Three Nursing Theories and Which One Fits Your Thinking

Select three theories and compare the definition of person/human being. Which definition best fits with your own thinking. Jean Watson in caring theory refers to the human being as “a valued person in and of him or herself to be cared for, respected, nurtured, understood and assisted; in general a philosophical view of a person as a fully functional integrated self. Human is viewed as greater than and different from the sum of his or her parts. According to Jean Watson human being should be cared and respected and accepted as person, caring can effect what the person may finally become.

Watson’s hierarchy of needs begins with lower-order biophysical needs, which include the need for food and fluid, elimination, and ventilation. Next are the lower-order psychophysical needs, which include the need for activity, inactivity, and sexuality. Finally, are the higher order needs, which are psychosocial? These include the need for achievement, affiliation, and self-actualization Imogene King’s theory of Goal attainment defines person/human being as social beings that are rational and sentiment.

Humans communicate their thoughts, actions, customs, and beliefs through language (McEwen, 2014). King states that people display common characteristics and traits, such as: the ability to perceive, to think, to feel, to choose between alternative courses of action, to set goals, to select means to achieve goals, and to make decisions (McEwen, 2014). King’s concept of the theories considers nursing as a process of action, reaction and interaction whereby nurse and client share information and explore ways to achieve a goal.

The steps in the Goal attainment Theory that were presented by King are used on a daily basis by nurses all over the world. A nurse’s responsibility is to help a patient create and obtain the ultimate goal of living healthfully. According to Myra Levin’s model of Conservation, nursing is human interaction, her model deals with interactions of nurse and client. A person is an unique individual in unity and integrity, feeling, believing, thinking and whole. Her model has been useful in nursing education and research. A holistic being who constantly strives to preserve wholeness and integrity.

According to Levine, every individual has a unique range of adaptive responses. They vary by heredity, age, gender or the challenges that come with experiencing an illness. The responses are the same, but the timing and manifestation of the responses are unique to each individual pulse rate. Watson aims at enhancing human dignity by pushing them to find meaning of their existence, encouraging harmony with the environment and self. Imogen King encourages goal attainment. She claims, if there is nurse-patient interaction, goals are set with clear effective communication, then goals are attained. Levine, on the other hand, encourages advocacy, compassion, protection, providing support, therapeutic support and restoring well-beings and conserving energy of the patient back to optimal health.

I always look up to Jean Watson’s carative factors as I practice nursing each day to be caring of patients and families, caring for the environment, understanding for patient /client /family as a person. Trying to understand them as a person enables nurses to understand their health needs. I try to learn about each person and also about their abilities to understand and how it can help them recover faster by helping to form a trusting relationship, which includes empathy, and warmth. The strongest tool a nurse has is his or her mode of communication, which establishes a rapport with the patient, as well as caring by the nurse. Communication includes verbal and nonverbal communication, as well as listening that promote empathetic understanding. Meaningful communication and caring and respecting for who they are even in their old age and their culture helps patients to have a good transitioning of care even they are discharged to home.


  1. Watson, J (2011) Postmodern Nursing and Beyond. New edition. Boulder, CO: Watson Caring Science Institute.
  2. McEwen, M. & Wills, E. (2014). Theoretical basis for nursing (4th Ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.
  3. Sitzman, K., & Eichelberger, L. (2011). Myra Estrin Levine’s Conservation Model. Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists: A Creative Beginning. Jones and Bartlett Publisher
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