The Functional Components of Orlando’s Middle Range Theory


Middle-Range Theories “offer the best concepts and ideas that can bridge the gaps experienced in nursing” (Sorensen, Frederiksen, Groefte, & Lomborg, 2013, p. 29). Ida Jean Orlando presents one of the best middle-range nursing theories. Orlando’s “Dynamic-Patient Relationship Theory” focuses on the health needs of every targeted patient. According to the theorist, communication and interaction are powerful strategies that can improve the level of nursing care. The theorist views nursing as “a powerful practice that improves the health of different individuals” (Sorensen et al., 2013, p. 31). Orlando’s middle-range nursing theory focuses on “the best practices that can reduce every patient’s sense of helplessness” (Parker & Smith, 2010, p. 58).

Functional Components of Orlando’s Theory

Orlando’s theory identifies several components that make it easier for nurses to achieve their goals. Nursing practice usually focuses on the needs of different patients and the responses of caregivers. Nursing practice “occurs when there is an encounter between patients and nurses” (Sorensen et al., 2013, p. 31). The next component is the desire to understand the meaning of different health behaviors. Clinicians can validate this understanding using effective communication strategies and practices (Ku & Minas, 2010).

Nurses should be ready to analyze “the meaning of different patients’ behaviors” (Parker & Smith, 2010, p. 57). Orlando believes that “professional nurses should function independently to offer quality patient care” (Sorensen et al., 2013, p. 32). The theory also presents meaningful concepts that make nursing more effective. The first concept is “Function of Professional Nursing” (Parker & Smith, 2010, p. 58). This organizing principle guides every nursing practice. The concept makes it easier for clinicians to identify the health problems encountered by their patients. The entire nursing process should investigate the issues and problems affecting every targeted patient (Pullen & Mathias, 2010).

Meta-Paradigms of Nursing

Human Beings

Orlando’s theory supports the four meta-paradigms of nursing. According to the theory, human beings are “unique, sentient, holistic, and multidimensional creatures” (Ku & Minas, 2010, p. 7). The theory encourages nurses to embrace the best values such as empathy. Human beings deserve respect and support. The theorist explains why nurses “should communicate with their clients and make informed decisions regarding their health expectations” (Ku & Minas, 2010, p. 8).


The “Dynamic-Patient Relationship Theory” also examines the relevance of the environment in nursing. This energy field examines several issues that affect the health of different patients. The “cultural, social, and personal attributes encountered in a certain society determines the health of its people” (Parker & Smith, 2010, p. 73). Orlando explains why positive nurse-patient interactions are critical in every medical practice. Patients tend to behave following the natural environment (Pullen & Mathias, 2010).


The theory also focuses on the best strategies that can alleviate human suffering and helplessness. This “practice should be relational and contextual” (Sorensen et al., 2013, p. 31). According to Orlando, caregivers should promote the best interaction between every patient and the surrounding environment. They should also “support their patients using appropriate coping strategies” (Pullen & Mathias, 2010, p. 6).

Nursing Practice

According to Ida’s theory, nursing should be a professional practice that promotes new concepts such as commitment, empathy, and understanding. Human care must focus on the best strategies to enhance the health condition of every patient. Orlando defines nursing as “an action that deals with the distress portrayed by every targeted patient” (Pullen & Mathias, 2010, p. 8).

Reference List

Ku, T., & Minas, H. (2010). Development of the Nursing Relationships Scale: a measure of interpersonal approaches in nursing care. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 4(12), 1-11.

Parker, M., & Smith, M. (2010). Nursing Theories and Nursing Practice. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

Pullen, R., & Mathias, T. (2010). Fostering Therapeutic Nurse-Patient Relationships. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy, 8(3), 4-12.

Sorensen, D., Frederiksen, K., Groefte, T., & Lomborg, K. (2013). Nurse-Patient Collaboration: A Grounded Theory Study of Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease on Non-Invasive Ventilation. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 50(1), 26-33.