Ida Jean Orlando Nursing Theory

ida jean orlando nursing theory

Ida Jean Orlando was born in 1926 with an Irish American descent. She received her nursing diploma from New York Medical College, Lower Fifth Avenue Hospital, School of Nursing, her BS in public health nursing from St. John’s University, Brooklyn, NY, and her MA in mental health nursing from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. Orlando was an Associate Professor at Yale School of Nursing where she was Director of the Graduate Program in Mental Health Psychiatric Nursing. While at Yale she was project investigator of a National Institute of Mental Health grant entitled: Integration of Mental Health Concepts in a Basic Nursing Curriculum. It was from this research that Orlando developed her theory which was published in her 1961 book, The Dynamic Nurse-Patient Relationship. She furthered the development of her theory when at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA as Director of a Research Project: Two Systems of Nursing in a Psychiatric Hospital. The results of this research are contained in her 1972 book titled: The Discipline and Teaching of Nursing Processs. Orlando held various positions in the Boston area, was a board member of Harvard Community Health Plan, and served as both a national and international consultant. She is a frequent lecturer and conducted numerous seminars on nursing process. She is married to Robert Pelletier and lives in the Boston area.


* GOAL: to develop a theory of effective nursing practice
* Reciprocal relationships
* Patient Participation
* MD orders is shared by Nurse and patient

Role of the nurse according to Ida Jean Orlando

Is to find out and meet the patient’s immediate need for help. The patient’s presenting behavior may be a plea for help, however, the help needed may not be what it appears to be.
Nurses need to use their perception, thoughts about the perception, or the feeling engendered from their thoughts to explore with patients the meaning of their behavior.
Helps the nurse find out the nature of the distress and what help the patient needs.
Orlando’s theory remains one the of the most effective practice theories available. The use of her theory keeps the nurse’s focus on the patient. The strength of the theory is that it is clear, concise, and easy to use. While providing the overall framework for nursing, the use of her theory does not exclude nurses from using other theories while caring for the patient.

5 interrelated concepts:
The function of professional nursing
The presenting behavior of the patient
The immediate or internal response of the nurse
The nursing process discipline

Ida Jean Orlando METAPARADIGMS in Nursing:

Behavior is verbal and nonverbal
At times people can meet their own needs
Needs and level of needs can change
Each person is unique,past experience,social economically status,religious
beliefs,moral values
Orlando did not directly define Health
” Freedom from mental or physical discomfort and feeling of adequacy and
well-being contributed to health
Again Orlando does not directly define environment
Nurse-patient contact
No assumption of patient’s reaction with external stimuli/environment.
Not directly documented by Orlando
Definition of patient
Assumption about the patient
Assumptions about the nurse
Assumption about the nurse-patient situation/ interaction


A very simple straight forward theory
Basic nursing: you have a need we can help

The patient is the central point
Find out the problem
Meet the immediate needs of the patient
Doing this relieves distress

Attewell, A. (1998) Florence Nightingale’s relevance to nurses. Journal of
Holistic Nursing, 16 (2), 281-291
Tomey, A., & Alligood, M. (2006). Nursing Theorists and Their Work. Mosbey
Elsevier: New York.
Schmieding, N.J. (2008). Ida Jean Orlando. Retrieved on November 1, 2008 from

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