Conceptual Model of Nursing (Nursology) and Population Health

Contributor: Jacqueline Fawcett
September 21, 2018

Authors – Jacqueline Fawcett, RN, PhD, ScD (hon), FAAN, ANEF and Carol Hall Ellenbecker, RN, PhD

Year First Published – 2015

© 2018 Jacqueline Fawcett

Major Concepts


  • Socioeconomic environment
  • Physical environment


  • Genetic factors
  • Behavioral factors
  • Physiologic factors
  • Resilience
  • Health state


  • Providers
  • Organizations and institutions
  • Payers
  • Policies


  • Population-based nursing (nursologists’) practice processes
  • Culturally aware wellness promotion restoration, and maintenance
  • Culturally aware disease prevention


  • Population-level wellness
  • Population-level disease burden
  • Population-level functional status
  • Population-level life expectancy
  • Population-level mortality
  • Population-level quality of life

A conceptual model of nursing/nursology

Brief Description (with illustration)

The Conceptual Model of Nursing (Nursology) and Population Health (CMNPH) was developed as a means of advancing nursologists’ contributions to the intersection of nursology and population health. Population health is not the same as epidemiology, public health, or community health. “The primary focus of the CMNPH is attainment of the highest possible quality of life for aggregates of people by means of [nursologists’] activities directed to promote or restore and maintain wellness and to prevent disease, thus making it relevant to both the improvement of population health and to the practice of [nursology]. For the purposes of the CMNPH, population health is defined as lifespan wellness and disease experiences of aggregate groups of people residing in local, state, national, or international geographic regions or those populations with common characteristics. Population health includes aspects of public health, health care delivery systems, and determinants of wellness and illness, emphasizing promotion, restoration, and maintenance of wellness and prevention of disease” (Fawcett & Ellenbecker, 2015, p. 290)

Primary Sources

Fawcett, J., & Ellenbecker, C.H. (2015). A proposed conceptual model of nursing and population health. Nursing Outlook, 63, 288-298.


Jacqueline Fawcett

Jacqueline Fawcett is a professor in the Department of Nursing (Nursology) at the  University of Massachusetts Boston. Although she has conducted two major programs of research during her career, one guided by Rogers’ Science of Unitary Human Beings and the other guided by Roy’s Adaptation Model, her passion is meta-theory, that is, the nature and structure of knowledge in nursing, which is the focus of this book.

Carol Hall Ellenbecker

PhD, Brandeis University
MSN, Boston College
BSN, University of New Mexico

At the time of development of the Conceptual Model of Nursing (Nursology) and Population Health, Dr. Ellenbecker, now retired, was professor, Department of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Ellenbecker’s program of research has focused on the exploration of health care delivery systems for the purposes of expanding knowledge in the areas of regulation, development and implementation of health policy. Dr. Ellenbecker’s research expertise includes conducting large surveys with representative samples, instrument development, and model testing. She has contributed to policy on a national level in 2000, Dr. Ellenbecker became a Visiting Professor for the National Association for Home Care at Homecare University in Washington DC and in 2009, and she was awarded an AARP Center to Champion Nursing in America Fellowship, where she contributed to workforce policy. Her work has implications for improving the work environment and retaining nurses, which is necessary for assuring access to and the quality of patient care in the future.