1986: “Theoretical Pluralism”: Direction for a Practice Discipline

Contributor: Adeline Falk-Rafael (with thanks to Dorothea Fox Jakob)
Dates: August 19-22, 1986
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Sponsored by Ryerson School of Nursing. For a full list of the organizing committee and abstract reviewers, see the full conference proceedings


To allow participants to: (1) Understand the basis of theoretical pluralism in nursing; (2) Identify the theoretical and conceptual basis of specific conceptual frameworks for nursing and their application in practice, research, education, administration; (3) Gain an awareness of the utility of specific conceptual frameworks in various practice settings; (4) examine the diagnostic process within a nursing practice framework; (5) Explore approaches to be used in the selection of a specific framework for nursing.


Attendees included noted nursing theorists such as Moyra Allen, James Dickoff & Patricia James, Imogene King, Myra Levine, Betty Neuman, Rosemarie Rizzo Parse, Martha Rogers (US), Sister Callista Roy. In addition Susan Taylor presented Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Model and Bonnie Holiday presented Johnson’s Behavioral Systems Model.


The program allowed for plenary sessions of nursing theorist presentations, followed by concurrent sessions in which attendees presented experiences of using the theories in practice, education, or research. Details, including speakers’ notes and presenter abstracts may be examined in the attached pdf file of the proceedings, which includes theorists’ presentation notes. Phyllis Kritek presented on behalf of NANDA and spoke about the relevance of nursing theory to nursing diagnoses. The conference concluded with a presentation on theoretical pluralism by Dr. Marian McGee. The opportunity to hear directly from, and interact with so many prominent nursing theorists, as well as learn of how the theories had been used in practice, research and education must have been the highlight of the conference.