Concept Comparison and Analysis across Nursing Theories

Words: 1472
Topic: Health & Medicine

[toc title=”Contents”]

  1. Introduction
  2. Select a core concept that is common to two or more contemporary nursing theories
  3. Compare and analyze the concept definitions among selected theories
  4. Choose one theory and discuss where and how it may be best applied to nursing practice
  5. In the selected theory please discuss the concept statement, metaparadigms, philosophies, and conceptual models
  6. Conclusion
  7. References



A number of nursing scholars significantly contributed to the growth of the nursing practice. They used their academic knowledge and professional experience to design incredible models, which are currently used for educational purposes.

The theories have been adopted by several institutions, which include learning institutions, research centers and health centers. It is noted that, some of these nursing models share some common concept, which can be significant for studying purposes (Ho, Ying & Chau, 2010).

Select a core concept that is common to two or more contemporary nursing theories

In as much as nursing theories are dissimilar in ideologies, there are a number of concepts, which are similar between and among them.

There are some conceptual similarity between Orem’s theory and Watson’s theory; both models were designed based on four primary terminologies i.e. surrounding, health, nursing, and human (Nursing theories, 2010). In other words, both the theorists used metaparadigm approach in designing their model.

Compare and analyze the concept definitions among selected theories

Orem defined surrounding by combining certain elements i.e. chemicals, materials, organic and finally socioeconomics. Her definition was undoubtedly a summary of the elements that form the environment.

She defined human as a self-care agent or a patient; she understood human as persons who need nursing care i.e. the unhealthy persons. Orem also defined health as the massive help especially to the aged persons way people function i.e. with regard to physiology and psychophysiology. She explained nursing as a purposeful act of assisting patients to achieve an exceptional health condition.

On the other hand, Watson defined surrounding as the existing culture of caring for individuals. As noted, this definition is undoubtedly different from Orem’s thoughts about environment. She defined an individual as a treasured person, and thus requires special care, excellent appreciation, respect, and adequate support whenever needed.

Watson described health as the entire body, social and psychological functioning of an individual. Her definition of health is related to Orem’s health thoughts i.e. they both used psychology and physiology in defining the term.

She defined nursing as a discipline that uphold healthiness, provide caring services and prevents sickness (Nursing theories, 2010). Watson’s definition of nursing also has some similarities with Orem’s understanding of the discipline; their definitions aim at upholding an exceptional health.

Choose one theory and discuss where and how it may be best applied to nursing practice

Dorothea Orem, a prominent nurse, was born in Maryland; where she spent a better part of her early days. Despite earning several honors from different institutions, Orem had a thriving career, which significantly assisted her in designing her model. While serving several institutions, Orem was exposed to several experiences, which extensively contributed to her formation of self-care theory.

Orem’s theory can broadly be applied in the nursing discipline, to improve the lives of several unhealthy persons. Her understanding of self-care can be used by nurses, to advance their practice. In her theory, Orem explained that, an excellent healthcare translates to an exceptional body functioning.

Nurses can, therefore, use this ideology to counsel and educate their patients on the significance of self-care. This can be extremely significant to persons who careless about their self-care, yet they want to live a healthy life.

Educating them on the effects of neglecting self-care can massively change their attitude, which in turn improves people’s health. Orem’s thoughts about self-care agency can also be applied to the nursing practice (Callaghan, 2003). Orem defined self-care agency as the acquired skill that enables an individual maintain his or her healthcare.

This ideology can also be used by nurses, to educate their patients about the relevance of self-care agency. Furthermore, they can teach patients some of the essential skills that help in maintaining an excellent self-care. This ideology can be of massive help, especially to the aged persons, since they are more vulnerable to self-care agency.

Orem’s thoughts about “therapeutic self-care demands” can also be employed in nursing practices. Orem defined the term as the self-care necessities that an individual requires at certain life periods. This thought can be applied by nurses, to understand the various requirements that patients desires at certain points of time.

As a result, the nurses will be able to advice patient about the self-care requirements needed at different points of time. For instance, the there are certain needs that the aged require, which are not significant to the infants. This can help nurses to design the best therapy or needs for different persons at different points of time.

Orem developed several solutions that can help to achieve an impressive healthcare. She summarized the solutions as taking adequate water food stuff and water and having enough rest. These solutions can extensively be applied in the nursing practice, in numerous capacities.

Nurses can employ these solutions to assist persons who are experiencing difficulties in maintaining their self-care. Furthermore, nurses can train patients on the solutions to their unhealthiness; thus, enabling them to manage their self-care autonomously.

