Nursing Theory Historical Timeline
Nursing theory has changed greatly over the years. That change occurred because of advancement in education and technology, which advanced nursing theories. These theories are what shapes the clinical practice and critical thinking process of nurses today. All of the theories available today started with one woman – Florence Nightingale.
1859 – Florence Nightingale established the first nursing theory which provides the basis of nursing today. Nightingale identified nursing as an art and a science. According to Selanders (2010), “Nightingale provides the profession with the expectation that nursing will be practiced by educated individuals using ...view middle of the document...
In 1965, the ANA published a paper on the importance of nursing education, which changed nursing forever. In 1967, Dickoff, James, and Wiedenbach defined nursing theory and set goals for theory development in nursing. During this time, the federal government made funds available for doctoral studies in nursing. These students provided the next group of nursing theorists.
1970’s – This decade provided a great deal of nursing theories. This was due, in part, to the National League of Nursing requiring schools to focus part of the curriculum on theoretical thinking and application in nursing. In 1971 Orem developed the Theory of Self Care which prompted nurses to help patients meet their self-care requirements and improve their capabilities. The first edition of Advances in Nursing Science was published in 1978. This allowed a forum for discussion and debate of nursing theories. Another theory, developed in 1979 was Watson’s Theory of Caring. This theory demonstrated the importance of nursing’s role in upholding patients’ dignity and provided a framework for future nursing which involved empathy and understanding towards patients.
1980’s – From the mid 1970’s through the 1980’s, the focus of nursing theory shifted from nursing education to nursing research (Im & Chang, 2012). Many older theories were revised based on new information. This time period was even called the theory era. Theories like Rogers’s Science of Unitary Human Beings: A Paradigm for Nursing in 1983 and Parse’s Man-Living-Health: A Theory of Nursing in 1989 demonstrate how deeply nursing theorists wanted to find substantive or central concepts of nursing (Im & Chang, 2012).
1990’s and 2000’s – These decades...