Parse’s Theory of Humanbecoming

Contributor: Jacqueline Fawcett
September 8, 2018

Author – Rosemarie Rizzo Parse, RN, PhD, FAAN

Year First Published – 1981
Parse model

© 2018 Jacqueline Fawcett

Major Concepts



  •  Imaging
  • Valuing
  • Languaging
  • PRINCIPLE 1: Structuring meaning is the imaging and valuing of languaging


  • Revealing-Concealing
  • Enabling-Limiting
  • Connecting-Separating
  • PRINCIPLE 2: Configuring rhythmical patterns of relating is the revealing-concealing and enabling-limiting of connecting-separating


  • Powering
  • Originating
  • Transforming
  • PRINCIPLE 3: Cotranscending with possibles is the powering and originating of transforming


  • Moving-Initiating
  • Tunneling
  • Driving
  • Laddering
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Submarining
  • Ballooning
  • Motorflying
  • Swinging
  • Anchoring-Shifting
  • Savoring-Sacrificing
  • Revering-Liberating
  • Pondering-Shaping
  • Considering-Composing
  • Dialoguing-Listening


  • Illuminating Meaning -Explicating
  • Synchronizing Rhythms-Dwelling With
  • Mobilizing Transcendence-Moving Beyond
  • Contexts for Nursing
  • True Presence
    • Coming-to-be-Present
    • Face-to-Face Discussions
    • Silent Immersion
    • Lingering Presence
  • Ways of Changing Health Patterns in True Presence
    • Creative Imagining
    • Affirming Personal Becoming
    • Glimpsing the Paradoxical

A grand theory of nursing

Brief Description

Parse’s work focuses on the humanuniverse-health process, which she regards as the phenomenon of concern for the discipline of nursing, as well as on cocreated human experiences The goal of the discipline of nursing is quality of the perons’s, family’s, and community’s persepctives. The goal of the Humanbecoming nurse is to be truly present with people as they enhance the quality of lfie. ( Parse, R. R. (1981). Man-Living-Health: A theory of nursing. New York, NY: Wiley; Parse, R. R. (2001). Rosemarie Rizzo Parse: The human becoming school of thought. In M. E. Parker (Ed.), Nursing theories and nursing practice (pp. 227–238). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis; Fawcett, J., & DeSanto-Madeya, S. (2013). Contemporary nursing knoweldge: Analysis and evaluation of nursing models and theories (3rd ed., pp. 340, 352). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.)

Selected Primary Sources

Parse, R. R. (1981). Man living health. A theory of nursing. New York, NY: Wiley. [Reprinted 1989. Albany, NY: Delmar.]

Parse, R. R. (Ed.). (1987). Nursing Science. Major paradigms, theories, and critiques. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.

Parse, R. R. (1989). Man living health: A theory of nursing. In J. P. Riehl Sisca (Ed.), Conceptual models for nursing practice (3rd ed., pp. 253–257). Norwalk, CT: Appleton & Lange.

Parse, R. R. (1991). Parse’s theory of human becoming. In I. E. Goertzen (Ed.), Differentiating nursing practice: Into the twenty first century (pp. 51–53). Kansas City, MO: American Academy of Nursing.

Parse, R. R. (1992). Human becoming: Parse’s theory of nursing. Nursing Science Quarterly, 5, 35–42.

Parse, R. R. (Ed.). (1995). Illuminations: The human becoming theory in practice and research New York, NY: National League for Nursing.

Parse, R. R. (1996). The human becoming theory: Challenges in practice and research. Nursing Science Quarterly, 9, 55–60.

Parse, R. R. (1997a). The human becoming theory: The was, is, and will be. Nursing Science Quarterly, 10, 32–38.

Parse, R. R. (1997). Transforming research and practice with the human becoming theory. Nursing Science Quarterly, 10, 171–174.

Parse, R.R. (1998). The human becoming school of thought: A perspective for nurses and other health professionals. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Parse, R. R. (2003). Community: A human becoming perspective. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Parse, R. R. (2004). The ubiquitous nature of unitary: Major change in human becoming language. Illuminations, 13(1), 1.

Parse, R. R. (N.D. [2006]). The human becoming school of thought: Living the art of human becoming (2nd ed). DVD produced by the International Consortium of Parse Scholars (

Parse, R. R. (2007). A human becoming perspective on quality of life. Nursing Science Quarterly, 20, 217.

Parse, R. R. (2007). The humanbecoming school of thought in 2050. Nursing Science Quarterly, 20, 308-311.

Parse, R. R. (2009). The humanbecoming family model. Nursing Science Quarterly, 22, 305-309.

Parse, R. R. (2015). Rosemarie Rizzo Parse’s humanbecoming school of thought. . In M.C. Smith & M. E. Parker (Eds.), Nursing theories and nursing practice (4th ed., pp. 263-277). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.

Parse, R. R. (2016).More on living quality. Illuminations, 25(2), 1.

Parse, R. R. (2014). The humanbecoming paradigm: A transformational worldview. Pittsburgh, PA: Discovery International. Available at


Rosemarie Rizzo Parse

“Dr. Parse is a graduate of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and received her master’s and doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. She was a member of the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh, Dean of the Nursing School at Duquesne University, Professor and Coordinator of the Center for Nursing Research at Hunter College of the City University of New York (1983-1993), and Professor and Niehoff Chair at Loyola University Chicago (1993-2006); [she currently is Distinguished Professor Emerita, at Loyola University of Chicago.] Since January 2007 she has been a Consultant and Visiting Scholar at the New York University College of Nursing. Dr. Parse is founder and current Editor of Nursing Science Quarterly, and President of Discovery International, Inc. She is also founder of the Institute of Humanbecoming.” (