Orem’s understanding of the term “self-care deficit” can also be of significance in the nursing practice. She explicated the term as an individual’s incapability to provide self-care need to his/her family or for himself as an individual. She further explained that “self-care deficit” demands for speedy intervention especially if projected to worsen.

This thought can be borrowed by nurses and adopt them in their practice. Nurses can apply these thoughts, to decide on the best intervention that can improve a family suffering from self-care deficit. Orem further developed five approaches for mitigating self-care deficit.

These techniques can be used by nurses, to assist their patient in not only curb self-care deficit, but also help in its prevention. Orem also developed nursing structures that aimed at meeting several patient needs. These nursing structures can be adopted by nurses, in their goal to improve the healthiness of a patient.

In the selected theory please discuss the concept statement, metaparadigms, philosophies, and conceptual models

Orem’s stated several crucial concepts in the attempt to design her model. Her model consisted of three primary concepts i.e. the nursing systems, self-care deficit and finally self-care (Sitzman & Eischelberger, 2010). Each of these concepts was extensively explained by the use of other critical terms.

She began by expounding self-care as the actions taken, in the bid to uphold individual healthiness. She further noted that magnificent healthcare results to a commendable body functioning, which in turn increases an individual’s span.

Orem explained self-care agency as the skills used to maintain an impressive healthcare. Orem noted that self-care agency was immensely influenced by certain factors, which she referred them as “basic conditional factors.” “Therapeutic self-care demands” is also a concept used by Orem, in expounding self-care. She defined the term as the requirements needed by a person at different life period. Orem defined self-care deficit as the incapability to maintain personal and family healthcare.

Metaparadign is expressed in Orem’s theory via certain fundamental terms i.e. surroundings, Nursing, human and health (Sitzman & Eischelberger, 2010). In her theory, she defined human as the unhealthy person (a patient), who needs nursing intervention to regain his or her healthiness.

She explained health by linking it to self-care; health of an individual is explicitly determined by the self-care. She also explained health as how individuals functions i.e. either in terms of psychophysiology or physiology.

Orem further expounded on her understanding of nursing; she explained the term as the deliberate act of assisting unhealthy persons with the aim of changing their status. She finally concluded her paradigm by describing the environment as a collection of certain elements i.e. socioeconomics, organic, materials and chemical (Sitzman & Eischelberger, 2010).

Orem borrowed some philosophical ideologies and incorporated them in her model. The ideology behind self-care was lifted from philosophical thoughts i.e. the sick have the desire for restoring their healthiness. It is also noted that, Orem used some philosophical ideologies in expounding the term “moderate realism.”

Additionally, she engaged several scholars from dissimilar discipline, in designing her model; a number of them being from philosophical fields. This, unquestionably, indicates how philosophy significantly contributed to the creation of the self-care theory.

Orem’s theory has a number of models which are described using certain fundamental nursing concepts. She proposed a nursing system, which can be used by nurses, after evaluating a patient’s health. Orem elaborated his nursing structure ideologies using three approaches (systems) i.e. partly compensatory, fully compensatory, and finally supportive-educative (Sitzman & Eischelberger, 2010).

Fully compensatory recommends for complete compensation to patients who are incapable of maintaining self-care. Partly compensatory proposes for joint efforts between the nurse and client towards the improvement of self-care. In the supportive-educative, only the patient participates in the maintaining of his or her own self-care; however, a nurse can assist whenever there is self-care agency.


Several theories were developed by nursing scholar in the attempt to advance nursing practices. These theories contain some similar concepts; for instance, the use of metaparadigm in Orem’s and Watson’s theories. Orem’s theory can broadly be applied by nurses, to improve the wellness of human beings in various capacities. However, it is imperative, to comprehensively conceptualize the terms used by the theorists before applying the theory.


Ho, C. Ying, S. & Chau, J. (2010). The effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for family Caregivers on the psychosocial wellbeing, physical health and quality of life of stroke family caregivers and their stroke survivors: a systematic review. Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong.

Callaghan, M. (2003).The Relationships Among Health-Promoting Self-Care Behaviors, Self-Care Self-Efficacy, and Self-Care Agency. New Jersey: Virginia Anderson international library.

Nursing theories, (2010). Jean Watson’s philosophy of nursing. Nursing theories.

Sitzman, K. & Eischelberger, L. W. (2010). Understanding the work of Nurse Theorists: a creative beginning. Ontario: Jones & Bartlett learning.