Grand nursing theories emerge from conceptual models and include the most complex levels of theory (McEwan & Wills, 2021).

Grand nursing theories emerge from conceptual models and include the most complex levels of theory (McEwan & Wills, 2021). Two examples of grand theories that I will compare are Dorothea Orem’s self-care deficit nursing theory and Jean Watson’s human caring science.



Both nursing theorists defined the concepts of human, health, and nursing and added other concepts to their theories. Orem’s theory talks about self-care, self-care requisites, universal self-care requisites, developmental self-care requisites, health deviation self-care requisites, therapeutic self-care demand, deliberate action, nursing system, and product of nursing (McEwan & Wills, 2021). Watson’s theory adds actual caring moment occasion, transpersonal caring moment, phenomenal field, life, harmony-disharmony, and time (McEwan & Wills, 2021).



Orem’s theory assumes that humans need to interact with each other and their surroundings to thrive and function. Humans intentionally act to recognize needs and make decisions for self-care and care of others. Watson’s theory assumes that love and caring are universal primal needs. She believes that nurses positively affect human growth and humanity in social, moral, and scientific ways (McEwan & Wills, 2021).



Orem’s theory implies that we thrive through self-care and caring for others. As nurses, we aim to help patients care for themselves when we discharge them home. We assess their needs and educate them on resources for optimal self-care. Watson’s theory implies that the caring relationship between patients and nurses goes beyond the surface; it allows physical, mental, and spiritual healing (McEwan & Wills, 2021).



Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Nursing theory can be applied in a home health setting. We assess the patient’s needs and deficits and create a care plan to improve independence. For example, for a patient who had a knee replacement, we would help them with ambulation, wound care, and other identified needs. We would let the patient independently perform ADLs and offer assistance as needed.

Watson’s Human Caring theory can be applied in palliative care. We assess the patient’s requests and goals. We offer compassionate care to patients and their family members. Watson’s theory serves as a guide for nurses providing care for terminally ill patients; it pays attention to each patient’s unique physical, mental, and spiritual needs.




McEwan, M., & Wills, E. M. (2021). Theoretical Basis for Nursing (6th ed.). Wolters Kluwer Health. to an external site.


Student 2: Anderiana Alchehayed


Grand theories are based on the unitary process that reflect on the latest science and its complexity with nursing care. The healthcare system has evolved and has become more complexed. Economical factors have highly influenced the change. Such changes call for effective nursing practices and better understanding of the patients’ perspective to reach the desire goal. I believe in providing holistic care. Thus, I chose the following two theories to better understand the holistic care with unitary process through the theoretical concepts.

Theory 1: Martha Rogers: Human beings


Concepts: Human, environment, nursing. Rogers utilizes the principles of hemodynamics for her framework to explain nursing as a science and as an art. It encourages nurses to promote health and the well-being of individuals for whatever and wherever they are. (McEwen & Willis, 2021).


Assumption: Rogers’ assumption considers a human as a whole and they are unique in their experiences. Humans and their surrounding environment are integral to one another where they continuously influencing and evolving around each other.


Implications: Rogers’ theory associates unitary experiences of human beings with their surrounding environment and provides philosophical framework that can guide the nursing practices and related education.


Application: Roger’s theory teaches nurses on how they should view their patients. The theory also suggests that human being and their surrounding environment are integral to each other and nurses should view their patients as whole. Nurses should consider physical, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing instead of only focusing on medical treatment. For example, in the NICU setting, encouraging “skin to skin” or “kangaroo care” is a well-known practice that promotes physical, psychological, and spiritual health of the infant and their parents. This can exemplify the application of Rogers theory.


Theory 2:


Rosemarie Parse: Humanbecoming Paradigm


Concepts: Human, health, environment, nursing. Parse’s theory of humanbecoming paradigm stresses the individual’s perspective for being healthy and the nurses’ true presence to assist individuals in reaching their wellbeing (McEwen &Wills, 2021). She also focuses is on the human freedom and dignity.


Assumption: Parse has various assumptions about humans, becoming, and humanbecoming. There are three major assumptions out of the nine about humanbecoming such as meaning, rhythmicity, and transcendence.


Meaning: Humans create their reality based on their experiences, values, and surrounding environment.


Rhythmicity: Humans and the surrounding environment co-creates in a rhythmical pattern mutually. Such pattern is based on human daily experience and tell us about the meaning and values of their life.


Transcendence: Humans and their surrounding environment continuously are evolving as they experience and explore new things and interact with others. Such changes reflect what they are becoming.


Implications: Parse’s theory provides a transformative approach to nursing at various levels. It enhances the professional nursing process. Instead of focusing on fixing the problem, it helps nurses to understand from patients’ perspective. The theory also provides methodologies and framework to guide other theories and enhance existing knowledge. However, Parse considers research as a “closed circle” which is rarely quantifiable. Unfortunately, the theory is not accessible to new nurses and is not applicable to acute or emergency care settings (“Human Becoming Theory,” n.d.).


Application: Parse theory has been utilized worldwide. Many authors have utilized to explain many concepts such as acceptance of death and to understand family members who are caring for the patient. It can also assist nurses to understand patients’ perspective as they change with their experience. For example, I work in the NICU/PICU and often get to see parents experience of losing their infant/child. This theory can help nurses to understand from the parents’ point of view and guide nurses that their presence during this time can help family members go through a vulnerable time. It also can guide us to establish an effective plan of care.




Human Becoming Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved from to an external site.


McEwan, M., & Wills, E. M. (2021). Theoretical Basis for Nursing (6th ed.). Wolters Kluwer Health. to an external site.



Grand nursing theories emerge from conceptual models and include the most complex levels of theory (McEwan & Wills, 2021).

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