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DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)

Theories by Subjects

The below lists of theories are organized by subject or discipline. It is by no means exhaustive, but is meant to serve as a starting point when selecting and researching possible theories. If you find a theory or two you are interested in exploring more fully, using the Next Steps link to start researching the historical foundations of the theory or theories using Lavery Library resources.

Selected Theories

Nursing Theories

Caprer’s Patterns of Knowing

Benner’s Competency Model

Watson’s Caring Model

Pender’s Health Promotion Model

Orem’s Self-Care Theory

Roy’s Adaptation Model


King Conceptual System Theory of Goal Attainment

Neuman Systems Model

Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations

Swanson’s Theory of Caring

The Causal Model of Job Satisfaction for Nurses

Health Care Deliver Systems

Systems Theory

Organizational Theory

Change Theory

Diffusion of Innovation Theory

Synergy Model

Transitional Care Model

Role Theory

Oppressed Gorup Knowing

Emancipatory Knowing

Critical Social Theory

Theory of Human Liberation

Bureaucratic Theory

Donabedian Structure-Process-Outcome


Path-Goal Theory

Transformational Leadership Model

Authentic Leadership Model

Servan Leadership Theory

Adaptive Leadership Model

Psychodynamic Approach

Team Leadership Model

Change Theories

Lippett Phases of Change

Theory of Reasoned Action

Kotter's 8-Step Process of Change

Lewin's Change Theory

Prochaska & DiClemente Stages of Change


Campinha-Bacotre Model

Geiger & Davidhizr

Papdopoulos, Tilki, & Taylor Model

Leininger Culture Care Diversity/Universality Theory

Spector’s HEALTH Transitions Model

Evidenced-Based Practice

Advancing Research and Clinical Practice Through Close Collaboration (ARCC)

Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice Model (JHNEBP)

Iowa Model

Stetler Model

ACE Star Model

Economic Theories


Production Possibility




Environmental Theories


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Calgary Model

Family Developmental Theory

Patient Family Centered Care Model

Health Behavior Theories

Health Belief Model

Theory of Planned Action

Theory of Planned Behavior

Integrated Behavior Model

Learning Theories





Adult Learning Theory

Additional Theories

Comfort Theory

Praxis Theory of Suffering

Chronic Illness Trajectory Framework

Situational Transitions

Attribution Theory

Conceptual Framework for Appropriateness in Surgical Caring

The Tidal Model

Areas of Work Life

Leavell & Clark's Levels of Prevention Model

Maslach's Multidimensional Theory of Burnout

Selye's Stress & Coping

Four Conservations Principles

Theory of Unmet Needs

Chronic Care Model

Standpoint Theory

Possible Selves

Stress and Coping Perspective and Strain Theory

The Main Effect Model

Stress Buffering Model

Next Steps