Concept Comparison and Analysis across Theories
Nursing theory is relatively new and as such, it continues to evolve as new knowledge is gained. There are numerous theories of nursing, each of which took years to develop and most of which continue to evolve and adapt. There are commonalities between and among the existing theories although each may focus more heavily on different aspects of responsibilities. It has to do with the philosophical foundations for each theory.
Moore, (Moore, 2008) reported a nursing met paradigm of four basic concepts: "person, health, environment, and nursing." Another author suggested the core concepts of nursing theory and practice are caring, assessment, teaching and learning, collaboration, managing care, communication and professional behaviors, (Opperman Med Law Consulting, 2008). These core concepts as identified by these authors can be found in some fashion in all nursing theories.
Orem commented that nurses could do nursing but they could not explain what nursing is (Hartweg, 1991). She was also interested in what conditions had to exist for a person to seek help from nurses (Hartweg, 1991). The first answer she determined was that people sought help when they could not care for themselves (Hartweg, 1991). Orem's work was inspired by those she considered big thinkers, like experts in philosophy, metaphysics and action theories as well as the writings of both Aquinas and Aristotle (Hartweg, 1991).
Focusing on care, assessment, and environment and managing care, one can look to Dorothea Orem's 'self-care deficit nursing theory'. Orem believed that everyone really wanted to take care of themselves and when they are unable to do so, a deficit exists (Horan, Doran and Timmins, 2004). It is at this point the individual seeks assistance and it is the nurse's responsibility to assess the individual's needs and to design a support program to meet those needs, thereby eliminating the deficit (Horan, Doran, and Timmins, 2004).
Orem identified the concepts that compromise the nursing paradigm as "human beings, environment, health, and nursing" (Bridge, Cabell and Her