NRS-430V Nursing Conceptual Model vs Nursing Theory Example

NRS-430V Nursing Conceptual Model vs Nursing Theory ExampleAssignment Brief: NRS-430V Nursing Conceptual Model vs Nursing Theory

Assignment Instructions Overview:

In this assignment, you will explore the differences between nursing conceptual models and nursing theories. The objective is to enhance your understanding of these fundamental concepts in nursing and their application in practice.

1)            Discuss the difference between a nursing conceptual model and a nursing theory.

2)            Select a nursing theory and provide a concise summary of it.

3)            Provide an example in nursing practice where the nursing theory you selected would be effective in managing patient care.

Understanding Assignment Objectives:

Discuss the Difference:

  • Provide a detailed discussion on the differences between a nursing conceptual model and a nursing theory.
  • Highlight how these differences practically affect nursing.

Select a Nursing Theory:

  • Choose a specific nursing theory for examination.
  • Summarize the chosen nursing theory concisely, highlighting its key principles.

Apply the Theory in Practice:

  • Illustrate an example in nursing practice where the selected nursing theory would be effective in managing patient care.
  • Offer practical scenarios to explain how the theory can be applied in real-world healthcare settings.

The Student’s Role:

As a student, your role involves exploring the core distinctions between nursing conceptual models and nursing theories. Engage in in-depth research to select a nursing theory for analysis. Summarize the chosen theory clearly, focusing on its practical implications in patient care scenarios.

Extend your understanding by providing a practical example in nursing practice where the selected theory proves beneficial. Consider patient care scenarios and how the theory addresses specific healthcare challenges.

NRS-430V Nursing Conceptual Model vs Nursing Theory Example

In nursing, the effectiveness of practice is directly linked to the theoretical foundation guiding nurses’ actions. However, the methods used in research frameworks vary in terms of available data and desired outcomes. One key distinction lies between nursing conceptual models and nursing theories, which are widely recognized in the field. Therefore, it is essential to clearly define these concepts to grasp their differences.

A conceptual framework in nursing is closely tied to the process of identifying patterns in concepts to justify the application of a particular theory. Researchers describe a conceptual model as a qualitative tool that creates a plan for the interaction between selected variables and concepts, leading to expected outcomes (Mastal, 2018). On the other hand, a nursing theory involves justifying an abstract phenomenon related to nursing concepts. In simpler terms, a nursing theory can be seen as a more organized representation of a phenomenon, while the connection between concepts in a conceptual model tends to be mainly qualitative.

An illustrative example of a nursing theory is Dorothea Orem’s self-care deficit theory. According to Orem, patients need nursing assistance because they cannot fully take care of themselves (Gligor & Domnariu, 2020). This means that a nurse’s main responsibility is to assess a patient’s basic factors, such as age, gender, socio-cultural background, and health condition, to determine the appropriate intervention. For instance, in palliative care, patients may struggle to meet basic human needs like nutrition, requiring support with pain management, medical monitoring, and medication administration. Therefore, the self-care deficit theory provides a justification for nurses’ actions in terms of patient care, aiming to create a satisfying environment.

In conclusion, understanding the distinction between nursing conceptual models and nursing theories is crucial for enhancing nursing practice. Conceptual models provide a qualitative framework for understanding interactions, while theories offer a more systematic explanation of phenomena. Dorothea Orem’s self-care deficit theory is a practical example of how nursing theories guide nurses in providing comprehensive care to patients.


Gligor, L., & Domnariu, C. D. (2020). Patient care approach using nursing theories-comparative analysis of Orem’s self-care deficit theory and Henderson’s model. Acta Medica Transilvanica, 25(2), 11-14. Web.


Mastal, M. (2018). Evolution of a conceptual model: Ambulatory care nursing. Nursing Economics, 36(6), 296-303.

