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Madeleine Leininger

- An Evaluation of Her Nursing Theory -

Madeleine Leininger’s main contribution to nursing, among many, is her Culture Care Diversity and Universality Theory. In this theory, Leininger’s main tenet of belief is that, “culturally congruent care is essential for clients for their well being or to gain and remain healthy,” (Leininger, 1991: 181). One of the origins of this theory is the increasing multiculturalism around the globe. With so many diverse cultures, each of them having different conceptions and methods of care, it is important for nurses to expand the dimension of care they traditionally have utilized (an ethno-centric model by and large). Leininger had a unique perspective into the situation because she was a nurse and an anthropologist. Her observations of different cultures, and the different ways in which they “cared”, lead her to believe that there needed to be a blend of nursing care and cultural knowledge. This research will discuss Leininger’s Culture Care Diversity and Universality Theory. A brief conclusion will address the fact that nursing in and of itself is also a culture that needs understood for quality care to exist.

One of the most difficult challenges facing Leininger was how to combine care and culture to provide a model of cultural care that would be effective. In 1985 Leininger had formulated her thoughts on the subject to the point of generating a general theory about cultural care and diversity, “with the theory, I predict that different cultures perceive, know, and practice care in different ways, yet there are some commonalities about care among all the cultures in the world,” (Reynolds and Leininger, 1993: 11). One of Leininger’s biggest goals in the formulation of this theory was how to connect the components of culture that were influential in care (individuals, families, groups, institutions) to a nursing theory that took these components into considerati...

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Madeleine Leininger. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:17, September 24, 2018, from