Environmental Theory

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The difference between a nursing conceptual model and a nursing theory is that nursing theories are described as offering purposeful and systematic approaches to nursing care (Whitney, 2018). Conceptual models offer “abstract concepts on a broad scope” (Whitney, 2018). Basically, conceptual models are different ways of proving the theory, or showing how the theory works according to the model.

The Florence Nightingale Environmental Theory believes the environment can be manipulated so that the patient’s disease can be reversed. It believes that each person has the biological, psychological and spiritual components to recover from their illnesses and that the individual should be viewed as holistic and multi-dimensional (Whitney, 2018). Environmental factors such as sunlight, air quality, clean water, sufficient food supply, efficient drainage, adequate temperature, clean environment, personal care in terms of hygiene and low noise are all things that can affect our health (Whitney, 2018). By manipulating these factors, we can be in charge of our own recovery and in a healthcare setting, the nurse is responsible for these things.

An example where the Nightingale Environmental Theory would be effective in managing patient care involves infection rates. If we maintain a clean environment and decrease any hygiene issues or use pure water, any chance of infection should go down dramatically. Florence Nightingale herself figured this out when taking care of soldiers and mortality rates increased tremendously.


Whitney, S. (2018) Dynamics in Nursing: Art and Science of Professional Practice. History of Professional

Nursing. Chapter 2. Retrieved from https://www.gcumedia.com/digital-resources/grand-canyon-