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Neuman Nursing Theory

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The Neuman system model provides a worldview of nursing that embraces a system approach, maintains the centrality of the client to plans of face and establishes nursing as a unique practice that addresses the client system in relationship with environment. To Neuman, people are considered as dynamic composites of psychological, developmental and social-cultural variables that function as an open system. As an open system, people interact with, adjusts to, and are adjusted by the environment, which is seen as a stressor. Stressors disrupt the system. This model includes interpersonal, intrapersonal and extra-personal stressors. According to Neuman, nursing is concerned with the whole person. She uses the term “client” when discussing the patient (Perry, Heath & Potter, 1995). This paper discusses the components of Neuman's nursing theory and how they are implemented in nursing practice.

Components of Neuman's Nursing Theory and their Implementation

The main components are evaluation, education, practice and research. Neuman’s evaluation process in the nursing process involves the evaluation of outcomes. For instance, nurses evaluate the effectiveness of their intervention based on the degree to which the clients met their specific goals. With this evaluation, the nurses are able to determine the client’s status in the health-illness continuum so that changes can be made as required in the planning and implementation of care (Fawcett, 1993).  Under education, Neuman’s model compels nurses to use logic, deduction, and induction in development of their care plans. Most importantly, the model reveals to nurses that the perceptions of the client are an integral part of the nursing process and should be included in the data collection as well as in the steps of client outcome development. The valuable guidelines for education include: the curriculum focuses on the client system’s reaction to stressors, the curriculum content encompasses all of the concepts in the model, education can occur in technical and educational programs and nurses must think critically (Butts & Rich, 2011).

Under practice, Neuman model provides nurses with a different frame of reference for addressing health conditions within distinctive settings. The model supports the use of various clinical tools that are practical and that guide whole assessment and prevention for individuals, communities, families and organizations; these tools assist to guide the practitioner’s clinical practice. The guidelines the practice component include the purpose to assist clients to retain, attain and maintain optimal system stability, practice problems include potential reactions to stressors, practice takes place in all healthcare settings and the participants are individuals, families and communities who are faced with stressors. Concerning the research component, Neuman systems model has been the basis for a wide range of studies, from the descriptions of the Neuman phenomena to experiments testing the effects of prevention intervention on multiple system outcomes. The guidelines for research component include the purpose of the model is to predict the impacts of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention interventions on retention, attainment, and maintenance of client stability, and to determine the cost-benefit trade-off and utility of prevention interventions, the phenomena of interest include physiological, socio-cultural, development and spiritual variables and the problems to be studied deal with the impact of stressors on the client’s stability (Butts & Rich, 2011)

Generally, these components provide nurses with important guidelines for assessment of the whole person, utilization of the nursing process and implementation of preventive intervention. Also, they provide an appropriate nursing framework and comprehensive approach to contemporary and future goal phenomena and concerns that face the nursing sector in the 21st century (Basavanthappa, 2007).


It is evident that Neuman’s model is focused on the wellness of the client in terms of environmental stressors and the client’s reactions to these stressors. The concept of prevention as intervention facilitates the use of the nursing process in persons as individuals or groups with the aim of achieving client system stability as well as maintaining various protective barriers.

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