A List of Non-Nursing Theories in Nursing Education

For nursing students aiming to become proficient healthcare professionals, there is a hidden treasure within their curriculum – non-nursing theories. While nursing theory is the backbone of nursing education, exploring theories from unrelated disciplines can provide a broader perspective and foster advanced critical thinking abilities. This comprehensive article will delve into the non-nursing theories in nursing education, their applicability in nursing practice, and the valuable benefits they offer to nursing students.

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Understanding Non-Nursing Theories

Before delving into specifics, it is imperative to grasp the concept of non-nursing theories. These theories originate in fields beyond nursing, encompassing psychology, sociology, anthropology, and management. Non-nursing theories offer invaluable insights into various facets of patient care, healthcare delivery, and the healthcare system as a whole.(non-nursing theories in nursing education)

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The Relevance of Non-Nursing Theories in Nursing

  • Psychological Theories in Nursing

    • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Abraham Maslow’s theory, delineating the hierarchy of human needs, holds profound relevance to nursing. Comprehending that physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs must be met can assist nurses in prioritizing patient care effectively.
    • Erikson’s Psychosocial Development: Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development stages can guide nurses in comprehending and addressing the emotional and social needs of patients at diverse life stages.(non-nursing theories in nursing education)
  • Sociological Theories in Nursing

    • Symbolic Interactionism: This sociological theory emphasizes the significance of symbols and language in human interaction. Nurses can employ this theory to enhance patient communication, ensuring they feel heard and understood.
    • Conflict Theory: By utilizing insights from conflict theory, nurses can identify and address power dynamics within healthcare settings, advocating for equitable care delivery.(non-nursing theories in nursing education)
  • Anthropological Theories in Nursing

    • Cultural Relativism: Nursing students can gain from anthropological theories like cultural relativism to offer culturally competent care. Recognizing that different cultures possess distinct healthcare beliefs and practices can promote improved patient outcomes.(non-nursing theories in nursing education)
  • Management Theories in Nursing

    • Leadership Styles: Exploring various leadership theories, such as transformational and servant leadership, can prepare nursing students for leadership roles within healthcare organizations.
    • Quality Improvement Models: Applying management theories in nursing can lead to enhanced healthcare processes and outcomes, guaranteeing patient safety and satisfaction.(non-nursing theories in nursing education)

Benefits of Incorporating Non-Nursing Theories in Nursing Education

  • Elevated Critical Thinking
    Integrating non-nursing theories into nursing education challenges students to think critically and adapt theories from diverse disciplines to the nursing context. This skill is invaluable when confronted with intricate patient scenarios.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration
    Nursing frequently necessitates collaboration with professionals from diverse fields. Understanding non-nursing theories promotes effective communication and teamwork, ultimately benefiting patient care.(non-nursing theories in nursing education)
  • Holistic Patient Care
    Non-nursing theories underscore the holistic approach to patient care, considering physical health and emotional, social, and cultural aspects. This aligns perfectly with the core principles of nursing.
  • Adaptability
    The healthcare sector is in a state of constant evolution. Familiarity with non-nursing theories equips nursing students with the adaptability required to navigate changes and integrate novel ideas into their practice.(non-nursing theories in nursing education)

Challenges Encountered in the Integration of Non-Nursing Theories

While the advantages of integrating non-nursing theories into nursing education are evident, several challenges merit consideration:

  • Time Constraints: Nursing curricula are often densely packed with fundamental nursing content, leaving minimal room for additional theories from unrelated disciplines.
  • Resistance to Change: Traditional approaches to nursing education may resist the inclusion of non-nursing theories due to faculty unfamiliarity or student resistance to novel concepts.
  • Resource Limitations: Access to resources and experts in non-nursing fields can be limited, posing challenges in effectively integrating these theories.(non-nursing theories in nursing education)

Overcoming Challenges and Implementing Non-Nursing Theories

To surmount these challenges, nursing schools can contemplate the following strategies:

  • Curricular Integration: Nursing programs can seamlessly integrate non-nursing theories into existing courses or establish specialized courses dedicated to exploring these theories.(non-nursing theories in nursing education)
  • Faculty Development: Providing opportunities for nursing faculty to acquaint themselves with non-nursing theories can lead to more enthusiastic and effective teaching.(non-nursing theories in nursing education)
  • Collaboration with Other Departments: Nursing schools can foster collaborations with other university departments to access expertise in non-nursing theories.

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Integrating non-nursing theories into nursing education can open fresh horizons of understanding, enriching nursing students’ educational journey and practice. The advantages encompass heightened critical thinking, interdisciplinary collaboration, holistic patient care, and adaptability in an ever-evolving healthcare landscape.(non-nursing theories in nursing education)

While challenges exist, these can be surmounted through curricular integration, faculty development initiatives, and interdisciplinary collaborations, paving the way for a comprehensive and well-rounded nursing education.

If you are a nursing student struggling to compose academic papers or essays on topics like non-nursing theories in nursing education, do not hesitate to engage our writing services. Our team of seasoned writers can aid you in crafting well-researched and professionally written papers that align with your academic requirements. Contact us today to embark on your journey toward academic success and excellence in your nursing education.(non-nursing theories in nursing education)


  1. Which is an example of a borrowed theory?

An example of a borrowed theory is “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,” which originated in psychology but is widely applied in nursing practice.

  1. Is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs a borrowed theory?

Yes, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is indeed a borrowed theory, as it was originally developed in the field of psychology but has been extensively adopted in nursing to understand and prioritize patient care.

  1. Which non-nursing theory do nurses use to plan care for their patients at different stages in life?

Nurses often use Erik Erikson’s “Psychosocial Development” theory, which is a non-nursing theory, to plan care for their patients at different life stages, as it helps them address patients’ emotional and social needs effectively.

  1. What are the three major theories of nursing?

The three major theories of nursing are:

  1. Florence Nightingale’s Environmental Theory: Emphasizes the impact of the environment on patient health and the role of nurses in creating a conducive healing environment.
  2. Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory: Focuses on the patient’s ability to perform self-care activities and the nurse’s role in assisting when self-care deficits exist.
  3. Virginia Henderson’s Need Theory: Centers on the idea that nursing’s primary goal is to help individuals achieve independence in meeting their basic physiological and psychosocial needs.


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