NRS-430V Nursing Conceptual Model vs Nursing Theory Example Two


Nursing theories and nursing conceptual models serve different purposes within the field, and it is important to differentiate between the two. Nursing theories aim to explain connections between ideas, providing a framework for nurses to address healthcare challenges in their daily activities (Evangelista et al., 2020). On the other hand, nursing conceptual models present a mental image of how a theory works, attempting to illustrate the functioning and structure of the theory (Evangelista et al., 2020). This paper delves into the disparities between nursing theories and conceptual models, using Jean Watson’s theory of human caring as an illustrative example.

Nursing Theory

A nursing theory serves as a comprehensive explanation of the relationships between different ideas. These theories are integral to the growth of the nursing profession as they guide nurses in navigating healthcare challenges (Evangelista et al., 2020).

Nursing Conceptual Model

Contrastingly, a nursing conceptual model is a mental representation of how a theory operates, attempting to provide a vivid picture of the relationships under discussion (Evangelista et al., 2020).

Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring

Jean Watson’s theory emphasizes the importance of caring in the nursing profession. Watson notes that while caring exists universally, it often fails to pass from one generation to the next in communities (Evangelista et al., 2020). Consequently, the nursing profession takes on the responsibility of transmitting caring from one generation to the next as a way of adapting to its environment.

Elements of Watson’s Theory

Watson’s theory outlines ten essential elements of genuine care, including humanistic values, hope, empathy, a supportive trust connection, and emotional expression. These elements contribute to creating a caring environment (Evangelista et al., 2020). Additionally, problem-solving, teaching and learning, establishing a conducive atmosphere, facilitating the satisfaction of human needs, and allowing existential-phenomenological forces are other crucial components.

Application in Nursing Practice

Consider a 76-year-old man in a nursing home, set to undergo leg surgery, with his family scattered across the country. The nurse caring for him, guided by Watson’s theory, should focus on developing humanistic, altruistic value systems, instilling hope, and providing empathetic mental and physical support.


In conclusion, understanding the difference between nursing theories and conceptual models is essential for effective application in nursing practice. While theories provide a comprehensive explanation of relationships between ideas, conceptual models offer a visual representation of how these theories operate. The application of nursing theories, such as Jean Watson’s theory, contributes to creating a caring environment in healthcare settings.


Evangelista, C. B., Lopes, M. E. L., da Nóbrega, M. M. L., de Vasconcelos, M. F., & Viana, A. C.G. (2020). An analysis of Jean Watson’s theory according to Chinn and Kramer’s model. Revista de Enfermagem Referência, 5(4).

NRS-430V Nursing Conceptual Model vs Nursing Theory Example Three


In nursing, there are frameworks and theories that guide both practice and research. Understanding the differences between nursing conceptual models and nursing theories is important for healthcare professionals. This paper explores the difference between nursing conceptual models and nursing theories, highlighting their unique characteristics and applications.

Nursing Conceptual Model

A nursing conceptual model is a general and abstract framework used to guide both practice and research. Often presented visually, these models depict the connections between various components and concepts, offering a clear representation of how these elements relate to different phenomena (Carla et al., 2020). The visual aspect of conceptual models helps in understanding the relationships and connections between different elements.

Nursing Theory

In contrast, a nursing theory is more specific in its application. It is designed to describe, predict, explain, and understand a particular aspect of interest within the field of nursing. Unlike conceptual models, nursing theories go into the details of a specific phenomenon, providing a more detailed and systematic representation (Carla et al., 2020). The key difference lies in the level of specificity and the intended application within the nursing profession.

Patricia Benner’s Nursing Theory

As an illustrative example, Patricia Benner’s nursing theory, “From Novice to Expert,” focuses on the progression of nurses’ skills and knowledge. Benner’s theory represents a more specific approach, describing the stages of skill acquisition and expertise development in nursing practice (Benner, 1982).

Application in Nursing Practice

Understanding the difference between nursing conceptual models and nursing theories is essential for applying these frameworks in nursing practice. For instance, when designing a care plan for a patient, a nurse may use a conceptual model to visualize the connections between different aspects of patient care. On the other hand, a nursing theory, such as Watson’s Theory of Human Caring, may guide the nurse in understanding and addressing the emotional and psychological needs of the patient (Carla et al., 2020).


