Humanistic Nursing Theory

Evidence-based practices that are directed by theory are key at many professions. Grand nursing theories are models that have been developed to arrange nursing knowledge and elucidate nursing happenings. The theories sustain the practice of nursing. Nursing theories are assumptions and concepts that are obtained from models of nursing and other fields of study to help explain or describe nursing issues. The aim of grand nursing theories is to explain, predict, and describe phenomenon of nursing. They enable development of more knowledge and provide the direction of future nursing (Yu, 2021). They are utilized to tell the foundations of nursing through plain description of nursing. The purpose of this paper is to describe humanistic nursing theory, the four metaparadigm of nursing, how the metaparadigm concepts are used in humanistic theory, and the use of the theory in advanced practice nursing. Humanistic care theory is effective in provision of high quality and safe nursing care because it promotes positive relationship among nurses and patients leading to individualized care.


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Humanistic Care Theory

Developed by Josephine Paterson and Loretta Zderad, humanistic care theory aims at making nurses value human beings. The theory considers a common interaction between nurses and patients while providing care that aims at ensuring recovery (Zamaniniya et al., 2021). It emphasized on the relationship between nurses and patients where both impact the results of the nursing care. The theory considers the relationship between the nurse and patient as an important aspect of healing just as medical interventions are. Humanistic theory specifically capitalizes on the way the relationship between the nurse and the patient grows as well as the mental and physical health of the patient. According to Zamaniniya et al. (2021), humanistic approach ensures nurses focus on offering a friendly environment of care, = encourages patient independence, human dignity, and empathy. In addition, humanistic approaches to care ensure provision of a pleasant, quiet, and friendly environment that promote patient healing. The approach also distinguishes professional abilities and personal values of nurses. Humanistic theory hence, values patients.

The goals of humanistic theory are to promote physical, emotional, and mental health of patients. The theory considers every patient as a unique person with distinctive medical needs. The theory thus, doe not promote a one-size-fits-all approach to care. Each patient’s situation or condition is considered unique and a tailor-made intervention is designed. As such, the approach concentrates on individual differences and accepts the preferences and choices of clients (Zamaniniya et al., 2021). The theory encourages patient-centered approach to nursing care. Further, humanistic theory encourages joint nurturing of human and development of personality in nurses and patients. The theory ensures the quality of life of patients is improved. Humanistic approaches react the patients’ high-level needs (Zamaniniya et al., 2021). The nurse pays a lot of attention to the patient thus, is able to effectively respond to their individual needs. The theory thus, promotes a holistic approach to care where the physical and emotional aspects of an individual patient are considered while offering nursing care.

Metaparadigm of Nursing


The person metaparadigm entails people in a society, family, and specific culture. The person factor considers patient to be unique thus, needs to be cared for as an individual (Branch et al., 2016). Since nurses take care of many patients from diverse backgrounds, they should tailor each care for each patient to meet the specific needs of each client. The nurses should consider factors that impact the emotions of each patient. As such, nurses should consider what makes their patients happy or undisturbed and enhance the care they offer through the
interventions (Branch et al., 2016). In addition, the nurses should consider each patient’s individual wishes and needs and incorporate them into their care. The person metaparadigm thus, considers individuality of the patient.


The nurse metaparadgm considers the practices, profession, and outcomes of nursing. Nurses are important at providing nursing care to ensure effective healing of patients. They offer nursing interventions and educate patients on the things they should do to make them heal. They promote self-care, thus teach patients on what they should do to ensure they heal (Branch et al., 2016). The nurses work with relatives, friends, and coworkers to ensure successful self-care. They know that each patient is unique thus, design teaching that suits the needs of the individual patients.


Health metaparadigm considers life and death. It asserts that people who take good care of themselves have longer life expectancy than those who do not take good care of themselves. It promotes self-care by encouraging people to seek healthcare even when they do not feel sick (Branch et al., 2016). The theory encourages people to be responsible for their health to ensure they live healthily today and in future. Nurses should therefore, support and educate patients to live healthily.


The environment metaparadigm considers economic, political, socio-cultural, and national factors of health. It entails internal and external factors that associate with the patient (Branch et al., 2016). An environment that promotes health and safety has the potential of improving outcomes of patients. Environment such as family and friends that help patients with self-care leads to positive patient outcome (Branch et al., 2016). Environment such as adequate ventilation and low level of noise also positively impact the healthcare and patient results. Positive environment thus, promotes an effective patient outcome.

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Metaparadigm Concepts within Humanistic Theory


The person concept considers patients as unique. As such, nurses should provide individualized care to every patient, which humanistic theory encourages. The theory focuses on how the nurse and patient interact so as to know more about each other to enable offering of care that meets the personal needs of the patients (Taghinezhad et al., 2022). The theory and concept requires nurses to consider the unpredictable and unique needs of patients and work towards satisfying them irrespective of their beliefs. The concept and theory hence, both encourages the practice of satisfaction of human needs through human care.


The nurse concept encourages meaningful relationships between nurses and patients to promote nurse safety, which the theory uses to create a strong bond. The theory uses the nurse concept to enable understanding of patients by nurses and build trust, enabling effective and individualized healthcare (Taghinezhad et al., 2022). The relationship makes nurses obtain a lot of information from patients, which promote improved healing.


The humanistic theory uses the health concept to promote healthy living by encouraging taking good care of one’s health. The theory encourages prevention of illness through nurse education (Taghinezhad et al., 2022). Nurses, having created good relationship with clients, are able to educate them on healthy lifestyles to prevent diseases. The theory asserts the need for nurses to evaluate mental position of patients to assist with treatment and prevention of diseases.


The theory uses environment concept to promote a friendly environment that promote healing. The theory encourages implementation of environment that accepts individual differences and recognizes the preferences and choices of clients (Taghinezhad et al., 2022). The theory as well utilizes the family, friends, and relatives to encourage offering of self-case since they know more about the patient. They are therefore, able to offer individualized care based on their positive relationship with the patients.

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Application of Humanistic Theory to Advanced Nursing

The theory promotes positive relationship between nurses and patients and offering of individualized care that values human in nursing practice, education, and research. The humanistic theory is valuable to the education, practice, and research of the advanced nursing as it considers the uniqueness of every patient and the need to offer personalized care. Woo et al. (2017) explain that the role of advanced nursing is to be the initial contact of patients with nurses and provide continuity of care that meets the needs of patients. The theory’s focus on understanding patients through positive relationship and offering of individualized care thus, promotes the advanced nursing role. Further, the theory applies to the advanced nursing role of flexible response to the patients’ every changing needs. Each individual patient has their own wishes, which change. The nurse should therefore relate well with them to understand the needs and offer nursing care that suits the needs. Hence, humanistic theory is utilized in advanced nursing roles to offer care that meets the needs of each patient.


The humanistic theory promotes positive interaction between patients and nurses. The relationship creates trust and bond between nurses and patient, enabling them to gain more information about patients. The theory encourages establishment of a friendly environment of care that supports healing of patients. Further, the theory encourages nurses to focus on mental and emotional health in addition to physical health. The theorists use person concept to encourage individualized care. They use the nurse concept for nurses to understand patients and offer care then meets their needs. It also uses health concept to encourage assessment of mental position of patients and offer treatment and prevention strategies that suit the patients’ needs. The theory as well uses environment concept to promote a good environment the support healing. The value of the theory in nursing practice, education and research is that it considers uniqueness of each patient, which is a factor that promoted patient-centered care.

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