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NUR 311: Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice

Course guide developed by your Librarian

Theoretical and Conceptual Frameworks

Conceptual models (sometimes referred to as conceptual frameworks or grand theories) are abstract representations of phenomena of interest to the discipline.

Specific theories can be derived from these conceptual models. The conceptual models themselves are not test-able, but the theories derived from the models may be tested.

These grand theories provide global perspectives of the discipline and offer ways of viewing nursing phenomena on the basis of these perspectives. Examples of conceptual models in nursing are those of Martha Rogers, Imogene King, Hildegarde Peplau, Jean Watson, and Florence nightingale.

Use databases to find more information on theories or theorists.

  • CINAHL Complete
  • PsycINFO
  • PubMed
  • Academic Search Premier
  • ERIC

When searching in databases combine the following Keywords with your specific topic:

  • Grand nursing theorists
  • Micro-range theorists
  • Mid-range theorists
  • Nursing models
  • Use the name of a specific theory or theorists

When searching CINAHL combine CINAHL Subject Terms with your specific topic:

  • Nursing Theory
  • Nursing Models, Theoretical
  • Specific nursing philosophy (i.e. Orem Self-Care Model, Newman Health Model)
  • Models, Theoretical (a broader concept that includes other theories besides nursing)