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Nurse Principles Used in Patient Care


Many different theories explain what principles nurses have to use in their practice when treating patients. Guidelines concern not only physiological manipulations that are essential in a health care practice but also the psychological support that serves as a base for patients’ wellbeing. While most plans regarding physical elements are similar to many authors’ ideas, the ethical or even spiritual sides usually differ. The paper discusses the nursing theories of Neuman and Roy and applies different concepts to the case study.

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Areas of Difference

Betty Neuman’s Systems Model (Reed, 1993) implies that people need to have all their systems in harmony to reach a state of good health. According to this theory, stressors affect an organism influencing its lines of defense, which are defined as normal and flexible, and the lines of resistance. Stressors are environmental and are characterized as intrapersonal, interpersonal, and extrapersonal. One of the assumptions different from Roy’s theory is that the psychological state is the one that has the most influence on the health state. Considering this factor, a nurse should work towards making a patient secure regarding emotional state influenced by his or her feelings, relationships, and life situation. Another different factor is a concept of different lines of defense that come into action one after another in order when the first line fails to provide resistance to environmental stressors. Thus, a nurse should analyze which line is triggered by a patient’s situation and offer corresponding psychological and medical support to ease his or her state.

Roy’s theory (Roy, 2014) differs primarily regarding its spiritual side because its creator belonged to a Christian confession. Callista Roy believed that the process of adaptation should be supplemented with faith. Only through accepting the presence of God and understanding one’s role in the universe a person could become a functional organism again.

Plan of Care

The case study features the story of a man who is already very old and who has health issues that do not let him be a functional part of society and take care of himself. Roy’s theory implies that the treatment plan for this patient should include the interaction process with his daughter. If she is willing to help, this would be the best care according to this theory, as the idea of faith and universal bond among people has to work towards health improvement.

Neuman’s model calls for another approach. The patient’s family situation should be reconsidered carefully to identify the main environmental factors that could serve as a positive influence on his health. Communication with his daughter will be beneficial if only this does not create any type of insecurity within the patient. Another factor to consider is the lines of defense and resistance. The flexible lines have been damaged since the patient went through a serious illness. A nurse should identify the level from where to start building a new defense system.


Neuman’s model uses a psychological approach for treating the patient, while Roy’s theory relies on Christian faith. While understanding one’s place and role in the universe may be a part of psychology, it intersects with spiritual beliefs. The patient could be treated within either of these frameworks, and nurses have to evaluate his emotional state to make any conclusions about the following health care practice.


Reed K. S. (1993). Betty Neuman: The Neuman systems model. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

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Roy, C. (2014). Generating middle range theory: From evidence to practice. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.

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