The Difference Between a Nursing Conceptual Model and a Nursing Theory Short Summary

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This article discusses the difference between a nursing conceptual model and theory. A nursing conceptual model provides a structured framework for research, while a nursing theory offers strategies and approaches in patient care. One nursing theory, Virginia Henderson’s need theory, focuses on addressing the specific needs of the patient to recover their health. This theory can be effective in managing patients with post-traumatic stress disorder by addressing their psychological, physiological, and social needs. The nurse should also focus on creating a supportive environment and getting rid of unhealthy behaviors. Finally, the article emphasizes the importance of addressing a patient’s spiritual needs to strengthen their faith and hope for a better life, regardless of their current situation.

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A conceptual model is a theoretical framework that provides an organized structure, related ideas, design, and concepts in research. It gives direction and an orderly way to research in the nursing field. On the other hand, a theory is a foundation for the basis of action that describes a phenomenon. In the nursing field, it is used to offer strategies and approaches in patient care.

For example, the Virginia Henderson’s need theory focuses on the role of the nurse in assisting a patient to recover their health by addressing their specific needs. It emphasizes prioritizing individualized care to ensure patients’ well-being as they may have varying needs.

According to Butts & Rich (2018), managing post-traumatic stress disorder can address various patient needs. These needs include physiological needs, which counseling can help with; spiritual needs, which involve sharing scripture and praying with the patient; and social needs, where a nurse can engage the patient in recreational activities. This theory effectively aids patients in recovering from traumatic experiences that may affect their outlook on life negatively. Counseling sessions assist patients in accepting their lack of control over what happened and finding hope for a better future.

The nurse’s attention to a patient’s physiological needs contributes to their overall recovery. Additionally, the nurse should consider the patient’s other needs related to their healthcare issue. This involves creating a supportive environment and helping the patient overcome unhealthy behaviors resulting from stress. It is also important for the nurse to address spiritual needs in order to foster the patient’s faith and hope, regardless of their present circumstances.


  • Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2018). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice. Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning
  • Grand Canyon University. (2018). Dynamics in nursing: Art and science of professional practice. Grand Canyon University.
  • Nilsen, P. (2015). Making sense of implementation theories, models, and frameworks. Implementation science: IS, 10, 53. doi:10.1186/s13012-015-0242-0″,”2020-08-04 14:02:03 “

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The Difference Between a Nursing Conceptual Model and a Nursing Theory Short Summary. (2020, Aug 05). Retrieved from

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