Betty Neuman’s Systems Model in Nursing Practice


Nursing as a science is largely determined by specific approaches used in the care of patients. Various models developed by theorists suggest different types of behavior and assistance. A vivid representative of the theory of systems is the model by Betty Neuman where nursing is defined as an action aimed at helping individuals, families, and groups of people to support the maximum level of the patient’s well-being.

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Health is the harmonious state of all human subsystems with the preservation of its integrity. A person from the point of view of the researcher is an individual consisting of five subsystems – physical / physiological, psychological, sociocultural, spiritual, and developing (Smith & Parker, 2015). The use of such a model in nursing practice gives an opportunity to restore the inner harmony of patients and helps them to adapt to the world around them.

Using the Model in Practice

When talking about what the theory means and what its optimal application is in practice, it is necessary to pay attention to some criteria. The person is influenced by external and internal factors (the environment) and interacts with them. These factors can disrupt the stability of human subsystems, and the goal of nursing care is to achieve patient stability as a system through nursing interventions and reducing stressors (Memmott, Marett, Bott, & Duke, 2017). As Martins, Echevarría-Guanilo, Silveira, Gonzales, and Pai (2015) note, the following stimuli interact with the patient: intrapersonal, interpersonal, and transpersonal. Also, separately, Neuman singles out the creative environment that is developed by the person throughout the life circle.

In order for this model to be useful, it is essential to identify specific stressors and help the person to overcome them. The task of the nurse, in this case, is to determine timely what exactly disturbs the patient most in order to help him or her to restore inner harmony and achieve mutual understanding with the world. According to Ahmadi and Sadeghi (2017), the Neuman’s model can be used for patients with different diagnoses since it does not presuppose a narrowly focused intervention and is accented on general recovery. Therefore, one of the primary advantages of this approach to care is its universality.

Theory Application in the Intensive Care Unit

The application of the provisions of the model under consideration can be useful in the intensive care unit. It is due to the fact that patients there experience severe stress caused by poor health, nerves, and constant monitoring by medical personnel. If the nursing staff can provide good moral support and help to adapt to temporary conditions, the speed of recovery may increase, and the morale of patients can improve. As Aronowitz and Fawcett (2016) remark, social adaptation plays as important role as physical adaptation, and considerable attention should be paid to the restoration of inner peace. Smith and Parker (2015) they cite the author of the model that “each individual client or group as a client system is unique” (p. 167). Therefore, a patient-oriented approach is a component of Neuman’s theory.


The application of Betty Neuman’s model in nursing practice is useful since its provisions help patients with disturbed worldview to restore inner harmony. A number of factors should be taken into account when assessing a particular condition. The use of the theory can be of particular benefit in intensive care units where patients are forced to experience constant stress. I want to conclude that this theory is really useful because of its universality and the possibility of applying to treat various mental and physical problems.


Ahmadi, Z., & Sadeghi, T. (2017). Application of the Betty Neuman systems model in the nursing care of patients/clients with multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal – Experimental, Translational and Clinical, 3(3), 1-8. Web.

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Aronowitz, T., & Fawcett, J. (2016). Thoughts about social issues: A Neuman Systems Model perspective. Nursing Science Quarterly, 29(2), 173-176. Web.

Martins, C. L., Echevarría-Guanilo, M. E., Silveira, D. T., Gonzales, R. I. C., & Pai, D. D. (2015). Risk perception of work-related burn injuries from the workers perspective. Texto & Contexto-Enfermagem, 24(4), 1148-1156. Web.

Memmott, R. J., Marett, K. M., Bott, R. L., & Duke, L. (2017). Use of the Neuman Systems Model for interdisciplinary teams. Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care, 1(2), 58-73. Web.

Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing theories and nursing practice (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.

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