Nursing Theorist: Madeline Leininger

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Nursing theory combines four common elements: the client, health, environment and nursing. Nursing theory guides nursing decisions and actions to explain a phenomenon and to give the appropriate care to a client. Madeleine Leininger incorporates all of these elements in her cultural care diversity and universality theory. She theorized and researched the importance of recognizing the client’s cultural differences and incorporating this knowledge along with caring in the client’s care. The goal of Madeleine Leininger’s cultural care diversity and universality theory is “to improve and provide care which is culturally acceptable and is beneficial and useful to the client and family” (McCance, 1999, p. 1390). In Leininger’s cultural care diversity and universality theory, involving the client’s cultural needs in the healing process is the most important action. In her sunrise model, Leininger describes two types of care for the client, generic care and professional care. “Generic caring was the oldest form of basic expression of human caring essential for the growth, health, and survival of Homo Sapiens” (Reynolds, 1993, p. 24-25). Examples of generic caring include home remedies (these will be culturally specific) and folk care. She defines professional care as “cognitively learned, practiced, and transmitted knowledge learned through formal and informal professional education nursing schools” (Reynolds, 1993, p. 25). Examples of professional care for the nurse include how to handle both procedures and practices as well as diseases and symptoms. Leininger explains that professional care teaching does not incorporate generic care. Generic care has not been viewed as a valuable skill for client care, but does need to be taken into consideration in order to give meaningful care. “Thus the ultimate goal was to link and synthesize generic and professional care knowledge to benefit the client” (Reynolds, 1993, p. 26). The sunrise model was...
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