Middle Range Nursing Theory



Middle Range Nursing Theory

Overview of a Nursing Theorist

Nursing Meta-paradigm

Importance of Middle Range Theory

How Will This Theory Improve Nursing Practice?




The nursing theories help in describing the various aspects of the nursing profession and here the middle range nursing theory is discussed which however has a limited scope but provides the best of knowledge for the particular profession. The interest increases in the middle range of nursing theory as the concepts of an individual are been cleared or justified. The practice paper covers range of topics that can be helpful for others and the topics include the succinct description of the middle range nursing theory, then an overview of the nursing theorist is provided to tell what the background is? Following are the perspectives about the health, environment, patients and the nursing. The importance of middle range nursing theories for the new students and the improvement while using this theory clearly states that the students can improve their nursing practice using this theory. And in the end the paper is finally concluded with main key points discussed in the paper (Mary Jane Smith, 2008).

There are different types of theories, such as, Grand Nursing theory (haves the widest scope and provides general concept but does not allow to do empirical testing and eventually restricts from giving explanation or prediction of situations), Middle Range Nursing Theory (has a narrow scope and connects the two other theories, provide suggestions on a lower level and provides the surety of research based work and nursing practice) and Nursing Practice Theories (has the most limited scope and can be used only for a small range of situations, provides framework, predictions and impact of nursing practice).

Middle Range Nursing Theory

Middle range nursing theory offers the concrete basis for the handling complex situations. It is narrowly described phenomenon compared to the Grand Nursing theory. It provides less abstract and greater empirical testing along with more specific phenomenon. In this nursing theory, descriptions along with prediction and explanations put forward to answer the queries that are not covered in other theory of nursing practice. This theory provides the perspectives that trains the students to handling the complex and emergency situations and also helps for the nursing interventions. This theory is more applicable in situations where explanations and implementations are needed in nursing practice.

Middle range nursing theories are a sub-division of nursing discipline that focuses on potential knowledge of the discipline by expanding the phenomenon related to health care of patients. The middle range nursing theory is defined precisely with the help of ladder of abstraction that states the abstraction level decreases as we come down the ladder and but the conciseness is increased (empirical level), and exactly opposite happens while moving towards the philosophical level. The middle range nursing theory is a sub-division of the empirical level (Sandra J. Peterson, 2009).

Overview of a Nursing Theorist

Kristen Swanson nursing theory provides the background for the issues related to pregnancy. Kristen Swanson obtained her nursing degree from the University of Rhode Island in the year of 1975 and the master’s degree in the year of 1978. The Swanson theory of nursing takes necessary measures that deal with the miscarriages in pregnancy.

The Swanson Theory of Caring encompasses around the counseling for the parents and their families after the miscarriages. The theory involves the combination of techniques that deal with the sociocultural effects which rise after a baby’s loss. This theory provides the overview of aspects which are just beyond to the physical status of the patient. These aspects are considered by the health care professionals to enhance the emotional recovery of the mother and father both, due to miscarriage or abortion.

The theory’s basis is laid on the study and research of Dr. Kristen Swanson which focused the issues faced by the parents and families in the women’s pregnancy. The theory provides a platform on which the potential healing of the parents can be done. The researches by the theorist have been incorporating educational models and practices of other physicians all over the country (Ahmed, 2006).

Nursing Meta-paradigm

The nursing meta-paradigm is the huge models that represent the clear relationship between the current theoretical nursing practices. Presently many of the nursing practices are considered for acquiring the relationship between the four main components of the meta-paradigm. (Parker, 2006).

The four major meta-paradigms in the nursing profession are as follows:

  • Person:

    who are the people that receive the nursing care, this paradigm can be the ill individual who is treated like a subject in the process of treatment. The individual has a constant changing process that takes place between him and his environment. Receivers of the health care from nursing can be a sick person or whole families or any community.

  • Health:

    that is defined as the level of wellness of an individual. It is dynamic process which is described by the individual all over the life span. The main focuses on the subject’s health are laid on the nature of physical, aesthetic, social and ethical territories. Illness or sickness is defined as the experience of an individual who faced dysfunctions originated due to health care. The level of a person’s health is an expression of the common interacting processes that take place between the individual and their environment.

  • Environment:

    it corresponds to the internal and external factors that influence the level or degree of health an individual possess. It refers to the impact of geographical and landscape on the individual. Dimensions that may cause harm to the individual include the impact of physiological, psychological, economic and social, cultural, historical, and developmental factors that are prevalent in the society where the individual lives.

  • Nursing:

    it is the profession that provides the health care facilities in the hospitals. The nursing interventions render care to support the ill patient.

These four concepts of the nursing meta-paradigm make up a complete directional understanding of the profession. These four concepts embed the basic knowledge of nursing theory, philosophy, education, research and experience of the nursing profession.

Importance of Middle Range Theory

Nursing theories provides the principles that underpin the new student’s nursing practices and help generating nursing knowledge (Colley, 2003). The middle range nursing theory is important for the students of nursing because it provides a middle reality view and more specifically generalized practice areas for the nurses. It also provides the nurses with concrete ideas which however are limited but very useful for them. In middle range nursing theory, the characteristics of the propositions are clearly stated due to which a better decision can be made for the health care of patient.

The middle range nursing theory provides the level of testability which may generate a test hypothesis. Since the development of middle range nursing theory is from the Grand nursing theory and the nursing practice theory, the theory consists of all the literature review and clinical practices and guidelines that should be followed by the nurses.

How Will This Theory Improve Nursing Practice?

The middle range theory for nursing is very important for the nurses and therefore, the nursing practice can be improved with this theory. The focuses that are laid by this theory, develops the concrete and conceptual framework of ideas in the nurses with which they can practice their profession efficiently. The scope that is covered by the middle range nursing theory is, however, limited but still the ideas and literature that it consist has concreteness in it which helps in the improvement of the nursing practice.


By providing nurses with a sense of identification, the middle range nursing theory can help the subjects and the nurses (which are the health care professionals) to identify the particular contribution that should be made to the health care center and the patients too. Providing the nurses with adequate knowledge and guidance according to the principles laid by the middle range nursing theory will help to improve the standards of their practice and also the health of the patient.

The four basic components of the nursing meta-paradigm play a significant role, in developing good middle range nurses that tell the relationship between the person, health and environment with the nurses. The middle range nursing theory provides the generalized and conceptual development of the characteristics that lays the basis of the formation of good middle range nurses practicing in the health care centers to provide health care facilities with effective results.


Ahmed, D. S. (2006). Theories and models of nursing practice.

Journal of Nursing

, 5-7.

Colley, S. (2003). Nursing theory: its importance to practice.

Journal of National Institute of Health

, 33-37.

Mary Jane Smith, P. R. (2008).

Middle Range Nursing theory.

New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Parker, M. E. (2006).

Nursing theories & nursing practice .

Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.

Sandra J. Peterson, T. S. (2009).

Middle Range Theories: Application to Nursing Research.

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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