Patient-Centered Approach: Faye Glenn Abdellah

Topic: Nursing
Words: 208 Pages: 1

Faye Abdellah was a pioneer in nursing research. She developed the patient-centered approach of nursing, also known as Faye G. Abdellah’s twenty-one nursing problems. During her 40-year career as a Commissioned Officer in the US Public Health Service (1949 to 1989), she served as Chief Nurse Officer (1970 to 1987). She was the first nurse to achieve the rank of a two-star Flag Officer and the first woman and nurse Deputy Surgeon General (McEwen & Will, 2019). After retirement, Abdellah founded and served as the first dean in the Graduate School of Nursing, GNS, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS).

Theory Description and Usefulness

  • Abdellah’s theory revolutionized nursing education and research.
  • Her theory changed nursing from focusing on the disease to concentrating on the individual patient.
  • Abdellah’s work is a set of problems generated from nursing-centered services used to determine patients’ needs.
  • She describes nursing as “an art and science that molds the individual nurse’s attitude, intellectual competencies, and technical skills into desire and ability to helping individuals cope with their needs, whether they are ill or well”(Alligood, 2018, p.42).
  • Abdellah’s work is useful because it focuses on problem-solving, thereby serving as a vehicle in delineating nursing problems as the patient moves towards a healthy outcome


Alligood, M. R. (2018). Nursing theorists and their work (9th ed.). Elsevier.

McEwen, M., & Wills, E. M. (2019). Theoretical basis for nursing (5th ed.). Wolters Kluwer.

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