Nursing Theorists

  1. Hello - I'm just starting a nursing theory class for my RN-BSN program and we've started with Jean Watson and Betty Neuman. I actually met Jean at a conference about a month ago. Nice lady.

    Who would YOU all say is the most influential nurse theorist and why do you think so?

    Thanks - steph
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  3. by   BBFRN
    Patricia Benner is one of my favorites, because she actually studied nurses, and spoke with them for her Novice to Expert learning theory. She's very concrete, and is not as 'out there' as many other nursing theorists are. She uses a Humanistic model, like Watson. I find her theory on the stages of learning for nurses to be true.
    Here's a short bio:

    Here's her homepage:

    And here's a really good nursing theorist website (I used this a lot when I was taking Theory & Research, so you may find it very useful):

    I've met Jean as well- she does seem to be a very nice lady.
  4. by   BBFRN
    oops- forgot to add why I think she's so influential. Most hospital orientation programs and career ladder programs are based on her Novice to Expert model. In fact, at the hospital where I used to work, one of the steps in our career ladder program was to read the book.

    Oh- and here is another link to one of her side businesses. You can actually email her, and she will reply. She did for me, when I had a question. I did my final Theory paper on her. She's very nice as well.
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Thank you very much -

  6. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I'll think about it some. I don't use theorists, at least not pointedly, so it's difficult for ME to say which is more influential.

    HERE are a few famous threads on the subject. Many of these links have external links about theory:

    Also, ask llg. I'm sure she'd be happy to input and this is up her alley.

    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Jun 12, '08
  7. by   Joe NightingMale
    I always liked Callista Roy, her stuff on adaptation seemed to make sense to me, and I know of a number of hospitals and universities that make use of her theory.

    I suspect I like her because her theory, though a grand theory, is more concrete than some others. Like Martha Rogers, whose theories are popular at my school. "Intersecting energy fields"?
  8. by   JBudd
    I have always liked Benner as well.
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Thanks - and Tim, I'd love to have my classmates look at your links so I'm glad YOU linked them and NOT me.

  10. by   EricJRN
    I'd cast a vote for Virginia Henderson since she made significant strides toward establishing nursing as a viable independent healthcare profession.

    - I like her breakdown of nursing duties into substitutive, complementary and supplementary functions.

    - Spent more than 70 years as a nurse, educator and theorist.

    - Provided one of the most widely-used definitions for nursing: "The unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to peaceful death) that he would perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge. And to do this in such a way as to help him gain independence as rapidly as possible."

    - Advocated for the inclusion of psychiatric training within educational programs in nursing.

    - Was one of the first theorists to promote (and organize) scientific research in nursing.
  11. by   elkpark
    I am also a big fan of Henderson and also, since my field is psych, Hildegard Peplau, the "mother" of psychiatric nursing.
  12. by   BBFRN
    Here's a very funny article about Martha Rogers, if you haven't seen it:
  13. by   elkpark
    The school at which I completed my BSN (proud diploma grad here ) based its curriculum on Rogers' theory. I found her ideas extremely interesting and engaging to read and discuss -- it's just a darned shame that they have nothing at all to do with nursing! (On the other hand, ol' Martha was quite a character, and I've suspected for years that she may have intended the whole business as an elaborate practical joke on the rest of us. )

    On the other hand, she's the only nursing theorist who has spawned an entire industry of mid-level theorists who spend their entire academic careers trying to explain just what Dr. Rogers meant and how it really does apply to nursing, regardless of what the rest of us think ...
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    I've read that article - very funny.

    Elkpark - our university bases its program on Jean Watson, which is why she was here recently.

    Thanks so much you all for responding - this has been interesting.

    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Jun 13, '08