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Using Nightingale’s Environmental Theory

A recovery plan for a chronically ill patient entails numerous interventions, including the patient’s environment or setting. Florence Nightingale, famously known as ”The Lady with the Lamp’’ due to her work service in the Crimean war, contributed greatly to the creation and shaping of the current nursing practice. In her work, she came up with numerous perspectives regarding the implication of sanitation to nursing that led to the development of the environmental theory (Mughal et al., 2017). Nightingale’s environmental theory can be applied to Mrs. Adam’s case to realize her recovery from the ailments. Following the discharge of Mrs. Adams from the hospital, it was discovered during the assessment that her living conditions had many elements that depicted the present home being unideal of care. In her current home, she lived with four animals; the apartment lacked food, was poorly ventilated, and stayed in dirty clothing. The place was also a high-crime area, making it insecure for her survival. Therefore, from the first assessment, the immediate plan of action would be to change her environment by improving her current house’s living conditions or moving her to a better place.

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Changing the living environment will require the nurse in charge to consider the following, as demonstrated by Nightingale’s environmental theory. Firstly, the air the patient breathes would be required to be as clean as possible because a stuffy environment aggravates chilling chances that limit recovery time. The provision of fresh air also promotes the right amount of oxygen needed in the body. Secondly, the provision of pure water would be essential because it equips the patient body with the right elements and keeps the body hydrated. Consuming impure water results in the addition of unwanted elements that affect the patient’s recovery. Thirdly, it would be important to consider the effectiveness of the drainage. Effective drainage in a patient’s environment assists in ensuring that all waste materials are properly disposed of from their premises. Poor drainage is associated with harboring microbes that are harmful to the patient and can be re-infection. Providing effective drainage will also make the patient feel a sense of comfort with their environment, which boosts their recovery from illness.

Furthermore, it is essential to consider cleanliness as this forms the greater part of nursing practice. A clean environment is associated with mental implications that promote health and wellness and prevent chances of developing re-infection and readmissions (Mughal et al., 2017). Lastly, light is known to treat diseases due to its innumerable health benefits like promoting growth and strengthening of bones. Providing patients with a well-lit room can increase their mental wellness and alertness.

Plan of Care for Mrs. Adams

Mrs. Adams’ plan of care would be first by making environmental adjustments that contribute to improving her environment. It would be paramount to provide the patient with a healthy environment and remove her from the unsafe home to achieve a healing state. With her condition having four pets would be disadvantageous given her economic condition. Poor management of these pets would be a source of re-infection as they roam around contracting pathogens. Thus, it would be prudent also to eliminate some pets and retain one because animal pets are also associated with promoting healing for some health conditions. Arranging a nursing home for Mrs. Adams would be an appropriate option for her given her health condition.

The top priority would involve removing Mrs. Adams from her present living condition and putting her in a setting with all five key concepts described by Nightingale for better realization of the healing process. In the plan of care, the potential for moving Mrs. Adams to a new apartment that is well lit, secure, and has clean freshwater would promote recovery from ailments. According to Mughal et al. (2017), Mrs. Adams could also most likely make friends that would contribute to her mental health with new environments. Another thing of priority for Mrs. Adams would address her nutritional status.

Furthermore, nutrition would be important to consider as it promotes the growth and development of body cells and provides a defense mechanism against diseases. For Mrs. Adams, balanced nutrition would be achieved by consulting a dietician. A dietician would be able to address healing status and also diagnose hypertension and diabetes. Based on her health condition and incidence of surgery wound, adjusting diet would be required. Proper nursing interventions and medications would also be essential for helping in controlling diabetes and hypertension conditions (Alisher et al., 2017). It would also be important to prioritize checking with a therapist to help in her grieving process following the death of her husband and once some pets she considers family is removed. Being moved to a nursing home would also likely result in mental health issues because Mrs. Adams would be required to let go of her independence that she hardly copes without such as animal pets.

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Application of Nightingale’s Environmental Theory in My Nursing Practice

Nightingale proposed environmental principles with detailed descriptions of every aspect. Her main cannons were taking food, individual cleanliness, bedding and bed, rooms’ cleanliness, noise, light, and ventilation. According to Nightingale, if a nurse modifies a patient’s environment according to her environmental canons, then the patient can be assisted to restore their health and attain faster recovery. The theorist provided holistic care to patients who have been in use today for patient recovery (Alisher et al., 2019). According to Idrees et al. (2017), from Nightingale’s perspective, recommendations are given at communal and hospital levels where persons must be made aware of basic environmental hygiene.

Nursing theories help healthcare practitioners to offer a unique contribution to patients’ care. The theory holds that nature alone can cure people of their diseases. In my area of nursing, the medical plans that I develop do not emphasize the impact of changing environments for a positive outcome. As a nurse leader who advocates for the well-being of patients and quality health, I purpose to change my mode of intervention to rhyme with Nightingale’s nursing practice. In nursing intervention, I will incorporate policies that will enable the evaluation of patients’ environment as part of the plan for enhancing wellness. In my nursing practice, I care for patients with dementia; therefore, integrating Nightingale’s environmental theory would be beneficial for assisting memory recovery as the patient will be able to recognize their environment.

In conclusion, nursing theories have played essential role in transforming nursing practice by guiding healthcare practitioners. It is depicted that implementing Nightingale’s environmental theory into the nursing field requires recognition of nature as the prime element for healing patients suffering from different conditions. Nightingale identified environmental elements as canons and regarded them as most relevant during intervention practices including ventilation, light, cleanliness, water, and drainage. These components are demonstrated to play vital roles in enhancing patients’ health.


Alisher, A. N., Atta, S., Yasin, I., & Sochi, M.A. (2019). Clinical application of Nightingale’s theory. International Journal of Nursing Care, 7(1), 13-16.

Idrees, S., & Shah, N. B. Z. (2017). Bringing gap between theory and practice. International Journal of Endorsing Health Science Research, 5(4), 1-6.

Mughal, F. B., & Irshad Ali, B. H. (2017). Enhancing patient well-being: Applying environmental theory in nursing practice. Annals of Nursing and Practice, 4(3), 1085.

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