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In the beginning of this course during one of the first assignments I read the

journal article �The Living Tree of Nursing Theories�. Within this article there is
an actual diagram of �The Living Tree of Nursing Theories� and this remains a
guiding principle in my day-to-day nursing practice. Florence Nightingale is
represented as the strong and solid trunk of this tree, where she is credited with
being the first nursing theorist; she believed as I do, nurses should be well-
educated and practice independently . Because of her influence in nursing, other
theories were developed and this serve as the branches of the living tree. Without
branches, trees would just be sticks, useful, but not nearly as useful as the whole
living organism that is a tree. The 1st branch is the Interactive Model by Peplau
and Henderson. Their theory emphasizes the importance of interpersonal relationship
between the nurse and the patient. Without their theory, we cannot establish a good
rapport to the patient and we cannot give the care based on their needs. The 2nd
branch is the Systems Model by Neuman, Johnson and Roy. The systems model views the
person as a multidimensional being. They see the role of the nurse as helping the
patient react or adapt in a healthy way to its continually changing environment.
They also believed that there are internal and external stressors that influence a
person. As a nurse, we need to evaluate these stressors so that we can respond
appropriately in assisting the person to a continuum of health. The 3rd branch is
the Developmental Model by Watsons, Leininger and Rogers. This model makes an
assumption that there is a process of growth and maturation that is directional and
has some orderly purpose. Changes are intrinsic, predictable at each point of
growth and have some causal factors. The cause can be a natural method that is
needed in the development of growth or an environmental factor. The theories of
Watson and Leininger rely on the development of caring in the human experience.
Caring is the most important aspect of nursing. As Leininger said " There can be no
curing without caring but caring can exist without curing". You need to know what
are their culture care practices to provide appropriate and meaningful care to
people. Roger's theory defines caring in a scientific manner to promote her belief
in health care.
The roots of this tree are the four metaparadigms (person, environment, health, &
nurse). They represent a worldview of commom concepts in nursing. Florence
Nightingale and her concept of caring for the whole person � body, mind, and spirit
with caring as the essential component of nursing aligns well with my spiritual
beliefs and daily nursing practice of caring for my patients.

In conclusion, nursing theory is important for the continued growth and development
of nursing practice. Nursing theories enhance understanding of the principles,
values and meanings of nursing profession. They serve to guide assessment,
intervention, and evaluation of nursing care. Nursing theory assists nurses to
describe, explain, and predict everyday experiences. The benefits of having a
defined body of theory in nursing include better patient care, enhanced
professional status for nurses, improved communication between nurses, and guidance
for research and education.