Betty Neuman’s Systems Model
A Look into Nursing Theories
Syreeta Watkins, RN; Kim Thompson, RN; Devah Mateen, RN
Winston-Salem State University Nursing 2312
Prof Faye Mauldin, RN, MSN
April 26, 2011
Nursing can be described as a combination of both an art and a science because not only does it include natural and human sciences such as biology and psychology, but it also has the ability to morally guide nursing practice and form trusting relationships. With both aspects of art and science being incorporated into nursing, it allows for the focus to be concentrated on the wholeness of an individual. Throughout history, several nursing theorists have developed unique system models in order to provide a framework that guides nursing actions and research by bringing together ideas and concepts to form a meaningful whole. The Neuman Systems Model is one example. The Neuman Systems Model (NSM) was originally developed at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1970 by Betty Neuman, Ph.D., RN [ (Heyman & Wolfe, 2007) ]. Like many other previously published models, Dr. Neuman’s goal was to provide a wholistic overview of human beings.
There are four major concepts discussed within Dr. Neuman’s theory; the person, the environment, health, and nursing. The person is a multidimensional being consisting of several lines of defense and resistance in order to protect the basic core structure in the event of a stress response. The environment is defined as the totality of three types of stressors that interact with a person at any given time and has the potential to affect the stability of the system. They are: intrapersonal, which occurs within the person; interpersonal, which occurs between individuals; and extra-personal, which occurs outside the individual. If all the parts of the system are in harmony with the whole, health/wellness is achieved. The person’s system is dynamic, meaning it is constantly changing and interacting with the...
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