Low-, Middle-, and High-Level Nursing Theories

Topic: Nursing
Words: 309 Pages: 1

Low-level nursing theory models examine a patient’s level, allowing the nurse and the healthcare department to build a nursing care plan based on the patient’s qualities and level of independence. These theories, on the whole, are oriented toward the daily nursing practice. The key principle of middle-level theories is that the system’s health is determined by its stability (Smith, 2019). Middle-level theories have to do with particular phenomena in nursing. Overall, they provide more explicit connections between high-level concepts and nursing practice in general. High-level theories are abstract, large in scope, and complicated, and their refinement necessitates more research (Smith, 2019). They give a basic framework and principles for nursing rather than directing specific nursing actions.

Comparing these three tiers of nursing theories, several notions can be made. In comparison to high-level theories, middle-range theories are more limited in scope and convey concepts and propositions at a lower degree of abstraction (Smith, 2019). At the same time, both middle-level and high-level theories omit the patient-level and individual repercussions, a domain of low-level theories. While low-level theories are the narrowest, they offer precise directions of certain actions compared to middle- and high-level approaches.

Middle-range theories were applied in a vast number of research and studies. For example, one of the studies concentrated on applying a middle-range Orem’s theory of nursing in relation to hypertension care (Drevenhorn, 2018). The study’s key finding was that Orem’s self-care theory is particularly useful for teaching patients how to build self-care abilities (Drevenhorn, 2018). The additional research might be focused on various elements of the theory’s implementation in the clinical situation. In the clinical environment, this entails looking at nurses’ opinions on applying theory to their practice and patients’ perspectives on how they perceive their treatment and self-care experience (Drevenhorn, 2018). Hypertension care, thus, became one of the fields where middle-range theories can be employed.


Drevenhorn E. (2018). A proposed middle-range theory of nursing in hypertension care. International Journal of Hypertension, 20(18), 2858253. Web.

Smith, M. C. (2019). Nursing theories and nursing practice. FA Davis.

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