Posted: April 7th, 2021

Discuss the difference between a nursing conceptual model and a

1 postsRe: Topic 3 DQ 2

A theory, as classically understood, is made up of interrelated concepts. Together these concepts aim to explain why actions or events take place. Nursing theories, also composed of concepts, models, and propositions, seek to explain and guide our thinking and understanding about nursing. In nursing, the four most common and influential concepts are the person, the environment, health, and nursing (2020). Nurses will often choose theories that best align with their way of thinking and their values, ultimately leading to meaningful nursing practice (Smith et al., 2020)

On the other hand, the nursing conceptual model looks at how various concepts relate to each other. Using theories allows us to see alternative effects when variables are changed (2020). As it applies to nursing, the conceptual model can help with research to find solutions to problems in the practice that will lead to improved patient outcomes.

The first know theorist was Florence Nightingale. She formulated the Environmental Theory. As defined in the nursing practice, this theory uses a patient’s environment to aid in healing. Nurses need to arrange factors such as cleanliness, noise, ventilation, light, and nutrition to help re-establish a patient’s health (Gonzalo, 2021). From my experience, nursing units nationwide are designed with the Environmental Theory in mind. For example, to reduce noise levels, my unit installed carpets and designated quiet times. The nursing staff makes sure every patient has a supply of fresh water and appropriate meals. We ensure rooms are clean and free of clutter. Sadly, we see patients being admitted to hospitals because such factors are not in place in their current care settings. Currently, the Corona Virus is a prime example of the application of the Environmental Theory to nursing. With the knowledge that the virus was easily transmissible, it was crucial for staff to maintain patient rooms clean. With this outcome in mind, practices changed, and the staff meticulously cleaned all equipment in between patients, properly donned and doffed personal protective equipment in between patients.


Gonzalo, A. (2021, March 5). Florence Nightingale’s Biography and Environmental Theory: Study Guide. Nurseslabs.

Nursing theories. (2020, November 29). Retrieved March 09, 2021, from

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