Critique of a Nursing Theory

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Critique of a Nursing Theory
April 30, 2010

Critique of a Nursing Theory
This is a critique of Myra Estrin Levine’s conservation principles model. I will be discussing the meaning of the theory of the four principles; conservation of energy, conservation of structural integrity, conservation of personal integrity, and conservation of social integrity. I will be using the criterion-based model (C-BaC) as a focus of the positive aspects of the theory, as outlined by Johnson & Webber (Johnson & Webber, 2010, p. 192-214). I will discuss the intent and theory, the concepts and propositions, and the usefulness in nursing practice.

How a nurse is defined could be very influential for those who aspire to become a nurse, and even for those who are already nurses. My definition of a nurse is one whose main focus is to care for others, medically, emotionally, and spiritually. Myra Levine has a unique outlook on the world of nursing that many may find hard to interpret. She had her own theories and principles of nursing that implemented health and well-being to patients through her conservation principles model. Her model was originally developed, not to be a nursing theory, but to attempt to teach nursing students a new approach to daily nursing activities. Intent and Boundaries

The meaning of the theory of Myra Levine consists of four principles: conservation of energy, conservation of structural integrity, conservation of personal integrity, and conservation of social integrity. Each are fundamental to the expected outcomes when the model is used, but Levine also discussed “two other concepts critical to the use of her model; adaptation and wholeness” (“Myra Levine’s Conservation Theory“, 2009) (which will be discussed throughout the critique). Her goal was to “promote adaptation and maintain wholeness by using the principles of conservation” (Nursing Theories: A Companion to Nursing Theories and Models, 2010). Conservation of energy: balancing energy output and input to avoid fatigue. Conservation of structural integrity: maintaining the integrity of a patient by restoring the structure of the body by preventing physical breakdown and facilitating healing. Conservation of personal integrity: to recognize a sense of self-worth, identity and acknowledging uniqueness. Conservation of social integrity: an individual who is recognized as someone who is part of a family, a community, and a population.

Levine’s conservation model was designed to “provide a curriculum that would recognize medical-surgical coursework for a graduate curriculum” (Johnson & Webber, 2010, p. 140). She believed that the conservation model was for the use of all fields of professional nursing practice, but she also believed that a professional nursing practice “could only be achieved at a graduate level” (Johnson & Webber, 2010, p. 140). Other theorist’s such as Selye’s, Bertalanffy, and Erickson had an impact on Levine’s idea for her theory.

My definition of nursing and Levine’s theory do differ in many ways, but our ultimate goals are the same. Levine, in my opinion, focuses on the integrity, uniqueness, and the structure of the patient, and then she focuses on whatever necessary to make the patient well. Within my nursing practice, and with the evolution of nursing since Levine’s time, my focus is comfort of the patient, educating the patient, the patient’s family, the community, and teaching how to adapt and maintain a healthy lifestyle physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Levine’s theory has been applied for research purposes, such as: “The investigation of an exercise intervention to mitigate cancer - related to fatigue (Mock et al., 2007, p. 1). There is a table on page 5 of the journal that shows the breakdown of the study and how Levine’s conservation model is implemented for the study. “Boundaries are consistent with nursing practice” according to Johnson & Webber (2010, p. 193). These boundaries, as I interpret them...
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