N108: Transition to the Registered Professional Nurse Role Study Guide • Descriptive theory: This theory describes a phenomenon, an event, a situation, or a relationship. • Prescriptive theory: This theory addresses nursing interventions and consequences of interventions (designed to control, promote, and change clinical nursing practice). • Developmental theory: This theory outlines the process of growth and development of humans as orderly and predictable from beginning (conception) to end of life. • Systems (general) theory: This theory breaks the whole into parts and then learns how parts work (emphasizes relationship between the two). 3.2 Nurse Theorists and their Influence on the Nursing Profession Nursing is generally considered a practice discipline. It requires a theoretical framework for practice. Nursing theory has evolved to direct curriculum planning for nursing programs and colleges. The following is a list of the major theorists and their models of nursing theory. Hildegard Peplau Peplau’s theory is known as the Interpersonal Relations Model . She theorized that the purpose of nursing is to foster personality development in the direction of maturity. Her theory outlines four stages of the therapeutic relationship: • Orientation: The client seeks out assistance and the nurse assists the client in understanding the problem and the amount of assistance required. • Working: The client is dependent, interdependent, or independent in relation to the nurse. The nurse’s role in this stage is to ease the client’s understanding of the interpersonal nature of the therapeutic relationship. • Exploitation of the relationship: The client uses the nurse as much as needed to meet the goals of the relationship. As therapy continues, power shifts from the nurse to the patient. • Resolution: The previous goals are met and replaced by new and more mature client goals. Virginia Henderson Henderson defined nursing as “to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to a peaceful death), that he would perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge, and to do this in a way as to help him gain independence as rapidly as possible.” Henderson believed in prioritizing the patient’s needs, selecting a strategy to assist the patient, and evaluating the patient’s function. She listed 14 fundamental needs that include Nightingale’s concepts and added others such as elimination, mobility, lifelong learning, and communication.