Since the beginning of the Nursing profession, many theorists have presented multiple theories. Nursing theorists have used many definitions to develop and support their work. Their views of nursing theory are based upon their spiritual, personal, educational, political, and socioeconomic experiences. Credited with the first nursing theorist, Florence Nightingale believed in well-educated nurses practicing independently. According to Schulyer, 1992 “In the 1800’s a physician described the nurses of the times as “dull unobservant women; of the best it could only be said that they were kindly and careful and attentive in doing what they were told”. Florence Nightingale believed nurses needed to be taught, “what to observe- how to observe- what symptoms indicate improvement- what the reverse –which are of importance-which are of none-which are the evidence of neglect- and what kind of neglect” (Nightingale, 1992, p.59).
What Nightingale is describing here is the process of gathering information and figuring out which information is relevant. Nightingale was a brilliant statistician that wrote extensively on sanitation conditions. By demonstrating her methods she could decrease mortality rates. She could demonstrate her methods during the Crimean War. She proved that more soldiers were dying in the hospital than on the battlefields. With much difficulty and persistence she could change the Army’s practice and implement sanitary conditions in the hospital. The mortality rate dropped (Schuyler, 1992). Guided by her spiritual beliefs, and her calling to improve the human condition, Florence Nightingale set the foundation for nurse’s, and influenced nursing as an altruistic profession, caring for the whole person, mind, body, and spirit.
The 1950s presented Madeline Leininger, who developed the first transcultural theory in nursing. The Culture Care theory was implemented by Madeline Leininger as a need related to increasing immigrants in our country, and more nurses traveling to foreign countries. Leininger believed, the essential basis of nursing was care. In 1981 she stated ”There can be no curing without caring, but caring can exist without curing (Leininger, p. 72). Generic care and professional care are two types of caring. Familiar, folk, natural, and lay care is used as primary care practices used by cultures. Professional care is learned care and practiced care taught in schools of nursing. Leininger’s “sunrise model” shows her theory on holistic care. When developing a holistic view of groups, institutions, families, and people, she believed education, politics, and religious factors needed to be included in providing meaningful care. 1960
The 1960s introduced us to Virginia Henderson, otherwise known as the mother of modern nursing. The theory she taught was considered an interactive model. She spent many years caring for patients in the Army and as a public health nurse which influenced and inspired her work. At Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC, which she attended, her training was based on Nightingale’s teachings. Henderson’s theory was based on nursing care. Her teachings included assisting the patient, sick or well, to perform activities that would contribute to health recovery or a peaceful death. She taught teaching the patient so they can gain independence as quickly as possible. She saw the relationship between patient and nurse as important, and the patient as one entity mind and body inseparable. She has 14 areas of nursing care divided physically, spiritually, sociologically, and psychologically. This nursing care is similar to today as well.
Physically we need to breathe normally, eat and drink adequately, eliminate body waste, move, and maintain desirable positions, sleep and rest, select suitable clothing, maintain normal body temperature, keep the body clean and well-groomed and avoid dangers and injuries (Tourville, RN, BSN & Ingalls, RN,...