Historical Development of Nursing Timeline


Florence Nightingale


Florence Nightingale is considered the founder of the science of nursing. Nightingale's core concept was the effects the environment had on the health of a patient. Much of her work took place during the Crimean War, where she was instrumental in reducing the spread of infection.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs


Maslow's theory of needs devises a system that humans ensure their survival. This theory focuses on the most basic level, the need to survive is met first. Once these needs are met, humans will move on to another layer of need fulfillment. For instance, a person would take steps to ensure they have food and protection from the environment before they would look to find friendship.
Nursing application of Maslow's theory has helped to determine the prioritization of patient care.

Hildegard Peplau, Theory of Interpersonal Relations


Peplau's theory of interpersonal relations core concepts included the relationship between the nurse and the patient and their work together towards a common goal. Peplau started the first post baccalaureate program in nursing, elevating nursing to a profession.

Dorothy Johnson, Behavioral systems model


The core concept of Dorothy E. Johnson's behavioral systems model was the efficient and effective behavioral functioning in the patient to prevent illness.

Roy's Adaptation Model


In Roy’s Adaptation model, patients have stimulus that can either be internal or external. There are also two types of coping mechanism, such as the regulator subsystem and the cognator subsystem. “The coping mechanisms of the regulator subsystem occur through neural, chemical, and endocrine processes. The coping mechanisms of the cognator subsystem occur through cognitive emotive processes” (Alligood, 2010, p. 311). The coping mechanisms are also affected by the stabilizer subsystem and the innovator subsystem. The stabilizer subsystem is the values, structures, and daily activities. The innovator subsystem is the cognitive and emotional strategies that allow a person to change to higher levels of potential.
There are four adaptive modes to the behavioral responses such as the physiological, self-concept, role function, and interdependence adaptive modes. The physiological adaptive mode is the person’s physical response to the environmental stimuli. The self-concept adaptive mode is the person’s psychological and spiritual characteristics. The interdependence adaptive mode is the coping mechanism that developed from love, value, and respect that formed from close relationship. The role function adaptive mode refers to the person’s role in society.

Betty Neuman's Systems model in nursing care


The core concept behind Betty Neuman’s theory is “this core is protected by lines of resistance that in turn are surrounded by the normal line of defense and finally the flexible line of defense.” (George, 2011) Nursing’s role is to help return a person back to a state of equilibrium.

Orem's Theory of Self Care


Orem Theory of Nursing Systems. The product of nursing is nursing system(s) by which nurses use the nursing process to help individuals meet their self-care requisites and build their self-care or dependent-care capabilities (Alligood, 2010)

Jean Watson's Theory of Caring


The purpose behind Watson’s Theory of Human Caring was to bring a meaning to nursing, uphold the profession, and provide a framework for nursing practice. According to Watson, the role of nursing is preserve human dignity. Watson has developed the caring nursing theory, which has influenced nursing practice around the world. “The caring model explicates caring in relation to preserving human dignity, preserving the humanity in systems and in society, increasingly awakening nurses and nursing to realize they have a critical role in sustaining human caring and humanity itself, especially in instances where it is threatened” (Foster, 2007. p. 1).



Alligood, M. R. (2010). Nursing theory: Utilization & application (4th ed.).

Maryland Heights, MO: Mosby Elsevier

Foster, Roxie (2007). Tribute to Theorists: Jean Watson Over the Years. Nursing

Science Quarterly, Vol. 20 No. 1.
George, J. B. (2011). Nursing theories: The base for professional nursing

practice (6th ed.). Boston: Person.

Maslow, A.H. A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50, 1943. pp. 370.