Orem’s Self-Care Nursing Theory

There are different nursing theorists that have benefited from the development of this field. The theory by D. Orem is one of the most interesting ones for me, and I can identify myself with it. She has developed three interrelated theories, which focus on the individual’s ability to take care of himself. These are the self-care theory, self-care deficit theory, and the theory of nursing systems. The first one is fully compensatory for the patient and provides maximum support, whereas the second one is partially compensatory. The third theory provides more educational support rather than active care for the patient.

According to the self-care theory, the patients should be supported in order to make them able to take care of themselves. It also states that in order to stay functional and alive, people are engaged in constant communication and act deliberately to identify their needs and make judgments. Adults experience privation in self-care and others involving life-sustaining actions. Besides, in human groups, it is a common practice to allocate caring responsibilities between the members. As for the notion of health in Orem’s theories, it is regarded as the wholeness of developed human structures and bodily and mental functioning (Finkelman&Kenner, 2019). I agree with this notion, as I also consider that health is the state of soundness and wholeness of a human being, in which a person can effectively function. I also consider that it is important for a person to take care of themselves, and if it is impossible, then the goal of the nurse is to help the person to get back to the state when it was possible. Thus, Orem’s theories have influenced my philosophy most of all nursing theories.


Finkelman A. & Kenner C. (2019). Professional nursing concepts: Competencies for quality leadership (4th ed.). Jones&Barrett Learning.

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