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Essay on Nursing Models


Nursing models refer to a group related theories, concepts, and linking facts that guide the nurses to investigate problems related to nursing practices, nursing care plans, and study of the results of nursing action and treatments (McCrae, 2012). These nursing theories serve an important role in the nursing sector because they provide the nurses with guidelines for specific nursing practices and advanced knowledge, which enables them to provide care for their patients. All private and public hospitals should continuously ensure that the nursing theories are implemented in the procedures and policies to guarantee that the best health care practices are being used (Williams, 2010).

Further, nursing theories have become vital for constructive decision-making and administration because they offer a principal component for collecting reasonable and reliable information. Therefore, most institutions and nurses will like to engage a variety of nursing theories instead of only one within their everyday practice. Additionally, while all nurses, regardless of specialty and position, deploy nursing theories in their practices, not all of them are aware of the complications of these theories. This is because nurse researchers and nurse educators mostly use most nursing theories. The two chosen theories that align with health promotion, patient safety, and nursing education include the Theory of Human Caring by Jean Watson and Virginia Hendersen theory.

Jean Watson: Human Caring Theory

Jean Watson is a theorist nurse who came up with the nursing theory known as Human Caring that focuses mainly on the nurse- patient relationship (Watson & Woodward, 2010). This theory was developed in 1975 when Watson was a lecturer at the University of Colorado. She intended to focus on the health profession of caring values by focusing on the inner healing of the patient and how the nurses can achieve it by providing exceptional care. Globally, many young and older adults choose to study nursing because of the high demand. There are various reasons an individual has to consider when deciding to be a nurse as a profession, but the main and required trait one should have as a nurse is a compassion. Caring for patients is an act of humanity, and this theory focuses mainly in ways that nurses provide care for their clients and how that care services advance into greater plans to promote wellness and health, to restore health, and prevent illness (Cara & O’Reilly, 2008). In various health care units, nurses play a crucial role in the recovering process of the patients because of how they show care and support towards them.

According to Watson’s view, the disease can be healed, but the illness may remain. This is because treatment without care cannot attain the patient’s health. Watson insists that caring can provide help to an individual to become well informed, gain control and upgrade healthy changes. To promote health promotion and patient safety, Watson suggests that there should be a patient-nurse relationship. The nurses go through training of concepts such as trust, love, faith, and understanding that help the nurses to develop high-quality healthcare and caring relationships (Cara & O’Reilly, 2008). She went further and stated that the theory focuses on the treatment of diseases and health promotion. Watson’s theory has main carative factors that align with patient safety, nursing education, and health promotion. These components include developing a demonstration of feelings, inducing faith and hope, developing a helping and trusting relationship, promoting teaching-learning, promoting an effective and supportive environment to the patients, and many more others. These factors address the results of providing care in the nurse-patient relationship.

Additionally, to stabilize, improve and enhance the patient’s healing, there should be an existence of a caring environment. A caring environment occurs when the nurse and the patient join hands and interact to develop a transformative change (Watson & Woodward, 2010). Therefore, the nurse has the authorization to protect the patients and treat them with positive regard. For instance, a human being is a special creature, and, more important, without them, the nurses could have no purpose; thus, the patient should be nurtured, treated, and cared for hence deploying the aspect of human caring.

Virginia Henderson: Henderson nursing model

Virginia Henderson is a nurse theorist who was born in 1897. The lady developed the Nursing need theory that defines the special focus of nursing practice (Ahtisham & Jacoline, 2015). Virginia’s theory mainly focuses on the significance of enhancing the patient’s self-reliance to hasten up their betterment in the health care. Henderson emphasized on the primary human necessities and the way the nurses can help the patients in achieving those basic needs. Moreover, there are assumptions of Need Nursing model made by Virginia that guide the nurses in their practices. The first assumption says that nurses provide care for the clients till when they can manage to take care by themselves (Henderson, 1978). The second assumption is that patients desire to get their health back. The third one is that nurses are ready to serve and dedicate themselves day and night to the patient. Finally, she stated that the body and mind are interrelated and are inseparable.

