Florence Nightingale: Metaparadigm in Nursing

The 4 Metaparadigm in Nursing according to Florence Nightingale


Florence Nightingale had always considered that nursing is very essential for everybody’s well being. One of her masterwork, Notes on Nursing, provided essential principles for rendering and implementing an efficient and effective nursing care. Moreover, she instilled an ideal attitude of thinking and acting like a real nurse.


Nightingale viewed the essence of a person as a patient. She believed that nurses should perform tasks to and for the patient as well as control the patient’s environment to facilitate easy recovery. Predominantly, she explained a passive patient in this relationship. However, when there are definite references to the patient performing self-care when possible, the nurse is particularly instructed to ask the patient about his or her preference. However, Florence Nightingale gives emphasis to the nurse who is in control of the patient’s environment.


Florence Nightingale’s statement regarding health is “being well and using every power that the person has to the fullest extent.” In addition, she defined diseases as “a reparative process that nature instituted from a want of attention.” She believed that prevention of diseases through environmental control will greatly uplift the maintenance of health. Furthermore, she illustrated modern public health nursing and the more modern concept of health promotion. She compared these concepts of nursing as different from caring a sick patient to living better and increasing recovery.


Nightingale’s statement about conditions in the community are also applicable to her theory. She believed that the sick, poor people would benefit from environmental improvements that addressed their physical and mental aspects. She stressed that nurses could have a special role in uplifting the social status of the poor by improving their living situations. Moreover, her concept of environment was described by Flitzpatrick and Whall as “those elements external to and which affect the health of the sick and healthy person” and includes “everything from the patient’s food and flowers to the patient’s  verbal and non-verbal interactions with the patient.”


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