). New dimensions of human caring theory. Nursing Science Quarterly, 1(4), 175-181.

Watson, J., (1989). Caring theory. Journal of Japan Academy of Nursing Science, 9(2), 29-37.

Watson, J., (2010). Florence Nightingale and the Enduring Legacy of Transpersonal Human Caring-Healing. Journal of Holistic Nursing.28(1),107-108.

Jean Watson selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article


Ernestine Wiedenbach

The Helping Art of Clinical Nursing

Perscriptive Theory

Ernestine Wiedenbach developed the conceptual model of nursing called the Helping Art of Clinical Nursing.

In her model of nursing, she explains that nursing is the practice of identification of a patient's need for help through the observation of presenting behaviors and symptoms, exploration of the meaning of those symptoms with the patient, determining the cause of discomfort, and determining the patient's ability to resolve the discomfort or if the patient has a need for help from the nurse or other health care professionals. The goal of nursing consists primarily of identifying a patient's need for help.  The need for help is defined as "any measure desired by the patient that has the potential to restore or extend the ability to cope with various life situations that affect health and wellness." Need-for-help must be based on the individual patient's perception of his or her own situation.

Wiedenbach's theory identifies the patient as "any individual who is receiving help of some kind, be it care, instruction or advice from a member of the health profession or from a worker in the field of health." A patient is any person who has entered the healthcare system and is receiving help, which means he or she does not need to be ill. A person receiving health-related education would qualify as a patient.

The theory identifies four main elements in clinical nursing: a philosophy, a purpose, a practice, and the art.

The nurse's philosophy is his or her attitude and belief about life, and how that affects reality for him or her. The three essential components Wiedenbach associated with a nursing philosophy are reverence for life; respect for the dignity, worth, autonomy, and individuality of each human being; and the resolution to act on personally and professionally held beliefs.

The nurse's purpose is that which the nurse wants to accomplish through her actions. It encompasses all of the activities directed toward the overall good of the patient.

The practice of nursing consists of the observable nursing actions affected by beliefs and feelings about meeting the patient's need for help.

The art of nursing includes understanding the patient's needs, developing goals and actions intended to enhance the patient's ability, and directing the activities related to the medical plan to improve the patient's condition. The nurse's focus is also on the prevention of complications related to reoccurrence or the development of new concerns.

Nursing skills are carried out to achieve a specific patient-centered purpose rather than the completion of the skill itself being the end goal. Skills are made up of a variety of actions, and characterized by harmony of movement, precision, and effective use of self.

The theory explains that knowledge encompasses all that has been perceived and grasped by the human mind. It may be factual, speculative, or practical.

A nurse uses two types of judgment in dealing with patients: clinical and sound. Clinical judgment represents the nurse's likeliness to make sound decisions, which are based on differentiating fact from assumption and relating them to cause and effect. Sound judgment is the result of disciplined functioning of mind and emotions, and improves with expanded knowledge and increased clarity of professional purpose.

Wiedenbach's prescriptive theory is based on three factors:

  • The central purpose which the practitioner recognizes as essential to the particular discipline.
  • The prescription for the fulfillment of the central purpose.
  • The realities in the immediate situation that influence the central purpose

* Theory information obtained from

Wiedenbach, E., (1963). The helping art of nursing. The American Journal of Nursing, 63(11), 54-57.

Wiedenbach, E., (1968). The nurse's role in family planning. A conceptual basis for practice. Nursing Clinics of North America, 3(2), 355-365.

Wiedenbach, E., (1968). Genetics end the nurse.  Bulletin of the American College of Nurse-Midwifery, 13(2), 8-13.

Ernestine Wiedenbach selections available at the Montante Family Library

Request a Journal Article


Loading  Loading...