How to write a nursing theories comparison paper: Leininger Vs Watson

How to write a nursing theories comparison paper: Leininger Vs Watson

Leininger and Watson

Cultural competence in nursing involves the ability of the nurse to provide the best medical care to the patient while demonstrating cultural awareness. This type of care involves having the cultural beliefs and values of the patient in mind during treatment. Cultural competence prepares the nurse to relate more to patients and identify their specific needs that could facilitate the healing process. More specifically, cultural competence centers around the relationship between the nurse and the patient, communication pathways leading to care delivery, and acquisition of knowledge based on cultural practices and views of the world. To guide nursing practice and the delivery of culturally competent care, different nursing theories are available. For instance, Leininger’s theory of cultural care diversity and universality explains the importance of providing culturally consistent nursing care. While providing this care, Watson’s theory of human caring expands how the creation of transpersonal relationships helps the patient to heal.

Case Study #1

Factors to Consider

Leininger’s cultural care theory involves knowing and understanding different cultural concerns of the patient to provide meaningful services to the patient. The theory is based on the idea that different cultures have different caring behaviors including different beliefs, illness values, and patterns (McFarland & Wehbe-Alamah, 2019). The nurse practices by understanding that the patient is not just an individual, but a member of a certain group, community, and society with certain cultural beliefs. Leininger identifies three modes of nursing care decisions and actions. The first mode involves cultural care preservation whereby the nurse provides care that helps patients retain and observe certain values for the promotion of their well-being (McFarland & Wehbe-Alamah, 2019). The second model describes cultural care accommodation whereby the nurse assists the patient to adapt or negotiate with others regarding their beliefs. The last mode describes cultural care restructuring where the nurse acts to help the patient to modify their beliefs to promote healing.

Mrs. Franklin-Jones is a patient recovering from Myocardial Infarction and demonstrates that her cultural beliefs and values should guide the formulation of her care plan. Based on her story, the first factor that the nurse ought to consider is dieting. The patient talks about learning how to cook better than she was taught in Jamaica. She demonstrates the understanding that her medical condition will require adjustment in her current cultural values. Leininger’s theory discusses cultural care restructuring where the patient has to modify their values to promote healing (Smith & Parker, 2015). The patient also talks about her sister coming up from Jamaica and hopes that she brings her some bush tea. These scenarios indicate that the patient beliefs in certain eating habits that should not be ignored. Mrs. Franklin-Jones beliefs that the tea will set her right meaning that her recovery is psychologically dependent on the observed cultural values.

Families are extremely important components of recovery, and their roles are complex. Providing culturally competent care involves the recognition of the patient’s relationship with the family and how they play part in the healing process. Mrs. Franklin-Jones is among the patients that recognize the importance of family support during recovery. She talks about her sister coming all the way from Jamaica to see her. At home, the patient stays with Tomas who now helps with most of the house chores since he lost his job. The patient also reflects on her mother who died years ago as a result of hypertension. This indicates that the patient recognizes the role of the family during the illness and the nurse should plan care that involves the patient’s family. Apart from the family considerations, another crucial factor is education and how it can help the patient achieve the desired goals. The patient talks about forgetting to take her medications and the need to go through the papers given explaining about foods to take. The nurse understands that the patient may require further explanation on dieting and also include follow-up to ensure the patient takes her medications.

Importance of Leininger’s Theory

Cultural knowledge plays a crucial role for nurses on how to deal with the diverse needs of patients. Leininger’s theory helps nurses to be aware of how culture and faith affect the patient’s health even during death. Upon understanding the patient’s culture, the nurse is able to respect the needs of the patient and respect them. Patients can only create positive relationships with nurses when they feel that they are respected and cared for during their time of need. The theory of culture care diversity helps in strengthening the nurse-patient relationship and emphasizing the whole person rather than the patient as a sick individual (McFarland & Wehbe-Alamah, 2019). Communication improves as the nurse tries to understand the patient and there is the continued involvement of the patient in redesigning their healthcare. Lastly, this theory is observed to help nurses to be open-minded to treatments that are traditional including spiritually based therapies that help patients.

