Ida Jean Orlando - Theory of Nursing Process Discipline

Orlando's theory was developed in the late 1950s from observations she recorded between a nurse and patient. Despite her efforts, she was only able to categorize the records as "good" or "bad" nursing. It then dawned on her that both the formulations for "good" and "bad" nursing were contained in the records. From these observations she formulated the deliberative nursing process. The role of the nurse is to find out and meet the patient's immediate need for help. The patient's presenting behavior may be a plea for help, however, the help needed may not be what it appears to be. Therefore, nurses need to use their perception, thoughts about the perception, or the feeling engendered from their thoughts to explore with patients the meaning of their behavior. This process helps the nurse find out the nature of the distress and what help the patient needs. Orlando's theory remains one the of the most effective practice theories available. (Extract from: Ida Jean Orlando's Nursing Process Theory Site by Dr. Norma Jean Schmieding. University of Rhode Island College of Nursing).


Orlando, I. J. (1961). The dynamic nurse-patient relationship: Function, process and principles. New York, NY: G. P. Putman's Sons. [Reprinted 1990, New York: National League for Nursing.]

Orlando, I. J. (1972). The discipline and teaching of nursing process: An evaluative study. New York, NY: G. P. Putman's Sons.

Orlando, I. J. (1987). Nursing in the 21st century: Alternate paths. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 12(4), 405-412.

Orlando, I. J., & Dugan, A. (1989). Independent and dependent paths: The fundamental issue for the nursing profession. Nursing & Health Care, 2(2), 77-80.

Schmieding, N. J. (1983). The analysis of Orlando's nursing theory based on Kuhn's theory of science. In P. Chinn (Ed.), Advances in nursing theory development (pp.63-87). Rockville, MD: Aspen.

Schmieding, N. J. (1984). Putting Orlando's theory into practice. American Journal of Nursing, 84(6), 759-761.

Schmieding, N. (1987). Problematic situations in nursing: Analysis of Orlando's theory based on Dewey's theory of inquiry. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 12(4), 431-440.

Schmieding, N. (1988). Action process of nurse administrators to problematic situations based on Orlando's theory. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 13(1), 99-107.

Schmieding, N. J. (1993). Empowerment through context, structure, and process. Journal of Professional Nursing, 9(4), 239-245.

Schmieding, N. J. (1995). Ida Jean Orlando: A nursing process theory. In C. M. McQuiston & A. A. Webb (Eds.), Foundations of nursing theory: Contributions of 12 key theorists (pp. 561-620). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Schmieding, N. J. (2002). Orlando's nursing process theory in nursing practice. In M. R. Alligood & A. M. Tomey (Eds.), Nursing theory utilization & application (2nd ed. pp. 315-337). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.

Schumacher, l. P., Fischer, S., Tomey, A. M., Mills, D. I., & Sauter, M. K. (1998). Ida Jean Orlando (Pelletier): Nursing process theory. In A. M. Tomey & M. R. Alligood (Eds.), Nursing theorists and their work (pp. 351-363). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.