Essay on Imogene King’s Goal Attainment Theory

Essay on Imogene King’s Goal Attainment Theory

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Nursing theory gives a point from which to define the what, who and when in nursing and further determine the goals and boundaries in the involved therapeutic activities. This would be developed to describe the nursing phenomenon, including the process, event or occurrence involved (Parker & Smith, 2010). Even though different theories relatively address specific and solid phenomena, their scope could vary. As such, grand and middle-range theories address specific nursing issues but cover varied scopes. This paper evaluates a middle-range theory of goal attainment put forth by a theorist, Imogene King. The Goal Attainment Theory is distinct and was used by King to describe interpersonal and dynamic relationship aimed at attaining patient’s life goals hence a critical one for advancement in nursing education and practice.
Chinn and Kramer (2011) defines Middle-range theory as the relative classification for theory that embodies concepts, relationships, and purposes that reflect limited aspects of broad phenomenon. It is known to address more concrete and focused phenomena than grand theory. According to Smith and Liehr (2014), the theories under this portfolio have predictions, explanations and descriptions responding to questions on nursing phenomena but do not cover the concerned discipline on full range. Derived in 1981, the Theory of Goal Attainment sought to answer the question of what the nature of nursing is. King gave the answer to this as “the way in which nurses, in their role, do with and for individuals that differentiates nursing from other professionals” (Parker & Smith, 2010, 148). This framework bases on the assumption of human beings as the focus of nursing. Nursing aims at promoting, maintaining and restoring he...


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...lleen, M. B. & King, I. M. (2007). Viewpoint: Use of King’s conceptual system, nursing informatics, and nursing classification systems for global communication. International Journal of Nursing Knowledge, 18 (2), 51 – 57. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-618X.2007.00050.x
Meleis, A. I. (2012). Theoretical nursing: Development and progress (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Parker, M. E. & Smith, M. C. (2010). Nursing theories and nursing practice. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis Company.
Smith, M. J. & Liehr, P. R. (Eds.). (2014). Middle range theory for nursing. New York, NY: Springer.
Tomey, A. M. & Alligood, M. R. (2002). Nursing theorists and their work (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Mosby.
Williams, L.A. (2001). Imogene King’s Interacting Systems Theory: Application in Emergency and Rural Nursing. Online Journal of Nursing and Health Care, 2 (1), 25–30

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