NU 500 Week 2 Discussion Post Nursing Paradigm

Please read the following introduction and complete the following steps for your initial discussion post:

This discussion question focuses on the four nursing paradigms, which are comprised of person, health, environment, and nursing. Each metaparadigm plays a key role in the nursing process and is essential when providing patient care.

Select one metaparadigm (person, health, nursing, or environment). 

A metaparadigm has many different definitions. However, in order to be considered a metaparadigm, person, health, environment, and nursing must be addresses. Wagner (1986), did thorough research on the metaparadigm of nursing. The paradigm “person,” refers to “a being composed of physical, intellectual, biochemical, and psychosocial needs; an open system; an integrated whole; an adaptive system; and a being who is greater than the sum of his or her parts” (Wagner, 1986). I am choosing to focus on the paradigm “person,” because in nursing, person represents the patient, and my ultimate goal as a nurse is to provide excellent patient-centered care.

Describe the metaparadigm’s significance specific to your nursing practice.

Everyone is different. Each patient is different. As a float nurse, I came to realize that nursing units have different patient populations. My goal as a nurse is to become more understanding, relatable, and caring. I want to cater to each patient that I encounter. The paradigm, person, specifically relates to my nursing practice because the person/patient is the reason why I show up to work every day. The patients I work with all need me, and if I don’t show up to work, the hospital could possibly be short staff, and this would ultimately affect patient care. Patients know the difference between an excellent nurse and a not so good nurse. Each patient also has various definitions of quality care. By researching the paradigm person, I am opening my mind to other scholars’ ideas on this paradigm, and I could use this knowledge to improve my patient’s hospital experience.

Compare and contrast two nursing theorists’ individual interpretations of the selected nursing metaparadigms.

Martha Rogers’ theory, “the science of unitary and irreducible human beings,” defines humans as “irreducible, indivisible, multidimensional energy fields identified by pattern and manifesting characteristics that are specific to the whole and which cannot be predicted from the knowledge of the parts” (McEwen & Wills, 2019).  Rogers (1970), describes the human as the focus of nursing practice.  The word, irreducible, highlights that although others may try to reduce a person, or a person’s pain for example, no one has the right dismiss someone’s feelings.  Rogers also uses the word, indivisible, meaning that a person cannot be divided or separated from him/herself.  Although people may sometimes internally feel divided, the human being is never indivisible and deserves to be acknowledged and respected.  Patients like when the nurse introduces himself/herself to the patient. By introducing ourselves, nurses recognizes the person as a physical being who deserves to be addressed and appreciated.  Rogers also explains the person as “multidimensional … who cannot be predicted from knowledge of the parts” (McEwen & Wills, 2019). Doctors and nurses are knowledgeable on human anatomy; however, they cannot predict a patient’s outcome.  One day, a patient can be ambulating, talking, laughing, and enjoying life.  The next day, the patient could be in the hospital fighting for their life.  Rogers’ approach to describing the person is more physical than emotional.

On the contrary, Watson (2012), defines the person as a spiritual, intellectual, and psychosocial being. Her specific description of the person is, “a unique, valued and precious person . . . to be cared for, respected, nurtured, understood, and assisted” (McEwen & Wills, 2019). The basis for her definition is love. Each individual is distinct and deserves to be loved and cared for the way they want to be. Nurses should try our best to understand each patient on an individual level, “recognizing love as the highest level of consciousness and the greater energetic source of all healing” (Watson, 2008). While Rogers’ paradigm of person focuses more on the physical, Watson’s paradigm acknowledges the emotional and psychosocial needs of a person. Both paradigms relate, because both theorist value the person as the focus of nursing practice. In order to understand the person, nurses must address the patient’s physical and emotional needs taking on a holistic approach to nursing care.


McEwen, M. & Wills, E. (2019). Theoretical basis for nursing (5th). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 9781496351203

Rogers, M. E. (1970). An introduction to the theoretical basis of nursing. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.

Wagner, J. (1986). Nurse scholar’s perceptions of nursing’s metaparadigm (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Watson, J. (2008). Nursing: The philosophy and science of caring (rev. ed.). Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado. 

Watson, J. (2012). Human caring science: A theory of nursing (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.