Additionally, Henderson suggests that a nurse should always feel polished and participate with patients in leisure activities. Virginia’s effort is accounted as a nursing model because it consists of the nursing definition, roles and functions of a nurse and the essential necessities of nursing care (Henderson, 1978). Henderson was mainly interested and engrossed on patient care to provide help to the patients to attain the level of self-reliance. She went ahead and supported her definition for nursing with the 14 factors of primary nursing care process (PDh, 1987). These 14 basic components of nursing act as guidelines to the nurses in working with people, groups, and families. This theory aligns with health promotion, patient safety, and nursing education because it may be applied in any clinical situation where the patient cannot understand or cannot do health-related activities.

Similarities and differences between the two theories

The two theories of Virginia Henderson and Jean Watson have some similarities concerning nursing actions, client focus, and client outcomes. Both Virginia Henderson’s 14 components and Jean Watson’s ten carative identifies are all needed in nursing practices to assure good health for the patient and the likelihood to regain their independence and health (Cardoso, Ribeiro & Martins, 2019). They both act as guidelines to the nurses to offer the best caring services to the patients. The other similarity is that their nursing definition goes in the same direction because they both focus on the well-being of the patients through nursing practices. Both Henderson and Watson agree on the fact that nursing was more than just physical needs. They also believed that nursing is all about looking after the patient’s physical needs, social, spiritual, and developmental needs. Finally, the two theories both focus on all sides of the patient inside and outside the hospital.

These theories also have some differences regarding the nursing actions and focus on the client. The first difference is that Watson’s main focus is on special care for the patients and the development of a nurturing relationship between the nurses and the patients (Cardoso, Ribeiro & Martins, 2019). On the other hand, Henderson’s thought that nursing was more of a partnership or assistants to the patients. According to Henderson, the distinctive practice of the nurses is to assist the people who are either sick or well by performing activities that contribute to the recovery of their health. She also dedicated her entire work only to the people by caring for each and every need that the patients could not provide for themselves. On the other hand, Jean Watson believed that in order to have a good health, the patient needs harmony which results from the unity of mind, body and soul. Henderson’s theory states the nurse’s role and it might help refresh those who have forgotten those roles while Watson’s theory is to encourage an openness nursing practice to understanding of self and patients.


In conclusion, nursing theories play a crucial role in providing the foundation and guidance for nursing practices. These theories also help the nurses to provide essential health care services for the patients. The importance of these theories is that they provide strong knowledge of health care concepts that help those in the profession to clarify what they do for the patients and the reason why they do it. Additionally, the two theories of Virginia and Jean have influenced the nursing practices positively hence ensuring that every patient’s needs are met. The 14 components of Henderson and 10 caratives of Watson both focus mainly on the welfare of the nurses and the patients. Their main aim is to create a strong and trusting relationship between the patient and the nurse. Therefore, these two theories cover a certain problem of patient-nurse interactions and nurses’ caring behaviors. Both theories do not have significant weakness , therefore it is recommendable to deploy these theories in nursing practices because they can create a favorable environment required for fast healing of patient’s well-being.


Ahtisham, Y., & Jacoline, S. (2015). Integrating Nursing Theory and Process into Practice; Virginia’s Henderson Need Theory. International Journal of Caring Sciences8(2).

Cara, C., & O’Reilly, L. (2008). Embracing Jean Watson’s theory of Human Caring through a reflective practice within a clinical situation. Recherche en soins infirmiers, (4), 37-45.

Cardoso, M. F. P. T., Ribeiro, O. M. P. L., & Martins, M. M. F. P. D. S. (2019). Death and dying: contributions to a practice based on nursing theoretical frameworks. Revista gaucha de enfermagem40.

Henderson, V. (1978). The concept of nursing. Journal of advanced nursing3(2), 113-130.

McCrae, N. (2012). Whither nursing models? The value of nursing theory in the context of evidence‐based practice and multidisciplinary health care. Journal of Advanced Nursing68(1), 222-229.

PDh, P. A. F. R. (1987). The impact of nursing theory on the clinical decision making process. Journal of Advanced Nursing12(5), 563-571.

Watson, J., & Woodward, T. K. (2010). Jean Watson’s theory of human caring. Nursing theories and nursing practice3, 351-369.

Williams, A. (2010). Nursing models and contemporary nursing 1: their development, uses and limitations. Nursing times106(23), 18.


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