Nursing theory is the term given to the body of knowledge that is used to define or explain various aspects of the profession of nursing.
Types of nursing theories 
Grand nursing theories
Grand nursing theories have the broadest scope and present general concepts and propositions. Theories at this level may both reflect and provide insights useful for practice but are not designed for empirical testing. This limits the use of grand nursing theories for directing, explaining, and predicting nursing in particular situations. Theories at this level are intended to be pertinent to all instances of nursing.
Mid-range nursing theories
Middle-range nursing theories are narrower in scope than grand nursing theories and offer an effective bridge between grand nursing theories and nursing practice. They present concepts and propositions at a lower level of abstraction and hold great promise for increasing theory-based research and nursing practice strategies.
Nursing practice theories
Nursing practice theories have the most limited scope and level of abstraction and are developed for use within a specific range of nursing situations. Nursing practice theories provide frameworks for nursing interventions, and predict outcomes and the impact of nursing practice.
Major nursing theorists and theories
- Helen Erickson
- Virginia Henderson - Henderson's need theory
- Imogene King
- Madeleine Leininger
- Betty Neuman - Neuman systems model
- Margaret A. Newman - Health as expanding consciousness theory
- Dorothea Orem - Self-care deficit nursing theory
- Ida Jean Orlando (Pelletier)
- Ramona T Mercer - Maternal role attainment theory
- Anne Casey - Casey's model of nursing
- Hildegard Peplau - Theory of interpersonal relations
- Rosemarie Rizzo-Parse - Human becoming theory
- Isabel Hampton Robb
- Nancy Roper, Winifred W. Logan, and Alison J. Tierney - Roper-Logan-Tierney model of nursing
- Martha E. Rogers - Science of unitary human beings
- Callista Roy - Adaptation model of nursing
- Katharine Kolcaba
- Phil Barker - Tidal Model
- Moyra Allen - McGill model of nursing
- Erickson, Tomlin & Swain - Modeling and Role-Modeling
- Katie Eriksson
- Dr. Jean Watson
- Paterson & Zderad
- Boykin & Schoenhofer
Purposely omitted from this list is that most famous of all nurses, Florence Nightingale. Nightingale never actually formulated a theory of nursing science but was posthumously accredited with same by others who categorized her personal journaling and communications into a theoretical framework.
Also not included are the many nurses who improved on these theorists' ideas without developing their own theoretical vision.
- Nursing Theory Page
- Nursing Theories and Sub-Theories
- Nursing Theory Network
- Nightingale's Notes on Nursing at project Gutenberg
- Care Plan/Theory Samples
Nursing Levels of PracticeGeneralistsAdvanced Practice Nurse education
areas of practiceAmbulatory care · Cardiac · Critical care · Emergency · Faith community · Flight · Geriatrics · Home health · Hyperbaric · Legal nurse consultant · Maternal-child · Medical-surgical · Midwifery · Military practice · Neonatal · Nurse educator · Nursing management · Obstetrics · Oncology · Orthopedics · Palliative care · Pediatrics · Perianesthesia · Perioperative · Psychiatry and mental health · Private duty nursing · Public health · School nursing · WOCN
Nursing process Nursing classification
MiscellaneousUnlicensed assistive personnel · Bullying in nursing · Nursing theory · Timeline of nursing history · Nurse-led clinic · Men in nursing · Nurse stereotypes · List of nursing organizations · Nursing journals · List of nurses · Nurse-client relationship · Nursing credentials and certifications · Evidence-based nursing · Nursing research
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