Helen Erickson Theory Role Modeling Theory Essay

This is for graduate nursing Family Nurse Practitioner. To describe in detail Helen Erickson’s theory of Modeling and Role Modeling theory that involves the other theorists like Tomlin and Swain’s. this should be in Graduate Nursing format and include how it relates clinically in the FNP practice as an example.

Helen Erickson’s Theory of Modeling and Role Modeling Theory

Developed by Helen Erickson, Evelyne Tomlin and Mary Anne Swain, the Modeling and Role Modeling Theory was first presented in 1983 in a book they published. They conceptualized the theory as a guide that enables nurses to nurture and care for patients with the awareness of and respect for each patient’s uniqueness and individualism. Also, the theory advances the understanding that the patient is the expert in his/her own care, and knowledge best how the nurse can be of help. In essence, the theory focuses on identifying and meeting the needs of patients by acting as the basis for nursing care that recognizes that each patient has the knowledge and ability to understand what caused the illness and what can help in returning to good health (Smith, 2020).Helen Erickson Theory Role Modeling Theory Essay

The theory’s development is based on concepts drawn from other theories, such as Seyle and Lazarus’s General Adaptation Syndrom, Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development, Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Stages, and Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy of Needs. In drawing from these concepts, the theory identifies the commonalities and differences among people. Six commonalities are identified. First, holism that identifies an individual as being the sum of parts to include spirit, emotion, body and mind that interact and function as a unit. Second, an individual’s behavior is driven by basic needs. Any need left unmet can result in illness. Third, affiliated individualism that has individuals instinctively seeking to be accepted and dependent on support systems while maintaining a sense of freedom and independence. Fourth, attachment and loss reveal an innate drive to attach to objects that help in meeting needs. Fifth, psychosocial stages that indicate degree to which needs are satisfied. Sixth, cognitive stages showing that thinking occurs in a sequential order (Alligood, 2022).


The theory identifies nine differences. First, inherent endowment from genetic inheritance influenced by environmental factors has an influence on health status. Second, model of the world differs between individuals based on state of life, knowledge and experiences. Third, adaptations differ based on how they respond to stressors. Fourth, adaptation potential differs between individuals. Fifth, pattern of changes in response to stressful stimuli differs between individuals. Sixth, self-care in responding to stressors differs between individuals. Seventh, self-care knowledge differs between individuals. Eighth, access to self-care resources differs between individuals. Finally, self-care action differs between individuals (Alligood, 2022).

The theory has clinical relevance in FNP practice. It acts as a guide in determining what the FNP should knowledge and understand from the patient’s personal model, and appreciate the value and significance of the information. This is modeling that focuses on recognizing the unique perspective of each patient concerning his/her own world. Through applying the modeling process, the FNP uses the patient’s unique perspective to develop an understanding and image of the patient’s world. In addition to modeling, FNP apply role modeling to facilitate and nurture the patient in attaining, promoting and maintaining health. This enables the nurse to unconditionally accept the patient while planning unique interventions (McEwan & Wills, 2021).

It is clear that the theory gives an FNP three main roles: facilitation, nurturance and unconditional acceptance. As a facilitator, the FNP helps the patient to take active steps towards achieving the desired health status. This includes the FNP providing the necessary information and resources. As a nurturer, the FNP provides comfort and care to the patient. Unconditional acceptance involves the FNP accepting each patient just as he/she is without any conditions (McEwan & Wills, 2021).


Alligood, M. R. (2022). Nursing Theorists and Their Work (10th ed.). Elsevier, Inc.

McEwan, M., & Wills, E. M. (2021). Theoretical Basis of Nursing (6th ed.). Wolters Kluwer Health.

Smith, M. C. (2020). Nursing Theories and Nursing Practice (5th ed.). F. A. Davis Company.  Helen Erickson Theory Role Modeling Theory Essay

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