Nursing conceptual models provide a way for nurses to examine what they do and offer a patient assessment framework

Theories & Conceptual Models                        

Theories, conceptual models, and practice research are the cornerstones of the nursing career. Nursing theories guide to research and improve nursing practice, which influences the healthiness and value of patients’ lives. Effective nursing practice needs to apply skills, caring, knowledge, and art to deliver care to the patients in a considerate, effective, and efficient manner. There are numerous theories and conceptual models used in advanced nursing practice. Nursing theories offer a foundational knowledge of care concepts that enable individuals in the advanced nursing practice to articulate evidence that validates their practice methods (Smith & Parker, 2015).  Nursing conceptual models provide a way for nurses to examine what they do and offer a patient assessment framework. In other words, nursing conceptual models entail related concepts and ideologies applied by nurse researchers in studies: they offer a mutual meaning to basic nursing concepts.

Theories and Conceptual Models for use in The Advanced Nursing Practice

Grand nursing theories, middle-range nursing theories, and practice-level nursing theories play a significant role in advanced nursing practice. Usually, grand nursing theories are complicated, abstract, and broad in scope. As such, they need detailed research for clarification. It is vital to mention that grand nursing theories arise from the nurse theorist’s experience and offer a general framework for nursing ideas on components such as environment, health, and people. Examples of the grand nursing models comprise Neuman’s systems model and Levine’s conservation model.

Unlike the grand nursing theories, the middle-range theories narrow down into specific nursing areas. It is also vital to mention that Middle-range theories emerge from the theories of similar disciplines, research, and nursing practice (Brandão et al. 2017). Examples of mid-range theories include Mishel’s model of uncertainty in illness, Kolcaba’s comfort model, and Roy’s adaptation approach (Guan et al., 2020). Practice-level nursing theories are also significant theories in advanced nursing practice. The theories narrow their focus to specific concepts about a defined patient populace and a specified duration.

The three previously discussed nursing theories help define what advanced practice nurses do and why they do it.  The theories are vital in advanced nursing practice because they help shape the delivery of patient care. Without the theories, the nursing practice would lack a linear focus. Again, the three previously discussed approaches are used in the advanced nursing practice to shape facilities’ healthcare delivery strategies in a manner that aligns with a range of expected outcomes. While the grand theories establish a broader framework, the middle-range and practice level approaches enable the governance of certain types of nurses or healthcare situations (Smith & Parker, 2015). It is essential to note the three nursing theories can only help provide high-quality healthcare if the advanced practice nurses are knowledgeable and skilled enough to work within their parameters efficiently.

It is vital to note that nursing models’ central concepts are health, person, environment, and nursing (de Brito et al., 2017).  In this case, a person is the receiver of the nursing action while the environment is the recipients surrounding. Health is the patient’s illness or wellness state, while nursing refers to the nurses’ actions on behalf of the patient. Nurses use nursing conceptual models to deliver comprehensive, collaborative, and holistic care. Regardless of the nurses’ specialization, nursing theories and conceptual models create guidelines for both specific and general nursing practices by helping the nurses understand their role and purpose in a healthcare setting.


Brandão, M. A. G., Martins, J. S. A., Peixoto, M. D. A. P., Lopes, R. O. P., & Primo, C. C. (2017). Theoretical and methodological reflections for the construction of middle-range nursing theories. Texto Contexto Enferm, 26(4), e1420017.

De Brito, L. S. A., de Sousa, N. D. L., Alencar, A. M. P. G., Rebouças, V. D. C. F., Pinheiro, P. P., & Júnior, J. G. (2017). Concepts, theoretical models, and nursing theories: an integrative review. International Archives of Medicine, 10.

Guan, T., Guo, P., Santacroce, S. J., Chen, D. G., & Song, L. (2020, November). Illness Uncertainty and Its Antecedents for Patients With Prostate Cancer and Their Partners. In Oncology Nursing Forum (Vol. 47, No. 6, pp. 721-731).

Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing Theories and Nursing Practice.