In conclusion, while nursing conceptual models provide a broad and abstract framework for understanding connections between concepts, nursing theories offer a more specific and detailed explanation of particular phenomena within the field. Both play crucial roles in guiding nursing practice and research, emphasizing the importance of understanding their differences for effective application in healthcare settings.


Benner, P. (1982). From Novice to Expert. American Journal of Nursing, 82(3), 402-407.

Carla, B. E., Maria Emília, L. L., Maria Miriam Lima da Nóbrega, Ferreira de Vasconcelos, M., & Ana Claúdia, G. V. (2020). An analysis of Jean Watson’s theory according to Chinn and Kramer’s model. Revista De Enfermagem Referência, 5(4).

NRS-430V Nursing Conceptual Model vs Nursing Theory Example Four

A conceptual model serves as a structured framework in research, organizing ideas, design, and concepts. It provides direction and orderliness, particularly in the nursing field. On the other hand, a theory forms the basis for action, describing a phenomenon and offering strategies for implementation in patient care.

For instance, Virginia Henderson’s need theory underscores the nurse’s role in aiding a patient’s recovery by addressing specific needs. It emphasizes individualized care to ensure the well-being of patients with diverse needs.

According to Butts and Rich (2018), managing post-traumatic stress disorder can address various patient needs, including physiological, spiritual, and social needs. Counseling can assist with physiological needs, while engaging in recreational activities can address social needs. This theory proves effective in helping patients recover from traumatic experiences, positively impacting their outlook on life. Counseling sessions aid patients in accepting their lack of control over what happened and finding hope for a better future.

Attending to a patient’s physiological needs is crucial for overall recovery. The nurse must also consider other healthcare-related needs, creating a supportive environment, and helping the patient overcome unhealthy behaviors resulting from stress. Addressing spiritual needs is equally important to foster the patient’s faith and hope, regardless of their present circumstances.


Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2018). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice. Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Grand Canyon University. (2018). Dynamics in nursing: Art and science of professional practice. Grand Canyon University.

Nilsen, P. (2015). Making sense of implementation theories, models, and frameworks. Implementation science: IS, 10, 53. doi:10.1186/s13012-015-0242-0.

NRS-430V Nursing Conceptual Model vs Nursing Theory Example Five

A nursing conceptual model provides a broader framework, illustrating the overarching perspective of nursing, while a nursing theory entails specific and factual concepts derived from the model to guide nursing practice (Carla,, 2020). Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory serves as an example of a nursing theory, emphasizing patient involvement in their own care. This theory can be particularly effective in post-surgical patient education and recovery.

In the medical field, specifically nursing, a conceptual model and a theory serve distinct yet interconnected roles. A nursing conceptual model presents an abstract framework that depicts the broader scope of nursing practice, showcasing the interaction between a nurse and a patient, the essence of nursing, and the scientific inquiry process. Conversely, a nursing theory constitutes a concrete set of propositions and concepts derived from the conceptual model, offering specific guidance for nurses in describing, explaining, predicting, and controlling outcomes in nursing care.

Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory stands as an exemplar of a nursing theory. This theory posits that patients can enhance their recovery by actively participating in self-care up to their ability. In situations where a patient is recuperating from surgery, this theory becomes valuable, especially in educating the patient on self-care practices such as changing dressings. Empowering patients to take charge of certain aspects of their care promotes independence and contributes to improved overall care quality.


Carla, B. E., Maria Emília, L. L., Maria Miriam Lima da Nóbrega, Ferreira de Vasconcelos, M., & Ana Claúdia, G. V. (2020). An analysis of Jean Watson’s theory according to chinn and Kramer’s model. Revista De Enfermagem Referência, 5(4).

Nursing Theory. (n.d.). Dorothea Orem – Nursing theorist. Retrieved from

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