Nursing theory

The patient in this case has a condition that puts him at risk for illness and injury. A nursing theory is a conceptualization of some aspects of nursing communicated for the purpose of describing, explaining, predicting and or prescribing nursing care (Jacqueline, 2001). Imogene king’s theory focuses more specifically on the events and the phenomena of the discipline and is specific enough to contribute on a sound basis for achieving an effective behavioral outcome in this case study.

Applications of these theories in practice depend on the awareness, understanding and research on their interrelationships (Patricia A Potter, 2005). The American Nurses Association (ANA) is a full-service professional organization representing the nation’s entire registered nurse population. The ANA represents the interests of the nation’s 2.7 million registered nurses through its 54 constituent state and territorial associations and over 150,000 members. It is dedicated to ensuring that an adequate supply of highly skilled and well-educated nurses is available in USA. ANA is also committed to meeting the needs of nurses as well as health care consumers (

Imogene King (Jacqueline, 2001) formulated a goal attainment theory which focuses on three dynamic interacting systems namely, personal, interpersonal and social systems.  According to this theory, a personal relationship occurs between the client and the nurse, and this nurse-client relationship is the vehicle for the delivery of nursing care, which is defined as a dynamic interpersonal process (Jacqueline, 2001).  This theory emphasizes on the fact that the nurse and the client are affected by each other’s behavior and it is duty of the nurse to maintain this interpersonal process.

King’s Goal Attainment Theory involves a process where the nurse and the patient mutually communicate information, establish goals, and take action to obtain the common goals. This theory is about the interpersonal process where two people, usually strangers come together in a health care organization to obtain their health goals.

This goal attainment theory is based on personal and interpersonal systems, which includes interaction, communication, transaction, role, stress, growth and development, time and space. Goal attainment in this model is achieved through a goal-oriented nursing record, which is composed of five major elements namely, a database, a problem list, a goal list, a plan and progress notes. Active participation of the client in the process of goal setting and goal achievement are the major strengths of this model. This model framework is useful for nurses in social interactions with clients.

This theory is based on the principle that each individual (client) brings to an interaction a different set of values, ideas, attitudes, perceptions to exchange and the other person (nurse) receives this information and processes it. Thus, these two individuals mutually identify goals and the means to achieve them. In this interaction process they reach an agreement about how to attain these goals and then set about to realize them (Jacqueline, 2001).

According to King’s theory, Patient participation with the elements of communication, expression, interaction with the nurse is the most important factor, which keeps alive the interpersonal process of personal relationship. This brings the nurse and the patient to a common goal and both of them strive to achieve this common goal. This is supported by the strategies, the nurse record of the outcomes and the statistical analysis of the data.


Thus today Nursing is a profession rather than a vocation. Nursing as a profession accounts for its conscientious, knowledgeable and responsible actions.  The profession has extended education avenues, a body of knowledge leading to defined skills, an ability to provide specific service, professional autonomy to make decisions governed by a code of ethics (Patricia A Potter, 2005).

The theoretical models have served as frameworks for nursing curriculum and practice by increasing the scientific basis of nursing practice and in USA, ANA has been continuing its efforts to expand the scientific and research base for nursing practice, for the collective bargaining rights and workplace advocacy for all nurses, to gain better compensation and better working conditions for nurses, and to implement new ways in which nursing services can be delivered to respond to current and future demands for cost-effective, quality health care ( ).It Strives to shape the future of healthcare through excellence in nursing education using education, science and technology to improve health.

Jacqueline, “The Nurse Theorists-21st century updates”, Nursing science quarterly, Volume 14, 4; 311, 2001.
Patricia A Potter, Anne Griffin Perry, Fundamentals of Nursing, 6th edition, Mosby, 2005.
Ruth L.E. Murray, Marjorie Baier, ‘King’s conceptual framework applied to a transitional living program’, Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, Vol. 32, 1996.