Plan of Care

Through Leininger’s theory, nurses can observe how the cultural background affects the patient and use the knowledge to create a nursing plan of care. Based on Mrs. Franklin-Jones’ cultural background, the first plan for the nurse is to gather knowledge about healthy eating habits and educate the patient adequately on the type of foods to include in her diet. The second aspect of care is to involve the patient’s family in planning for care at home. The patient seems to have close relationships with the family members although the sister stays in Jamaica. Involving the family will allow the patient to monitor her condition, take medications and seek immediate care. The nurse should assess Tomas’ ability to take care of the patient and performance of house activities because of her busy work schedule. Lastly, health education should focus on understanding the patient’s condition, taking medications, when to seek support, and dieting to control hypertension.

Strengths and Limitation’s of Leininger’s Theory

Leininger’s theory contains concepts that are highly generalizable and can be applied in many different situations. For example, transcultural nursing can be applied in the hospital, community setup, and other areas of work. The concept of culture is universally recognized as crucial to the health of individuals and is considered by all healthcare professionals. Leininger’s theory may not be simple in terms, but can be understood upon the first contact by nurses and other healthcare professionals. One weakness identified in Leininger’s theory is the complexity of the theory and models (Smith & Parker, 2015). The models might be simple, but it can take a lot to apply them in nursing. For example. The models of cultural care accommodation and cultural care restructuring can be difficult to implement for patients. The nurse might find it difficult to convince the patient to accommodate practices that are against their culture.

Case Study #2

Transpersonal Caring Relationship Assumptions

Watson’s theory of transpersonal caring mainly concerns how nurses care for patients and how their relationship leads to better plans to promote health and wellness. The transpersonal caring theory is based on seven assumptions central to nursing practice. Firstly, caring can be effectively demonstrated and practiced only interpersonally (Smith & Parker, 2015). There must be a relationship or contact between the nurse and the patient for caring to exist. Secondly, caring is composed of carative factors that determine the satisfaction of human needs. An example is the formation of the human-altruistic system of values that promote the satisfaction of care.

The transpersonal caring theory holds that effective caring promotes health and individual growth. This means that caring can promote the overall well-being of the patient and the family. Another assumption is that caring accepts the individual as they are and who they might become. The theory recognizes that people can change as a result of care either positively or negatively (Ozan, 2015). The fifth assumption is that a caring environment offers the patient the development of potential while allowing them to choose the best action for themselves at a given point. The theory also notes that caring is more healthogenic than cure. Lastly, the practice of caring is central to nursing whereby nurses must engage in caring to be effective at improving the health of individuals.

Evidence of Love

Love is a healing experience that impacts everyone. During the formation of the human-altruistic system of values, the nurses practice by demonstrating loving-kindness and equanimity (Smith & Parker, 2015). The first act that demonstrates love in the case is the welcoming signs written in several languages to make the patient comfortable. Secondly, the nurse performing the initial assessment recognizes the need for translation services and asks the patient’s relative to stay to ensure his needs are met. Additionally, the patient is asked about the cultural values and beliefs that should be honored during the caring process.


Creating a Healing Environment

Watson emphasizes that the environment and the patient r person are connected with nurses’ role being attending to supportive, protective, and corrective environments. To create a healing environment, the nurse should focus on improving the comfort of the patient. Ensuring physical comfort may include actions like welcoming the patient, allocation in safe rooms, and allowing relatives to stay close to the patient. Secondly, the nurse uses inner perceptions to understand what the patient needs at a given time. Acts of empathy and support during healing can help in creating a conducive healing environment.

Strengths and Limitations of Watson’s Theory

Watson’s theory has strengths and weaknesses that can impact how care is provided. The first strength is that the theory enhances or improved nurse-patient interaction that leads to positive health outcomes (Ozan, 2015). Most people find the theory easy to understand and interpret its application to nursing practice. Additionally, the theory places the patient at the center of care and involves the family and the community in redesigning care for the patient. To its disadvantage, Watson’s theory is observed to provide little guidance to nurse practitioners on how to achieve authentic caring-healing relationships (Smith & Parker, 2015). Incorporating the ten Caritas into practice is also observed to take more time limiting the applicability of the theory.




McFarland, M. R., & Wehbe-Alamah, H. B. (2019). Leininger’s theory of culture care diversity and universality: An overview with a historical retrospective and a view toward the future. Journal of Transcultural Nursing30(6), 540–557.

Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing Theories and Nursing Practice (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis. ISBN 978-0-8036-3312-4.

Ozan, Y. D. (2015). Implementation of Watson’s theory of human caring: A case study. International Journal of Caring Sciences8(1), 25.

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