Nursing Theory

Nursing Theory: Theory Description
Himani Patel
The University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing
In partial fulfillment of the requirements of
NURS 5327 Nursing Theory
Kathy Speer PhD RN PPCNP
January 27, 2018

Introduction of the Theorist
The Healthcare field is full of goals and values based on theories that stem from a deeper connection to the community and hospital in which they are found. Dorthea E. Orem is one of the leading theorists who dedicated her life in creating and developing a theoretical structure to improve nursing practice. She believes that theories help structure disciples and without that one has nowhere to arise or advance (Fawcett, 2001). Orem saw nursing knowledge as a theory, that consisted of conceptual structures and elements that are shown in her self-care deficit nursing theory (Smith & Parker, 2015, p.105). She has accomplished many awards and honors in her nursing career. Some of the awards are Sigma Theta Tau, the American Academy of Nursing, the National League for Nursing, and the Catholic University of America. Orem started her nursing career working at hospitals and later advanced her career into levels of teaching, administration, and research. Between 1959 and 2001, Omen created Self-Care Deficiency (Nursing Theory, 2013).
Purpose of Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Deficiency theory
The purpose of Orem’s Self-Care Deficiency theory is to provide help to patients to be more independent while providing an adequate level of self-care when unable to. Often, nursing care and interventions depend on patient’s ability to meet self-care. In 1968, Dickoff and James stated that theories are intellectual inventions that are designed to describe, explain, predict, or prescribe phenomena which are often built upon one another (McEwen ; Willis, 2014, p. 38). She uses randomized controlled trials to improve the quality of care. Nurses provide aid to patients in need while providing total nursing care, part nursing care, supportive-educative nursing care, and exclusive self-care. Therefore, the need for nursing care rises when a patient is experiencing a deficit or limitation to provide a self-care (Taylor ; Renpenning, 2006, p.16-18).

Scope or Level of theory
Theories can be differentiated using the scope of a theory, including the level of specificity and concreteness based on its concepts and propositions. Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Deficit nursing theory uses the grand theory that consists of a conceptual framework that focuses on the belief that to remain alive and functional one must engage in continuous communication (McEwen & Willis, 2014, p.142-145). Also, focuses on improving nursing care by promoting self-care and confidence.
Origin of theory
Self-Care Deficit Nursing theory was developed over four decades between 1959 and 2001(Nursing Theory, 2013).The value and development of theory was influenced by Orem’s practice, experience, education and collegiate collaboration throughout her nursing career.
Major concepts of Self-care Deficit Nursing theories are self-care, self-care agency, therapeutic self-care demand, self-care deficit, nursing agency, and nursing system (Smith ; Parker, 2015, p. 109). Each concept is depended on one another to define the self-care deficit theory. The main purpose of this theory is that all the patients need to care for themselves. The philosophy of this theory is mainly used in rehab, primary care setting or other environments where nurses are constantly encouraging the patients to be independent (Bernier, 2002). It is very important for nurses to understand the relationship between each concept to assess, intervene and provide the nursing care needed to an individual patient. Patients often tend to recover faster with the use of holistic technique while doing self-care when possible. Therefore, in Self-care deficiency nursing theory it is important to build the relationship between nurse and patients for a better outcome.

Theoretical Propositions
Many factors play an important role when a theory is proposed. There are many factors that play a crucial role when influencing self-care abilities and they are age, health state, and sociocultural orientation (Smith ; Parker, 2015, p. 114). Based on each individual’s needs Nurses select consistent effective process, action, and/or technologies in meeting the needs of the patient for self-care. Using Orem’s theory, Rehab facilities help the patients live as autonomous life as possible.

Taylor ; Renpenning, states that people often depend on one another for their own care during sickness. Orem’s theory claims that knowledge of health-related problems often helps promote Self-reliant. Everyone is responsible for providing self-reliance to their practice. Often providing consistent care while identifying areas for improvement helps form a relationship between nurse and patient (Fawcett, 2001). Theory helps us give guidelines based on what we are expected and goal of an outcome when we are providing care.

Context for use Described
In summary, the context of use is described in Orem’s Self-care deficit theory by stating that autonomy helps patients be more independent while also providing nursing care to perform self-care when unable to. Nursing Responsibilities also consists of providing education while encouraging the patient to express feelings for a positive outcome (Smith ; Parker, 2015, p. 115).

Dorothea Orem- Nursing Theorist. (2013). Nursing Theory. Retrieved from

Bernier, F. (2002). Applying Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory of Nursing To Continence Care: Part 2. Urologic Nursing, 22(6), 384.

Fawcett, J. (2001). The Nurse Theorists: 21st-Century Updates—Dorothea E. Orem. Nursing Science Quarterly, 14(1), 34-38. 10.1177/08943180122108021.

Smith, M., & Parker, M. (2015). Nursing theories and nursing practice. Retrieved from

Taylor, S., & Renpenning, K. (2011). Self-care science, nursing theory and evidence-based practice (1st ed.), 16-18. New York: Springer Pub. Co.

McEwen, M., & Wills, E. M. (2014). In Theoretical Basis for Nursing (4th ed). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.