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NUR-513 Topic 4 DQ 1

Compare and contrast two nursing theories. How do they differ based on their intent, scope, and goals?

Re: Topic 4 DQ 1

DeNisco and Barker discuss the importance of nursing theories and models and how they can be used for effective, high-quality care (2016). However, it is also evident that there are many nursing theories, and often nurses do not understand, believe in, or adequately utilize many of these theories (DeNisco & Barker, 2016). In my quest to write this post, I went through the entire list of nursing theories (all 83 of them), and I have honestly only heard of a few of them (Current Nursing, 2020). The two that resonated the most with me were Hildegard Peplau’s Interpersonal Theory and Jean Watson’s Philosophy of Caring Theory.

Hildegard Peplau’s Interpersonal Theory focuses on the nurse-patient relationship and how the two can collaborate to meet the patient’s needs. This theory says the nurse-patient relationship has four phases:

Compare and contrast two nursing theories How do they differ based on their intent, scope, and goals

Compare and contrast two nursing theories How do they differ based on their intent, scope, and goals

orientation, identification, exploitation, and resolution (Current Nursing, 2020). Essentially the “felt needs” of the patient are identified by the nurse and the patient; the nurse can then meet those needs as the patient begins to trust the nurse; together, goals of care can be made. The patient can then receive full benefits of this patent-nurse relationship. As this relationship continues, goals are met, new goals can be made, or the relationship is terminated.

Jean Watson’s Philosophy of Caring Theory emphasizes caring and meeting both the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the patient (Watson, 2008). Watson points out that medicine is heavily focused on disease and diagnosis and that treatments should not lose sight of the fact that patients are human beings. Watson ties science to the sacred act of caring for another human being and takes on a more holistic approach. The major concepts are human beings, health, environment, and nursing (Common Nursing, 2020). Meaning that we must treat patients as a whole, considering mental, spiritual, emotional, physical, and environmental needs. Watson further outlined these main concepts of the science of caring with ten Caritas processes.

I appreciate how Peplau’s theory emphasizes the nurse-patient relationship and how the patient’s values, culture, experiences, and beliefs are considered when identifying “needs” and forming goals. The patient has an active role in the plan of care which is very important when trying to achieve goals of care. When compared to Watson’s theory, a significant difference is that the patient’s environment and community resources are not considered. Peplau’s theory is also very limited if the patient is unable or unwilling to express their needs. I also really like how Watson’s approach is focused on caring over curing. Watson expands beyond the nurse-patient relationship and largely emphasizes spirituality, teaching, and how the external environment can affect the patient’s internal environment (Watson, 2008). Both Peplau and Watson’s theories outline the interpersonal nature of nursing; they just do so differently.

In my future practice as an informatics nurse, I believe that the nurse-patient relationship is of vital importance. The patient needs to be on board with research, new interventions, and technologies; otherwise, efforts are futile. Jean Watson’s theory of caring resonates with me because I feel it has a more extensive scope compared to Peplau’s theory, and I think it can be applied to almost any nursing role.


Current Nursing. (2020). Nursing theories: Open access articles on nursing theories and modelshttps://currentnursing.com/nursing_theory/application_Peplau%27s_interpersonal_theory.html

DeNisco, S. M., & Barker, A. M. (2016). Advanced practice nursing: Essential knowledge for the profession (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Watson, J. (2008). Nursing: The philosophy and science of caring (Rev. ed). Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.


Compare and contrast two nursing theories. How do they differ based on their intent, scope, and goals? Which one might be more relevant to your future role, and why?

Topic 4: Theory-Based Nursing Practice I



  1. Describe nursing theories and their application to the advance registered nurse’s practice.
  2. Evaluate nursing theories based on intent, goal, and scope.

ORDER NOW FOR AN ORIGINAL PAPER ASSIGNMENT ONCompare and contrast two nursing theories. How do they differ based on their intent, scope, and goals? 

Study Materials

Advanced Practice Nursing: Essential Knowledge for the Profession


Read Chapters 19 and 23 in Advanced Practice Nursing: Essential Knowledge for the Profession.

The Living Tree of Nursing Theories


Read “The Living Tree of Nursing Theories,” by Tourville and Ingalls, from Nursing Forum (2003).

A Cross-Cultural Comparison of a Clinical Nurse Competency Path Model


Read “A Cross-Cultural Comparison of a Clinical Nurse Competency Path Model,” by Sportsman, Hamilton, and Schumacker, from International Journal of Nursing Education(2014).

A Multidimensional Analysis of the Epistemic Origins of Nursing Theories, Models, and Frameworks


Read “A Multidimensional Analysis of the Epistemic Origins of Nursing Theories, Models, and Frameworks,” by Beckstead and Beckstead, from International Journal of Nursing Studies(2006).

Nursing Theories


Explore the links on the Nursing Theories page of the Current Nursing website.

The nursing theory refers to the project’s rigorous and creative structuring of various ideas.
Different nursing theories are used in healthcare systems.
One of the theories is Virginia Henderson’s, which emphasizes the patient’s ability to reciprocate long after the discharge process is complete.
According to Henderson’s theory, nurses’ roles are substantive; in other words, the primary goal of nurses and other healthcare professionals is to ensure that patients are well managed in order to facilitate their recovery processes.
According to Virginia Henderson’s theory, a nurse’s primary role is to assist individuals, whether sick or well, in improving their health status through participation in healthy activities (McCormack & McCance, 2016).
The theory was developed using various nursing principles and practices.
Specifically, the theory is based on a grand theory that prioritizes nursing care as well as daily life activities.

Another nursing theory is nursing as a general care theory, which encompasses all facets of nursing.
In other words, the theory is sufficiently broad to facilitate comprehension of various aspects of nursing (Ahtisham & Jacoline, 2015).
The distinction between Virginia Henderson and general care theory is that Virginia Henderson theory emphasizes nurses’ roles in assisting patients in achieving better treatment outcomes, whereas general care theory emphasizes nearly all aspects of nursing activities.

Virginia Henderson’s theory is more applicable to my future role because it touches on or is focused on providing quality care to patients, which is my primary goal as a future nurse.




Y. Ahtisham & S. Jacoline (2015).
Integrating Nursing Theory and Practice; The Henderson Need Theory in Virginia.
International Journal of Caring Sciences, 2008, vol. 8, no (2).
Retrieved from https://web.a.ebscohost.com/abstract?direct=true&profile=ehost&scope=site&authtype=crawler&jrnl=17915201&AN=102972280&h=Zkm0Fwc3NxcQaCaupGoAn9NPcN percent 2bSUey1bPiOmaKuKWIgoUL6MKtLePOMlJ0m1

B. McCormack & T. McCance (Eds.).
Person-centered nursing and health care practice: theory and practice
Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Compare and contrast two nursing theories. How do they differ based on their intent, scope, and goals?

Compare and contrast two nursing theories. How do they differ based on their intent, scope, and goals?

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