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Nursing Theorist

This LibGuide can be used to access information relevant to prominent Nursing Theorists.



Hildegard Peplau
Hildegard E. Peplau was the first published nursing theorist since Florence Nightingale and created the middle-range nursing theory of interpersonal relations, which helped to revolutionize the scholarly work of nurses. Wikipedia
Born: September 1, 1909, Reading
Died: March 17, 1999

Interpersonal Relations Theory

  • Defined Nursing: “An interpersonal process of therapeutic interactions between an Individual who is sick or in need of health services and a nurse especially educated to recognize, respond to the need for help.
  • Nursing is a “maturing force and an educative instrument”
  • Identified 4 phases of the Nurse - Patient relationship:
  1. Orientation - individual/family has a “felt need” and seeks professional assistance from a nurse (who is a stranger). This is the problem identification phase.
  2. Identification - where the patient begins to have feelings of belongingness and a capacity for dealing with the problem, creating an optimistic attitude from which inner strength ensues. Here happens the selection of appropriate professional assistance.
  3. Exploitation - the nurse uses communication tools to offer services to the patient, who is expected to take advantage of all services.
  4. Resolution - where patient’s needs have already been met by the collaborative efforts between the patient and the nurse. Therapeutic relationship is terminated and the links are dissolved, as patient drifts away from identifying with the nurse as the helping person.



Subject Guide

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Joanna Russell Bliss
Dallas Library Center, T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences