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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, use 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



Health Care Delivery Systems

Systems Theory

Organizational Theory

Diffusion of Innovation Theory

Role Theory

Critical Social Theory

Synergy Model

Transitional Care Model


Path-Goal Theory

Transformational Leadership Model

Authentic Leadership Model

Adaptive Leadership Model

Servant Leadership Theory

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


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Calgary Model

Family Developmental Theory

Patient Family Centered Care Model

Health Behavior Theories

Health Belief Model

Theory of Planned Behavior

Integrated Behavior Model

Learning Theories





Adult Learning Theory

Additional Theories

Selye's Stress & Coping

Comfort Theory

Praxis Theory of Suffering

Attribution Theory

Leavell & Clark's Levels of Prevention Model

Maslach's Multidimensional Theory of Burnout

Theory of Unmet Needs

Standpoint Theory

Stress and Coping Perspective and Strain Theory

Next Steps