Models of Nursing practice

Models of Nursing Practice

Nursing theories and models are the support of nursing practice today. The many theories and models that exist have been developed from existing scientific evidence to create frameworks that guide patient care today. They are crucial to nursing practice, research, and education as they help in determine what is known and what additions can be made to the world of nursing (Jennings, 2017).

Among the famous models in nursing is the Roy Adaptation Model which views a person as a biopsychosocial being in continuous interaction with a changing environment (Maslakpak et al., 2015). This discussion explains the characteristics of Roy’s model and how they can be applied to manage elderly patients today. Click here to see Grand Nursing Theories Jean Watson’s Theory

Model Characteristics for the

Adaptation Model of Nursing by Sister Callista Roy

Application to your Advanced Practice Role
Characteristic 1: Physiologic-physical mode of adaptation. This characteristic is associated with the physical answers given to stimuli from the environment. It is observed that people adapt through positive physiologic indicators such as oxygenation, nutrition, elimination, and rest (Maslakpak et al., 2015).

During this critical period of COVID 19, Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) can ensure the elderly get sufficient food to boost their immunity and that they stay in safe environments by conducting routine safety assessments. Actions such as isolation and ensuring the use of protective masks can demonstrate positive adaptation.

Characteristic 2: Self-concept mode of adaptation.  Roy explained that this characteristic represents an individual’s mixture of beliefs and feelings at a certain time (Diaz et al., 2017). Positive adaptation in this mode can include positive body image, sufficient coping in loss, self-respect, and efficient coping methods during stress.

As an FNP, I will work to ensure the maintenance of mental health for the elderly especially those that will be affected by loss. This population can also benefit from spiritual interventions to give them hope.

Characteristic 3. Role function mode of adaptation. This mode is observed to focus on the primary, secondary and tertiary roles an individual occupies in the society. Ursavas et al (2014) explain that the basic requirement for role function is social integrity and indicators such as efficient role changing and identification of roles demonstrate positive adaptation. The FNP will ensure role function adaptation by helping the elderly realize their roles and proving guidance to those in denial due to their changing health status.
Characteristic 4: Interdependence mode during adaptation. This mode discusses how attaining relational integrity through love and respect can help individuals adapt to their new state (Jennings, 2017). It includes building relationships that are meaningful to the person.

The FNP functions in this role to ensure the elderly are loved, family members are involved in their care and effective communication is portrayed during their care (Jennings, 2017). Additionally, the nurse can provide information regarding their care and ensure building trustworthy relationships.


Characteristic 5: Alteration of stimuli to promote adaptation. The adaptation model explains how healthcare providers can provide holistic care through changing the adaptive mechanisms. The family nurses practitioner ensures performance of accurate assessment, formulation of diagnosis and implementation of changes to manage the stimuli (Zhang, 2013). During this period of COVID 19, the FNP can assess anxiety, education level and overall health status of the elderly for effective management.


Roy adaptation model is widely used in the management of patients by helping nurses to identify the individual needs of patients. In her model, Roy discusses four main modes of adaptation including physiological-physical mode, self-concept mode, role function, and interdependence mode (Jennings, 2017). The main function of the nurse is to manipulate stimuli to enable effective coping and adaptation of the patient. This model can be applied in the management of elderly patients during this COVID 19 pandemic by incorporating interventions such as isolation, health assessment, mental health care, family involvement, and maintaining communication.



Diaz, L. J. R., & Cruz, D. A. L. M. (2017). Adaptation model in a controlled clinical trial involving family caregivers of chronic patients. Texto Contexto Enferm26(4), e0970017.

Jennings K. M. (2017). The Roy Adaptation Model: A theoretical framework for nurses providing care to individuals with anorexia nervosa. ANS. Advances in Nursing Science40(4), 370–383.

Maslakpak, M., Sheikhi, S., & Maghsoodi, E. (2015). The effects of a care program based on the Roy adaptation model on nursing home residents’ quality of life. Mod Care J12(4), 1-6. DOI : 10.17795/modernc.8671

Ursavaş, F. E., Karayurt, Ö., & İşeri, Ö. (2014). Nursing approach based on Roy adaptation model in a patient undergoing breast conserving surgery for breast cancer. The Journal of Breast Health10(3), 134. doi: 10.5152/tjbh.2014.1910

Zhang, W. (2013). Older adults making end of life decisions: An application of Roy’s adaptation model. Journal of Aging Research2013.


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