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Nursing Theories Comparison

Nursing theories involve the different approaches that nurses apply in their care services to improve patient outcomes and maintain high health standards within various settings. Some common theories include Kolcaba’s theory of comfort, Peplau’s theory of interpersonal relationships, and Watson’s philosophy and science of caring. Although the three theories aim at improving care administration strategies among practitioners, they implement contrasting procedures that enhance differentiation and application protocols. The assessment aims to compare Kolcaba’s comfort theory, Watson’s caring theory, and Peplau’s interpersonal relationships theory to understand the various similarities and differences and their influence on clinical practice.

Kolcaba’s comfort theory operates based on providing comfort to acquire holistic healthcare standards. The operating concepts involved in providing maximum comfort are transcendence, relief, and ease, which play a crucial role in ensuring caregivers meet all the various healthcare needs of patients (Nursing Theory). The aspect of ease focuses on maintaining contentment among patients by eliminating any psychological needs, while transcendence maintains their ability to overcome any challenges that might threaten their well-being. Therefore, when nurses provide adequate patient comfort levels, they acquire relief. The approach operates per the various nursing paradigms as individuals in need of care represent the patient while the influential surrounding factors to their comfort constitute the environment. Caregivers are responsible for the nursing experience to ensure the patients acquire health by providing the various elements necessary for their contentment. In order to ensure optimum comfort, caregivers focus on physical, psycho-spiritual, environmental, and sociocultural factors per the required standards, contributing to a holistic healthcare experience.

Watson’s caring theory explains that individuals need care, support, respect and nurture, and an understanding of society, allowing them to thrive in their mental and physical health standards. Moreover, it allows individuals to enhance their social functioning while outlaying that holistic individuals are more significant than the combination of their various components (Nursing Theory). A caring environment elicits a positive environment among patients experiencing various health challenges, enhancing adaptation and maintaining maximum body performance. The approach demonstrates nurses as having an extensive concern for patients’ well-being, prompting them to undertake necessary measures to improve their conditions. To identify the most effective caring plan, practitioners undertake a patient assessment, plan on how to tackle the issue, establish the intervention measure, and analyze to deduce its efficiency in enhancing holistic healthcare restoration. Nonetheless, the view employs various assumptions, such as care application can only be interpersonal, caring is the main element in ensuring better health outcomes, and caring contributes to meeting all the various needs associated with various patients.

Peplau’s interpersonal relations theory focuses on the association between nurses and patients and the impact on improving healthcare conditions. The connective process begins with the orientation process, which involves learning about the patient’s healthcare issue. The identification process follo, which focuses on analyzing the various management measures suitable for the condition, creating a pool of options that practitioners can choose from to eliminate the healthcare challenge. Next, nurses employ the exploitation stage, which is associated with acquiring assistance from fellow professionals to decide the best management module per the prevailing situation, minimize potential cases of adverse effects, and apply the method of combating the issue. The resolution stage is when the various stakeholders within the institution work together and eliminate the issue, illustrating the end of the association between the caregiver and the patient. The association process is crucial in understanding various conditions that the patient may be unaware of and providing the best advice in treatment measures, prompting positive health outcomes.

In all the theories, the main focus is improving the patients’ outcomes by tending to their healthcare requirements and minimizing potential drawbacks that might be associated with the strategies. However, the implementation procedures vary from one approach to another, with each applying different concepts that they believe can establish the most impact and ensure high operational standards. In Kolcaba’s comfort theory, caregivers focus on providing maximum comfortability levels among patients, which allows them to acquire holistic care through ease, transcendence, and relief. On the other hand, Watson’s philosophy and science of caring explain that professionals need to provide utmost care to patients to allow them to assert a positive response to treatment, contributing to good health outcomes. The caring strategy allows practitioners to provide the best conditions for patients where they can improve their health without facing substantial challenges. Meanwhile, Peplau’s interpersonal relationships theory focuses on creating operational bonds between professionals and patients, which allows them to understand their healthcare issues and administer the most compelling responses. The main element involves the relationship process, which applies four steps, orientation stage, identification, and exploitation. The final step is the resolution phase which takes place after eliminating the problem.

Kolcaba’s comfort theory, Watson’s philosophy and science of caring, and Peplau’s theory of interpersonal relationships are some of the most commonly applied approaches in nursing services due to their impact on improving patients’ well-being. Professionals implement various nursing theories to practice as they establish an operational framework where they can refer to and deduce the best care strategies in various cases. Although the three views have similarities, such as their approach to enhancing holistic healthcare, they implement different strategies while operating on contrasting concepts, establishing their identity and their influence in clinical practice. The similarities and differences between the three theories provide an effective understanding among caregivers, providing them with a pool of strategies on how to tackle various healthcare challenges to enhance patients’ outcomes.

Works Cited

Nursing Theory. “KOLCABA’S THEORY OF COMFORT.” 2023, Accessed 27 Apr. 2023.

Nursing Theory. “PEPLAU’S THEORY OF INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS.” Nursing Theory – Nursing Theory, Accessed 27 Apr. 2023.

Nursing Theory. “Watson’s Philosophy and Science of Caring.” nursing Theory, 21 2023, Accessed 27 Apr. 2023.


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