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Nursing Theory's Influence on Pediatric and Family Care: A Comprehensive Perspective

Christine Feeley*

Department of Nursing, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Christine Feeley
Department of Nursing
Auburn University
Auburn, AL, USA

Received: 01 September, 2023, Manuscript No. jnhs-23-117084; Editor Assigned: 04 September, 2023, Pre QC No. P-117084; Reviewed: 15 September, 2023, QC No. Q-117084; Revised: 20 September, 2023, Manuscript No. R-117084; Published: 28 September, 2023, DOI: 10.4172/ JNHS.2023.9.5.105

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Nursing theories serve as the foundation upon which pediatric and family care are built. These theories not only guide clinical practice but also shape the compassionate, family-centered approach that defines pediatric nursing. By delving into key nursing theories, we can appreciate the nuanced understanding they offer, allowing nurses to provide expert care while addressing the unique needs of children and their families. Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development highlights the critical stages children pass through. Pediatric nurses, informed by this theory, understand the importance of trust and autonomy during infancy and early childhood. By fostering a trusting nurse-patient relationship, nurses create a secure environment where children can express their needs and fears. Moreover, nurses promote autonomy by encouraging children to participate in decision-making processes related to their care. This approach not only builds confidence in children but also ensures that they actively engage in their healthcare experiences, fostering a sense of control and independence.


Nursing theories, Pediatric, Family care, Psychosocial development


Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development emphasizes the stages of intellectual growth in children. Pediatric nurses, integrating this theory, recognize the diverse cognitive abilities among children of different ages. By tailoring education and support according to a child’s cognitive stage, nurses can provide information that is both developmentally appropriate and understandable. This individualized approach ensures that children comprehend their health conditions, treatment procedures and recovery processes, empowering them to actively participate in their care journey. Moreover, nurses can engage in playbased interventions, aligning with Piaget’s theory, to support cognitive development while promoting emotional well-being. Family-centered care, a cornerstone of pediatric nursing, is strongly influenced by systems theory[1]. This theory views families as interconnected systems, where each member’s well-being affects the overall family dynamic. Pediatric nurses, grounded in systems theory, involve families in the care process.

By understanding the family’s dynamics, cultural beliefs and support systems, nurses can provide holistic, family-centered care. This approach not only addresses the child’s health needs but also supports the family as a whole, recognizing the interdependence of family members. By fostering open communication and collaboration, nurses create a supportive environment where families feel valued and actively participate in decision-making processes related to their child’s care. Dorothea Orem’s theory emphasizes the importance of self-care in maintaining health. Pediatric nurses, applying this theory, empower families to manage their child’s health conditions independently. By assessing the family’s abilities, resources and support networks, nurses can identify areas where additional education and support are needed. By teaching families essential caregiving skills, medication management and symptom monitoring, nurses enhance the family’s self-efficacy. This empowerment equips families to navigate their child’s health challenges with confidence, ensuring long-term well-being beyond hospital walls.


Nursing theories, with their rich insights and holistic perspectives, are the guiding lights that illuminate the path of pediatric and family care. By embracing these theories, pediatric nurses not only provide expert medical care but also nurture the emotional, cognitive and social development of children. Through family-centered, developmentally appropriate and empowering approaches, nurses create a healing environment where children and their families flourish. In this comprehensive perspective, pediatric nursing transcends the clinical realm. It becomes a compassionate, family-focused endeavor—a partnership where nurses, children and families collaborate to promote health, resilience and a brighter future. As nurses continue to integrate these theories into their practice, they ensure that pediatric and family care is not just a profession but a calling—a calling to nurture the potential, well-being and happiness of every child and family they touch. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring emphasizes the significance of the nurse-patient relationship in healthcare[2,3]. In pediatric and family care, this theory takes on profound importance.

Nurses, guided by Watson’s principles, approach each interaction with children and their families with profound compassion, understanding and empathy. By embracing the concept of transpersonal caring, nurses acknowledge the interconnectedness of all beings, fostering relationships that are not just based on medical expertise but also on genuine human connection. This empathetic approach is particularly crucial in pediatric care, where emotional support and trust are paramount. Nurses, embodying Watson’s theory, create a healing environment where children and families feel valued, respected and understood, enhancing the overall quality of care and facilitating the healing process. Martha Rogers’ Science of Unitary Human Beings challenges the traditional reductionist approach to healthcare.

In pediatric nursing, this theory encourages nurses to view children and families holistically, considering their physical, emotional, social and environmental aspects. By acknowledging the interconnectedness of these elements, nurses can provide care that addresses not only the child’s medical needs but also their emotional well-being and social context. This holistic perspective recognizes that a child’s health is influenced by various factors, including their family dynamics, community support and cultural background. Nurses, integrating Rogers’ theory, tailor interventions that promote wholeness, balance and harmony within the child and family unit, ensuring that care is comprehensive and individualized. Madeleine Leininger’s Culture Care Theory emphasizes culturally competent care, recognizing that healthcare practices are deeply influenced by cultural beliefs and values.

In pediatric nursing, this theory underscores the importance of understanding the cultural backgrounds of children and families. Cultural competence ensures that nursing care is respectful, sensitive and relevant to the cultural norms and traditions of the patients[4,5]. By acknowledging diversity and integrating culturally specific practices into care plans, nurses can bridge communication gaps, establish trust and foster collaboration with families from diverse backgrounds. Leininger’s theory guides nurses in providing care that is not only clinically effective but also culturally respectful, enhancing the overall experience for both children and their families.


Nursing theories weave a tapestry of compassionate, individualized care in pediatric and family nursing. By embracing these theories, nurses create a nurturing environment where children and families find solace, understanding and support. Through the lens of developmental theories, family-centered care, human caring, holistic perspectives and cultural competence, nurses in pediatric and family care transform healthcare into a deeply human experience. In this holistic approach, pediatric nursing becomes a vocation—a calling to nurture not just the physical health of children but also their emotional well-being, cognitive growth and cultural identity. Families are not merely recipients of care; they are active participants, collaborators and partners in the journey toward health and healing. As nurses continue to embody the principles of these theories, they ensure that pediatric and family care is not just a profession but a testament to the profound impact of empathy, understanding and human connection.



Conflict of Interest



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