open access articles on Nursing
theories and models
Theory of Florence Nightingale
The goal of nursing is “to put the
patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him”. -
Born - 12 May 1820
Founder of mordern nursing.
The first nursing theorist.
Also known as "The Lady with the Lamp"
She explained her environmental theory in her famous book Notes
on Nursing: What it is, What it is not .
She was the first to propose nursing required specific
education and training.
Her contribution during Crimean war is well-known.
She was a statistician, using bar and pie charts,
highlighting key points.
International Nurses Day, May 12 is observed in respect to
her contribution to Nursing.
Died - 13 August 1910
Assumpations of Nightingale's Theory
Mankind can achieve perfection
Nursing is a calling
Nursing is an art and a science
Nursing is achieved through environmental alteration
Nursing requires a specific educational base
Nursing is distinct and separate from medicine
Nightingale’s Canons: Major Concepts
Ventilation and warming
Cleanliness of rooms/walls
Health of houses
Bed and bedding
Chattering hopes and advices
Taking food. What food?
Nightingale's documents contain her philosophical
assumptions and beliefs regarding all elements found in the
metaparadigm of nursing. These can be formed into a
conceptual model that has great utility in the practice
setting and offers a framework for research conceptualization.
(Selanders LC, 2010)
Nursing is different from medicine and the goal of nursing
is to place the patient in the best possible condition
for nature to act.
Nursing is the "activities that promote health (as outlined
in canons) which occur in any caregiving situation. They
can be done by anyone."
People are multidimensional, composed of biological,
psychological, social and spiritual components.
Health is “not only to be well, but to be able to use well
every power we have”.
Disease is considered as dys-ease or the absence of
"Poor or difficult environments led to poor health and
"Environment could be altered to improve conditions so that
the natural laws would allow healing to occur."
Nightingale's Theory and Nursing Practice
Application of Nightingale's theory in practice:
"Patients are to be put in the best condition for nature to
act on them, it is the responsibility of nurses to reduce
noise, to relieve patients’ anxieties, and to help them
As per most of the nursing theories, environmental
adaptation remains the basis of holistic nursing care.
She emphasized subservience to doctors.
She focused more on physical factors than on psychological
needs of patient.
Florence Nightingale provided a professional model for
She was the first to use a theoretical founation to nursing.
Her thoghts have influenced nursing significantly.
Nightingale, F. Notes on nursing: What it is and what it is