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The theoretical framework for nursing at Aultman is eclectic by nature. This framework embraces many elements of Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory, Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring and Patricia Benner’s Novice to Expert Theory. Core to this multifaceted framework is the conviction to provide exceptional quality patient care to meet the physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological and social needs of each patient.


This commitment is further engrained in the Nursing Philosophy as reflected by the Mission and Values Statements of the organization. 


Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory guides nursing care by assisting clients to achieve competent self-care through the provision of an evidence-based nursing practice and education inclusive of family and significant others. Facilitating the clients’ return to their highest level of functioning through the provision of quality care and the monitoring of outcomes and quality indicators is a priority.


Watson’s Theory of Human Caring supports nursing’s commitment to compassionate care by holistically meeting not only the physical needs of clients, but also their emotional, psychological, spiritual and social concerns as well.


Benner’s Novice to Expert Theory supports the development and mobilization of nursing preceptorship, mentoring and clinical enhancement programs. Experienced nurses provide clinical and educational expertise to less experienced clinicians through a variety of activities, including but not limited to Shared Decision-Making opportunities of nursing research, practice and education. This allows for learning from the expertise of others, which is a pillar of Benner’s theory.


Nursing at Aultman is philosophically committed to initiate and participate in nursing research. This research is then woven into a strong evidence-based foundation to support an environment that can significantly impact quality at the bedside. Participation and collaboration are both encouraged and supported by the organization and it is within this environment that nurses can practice autonomously and competently.



Benner, P. (1984). From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley. 

Orem, D. E. (2001). Nursing: Concepts of Practice. (6th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby-Year Books. 

Watson, J. (1985). Nursing: Human science and human care. CT: Appleton-Century- Crofts. 2nd printing 1988; 3rd printing 1999. NY: NLN (Jones and Bartlett).

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