Ida Jean Orlando was a nurse theorist who developed the Delibrative Nursing Process Theory. Learn about Ida Jean Orlando’s biography, major concepts of her nursing theory, and its application to nursing in this study guide.
Ida Jean Orlando-Pelletier (August 12, 1926 – November 28, 2007) was an internationally known psychiatric health nurse, theorist and researcher who developed the “Deliberative Nursing Process Theory.” Her theory allows nurses to create an effective nursing care plan that can also be easily adapted when and if any complications arise with the patient.
Ida Jean Orlando was a first generation Irish American born on August 12, 1926. She dedicated her life studying nursing and graduated in 1947 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in public health nursing in 1951. In 1954, she completed her Master of Arts in Mental Health consultation. While studying she also worked intermittently and sometimes concurrently as a staff nurse in OB, MS, ER; as a supervisor in a general hospital, and as an assistant director and a teacher of several courses. And in 1961, she was married to Robert Pelletier and lived in the Boston area.
In 1947, she received a diploma in nursing from the Flower Fifth Avenue HospitSchool of Nursing in New York. In 1951, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in public health nursing from St. John’s University in Brooklyn, New York. And in 1954, Orlando received her Master of Arts degree in mental health consultation from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Ida Jean Orlando had a diverse career, working as a practitioner, consultant, researcher, and educator in nursing. Orlando devoted her life to mental health and psychiatric nursing, working as a clinical nurse and researcher.
After receiving her master’s degree in 1954, Orlando went to the Yale University School of Nursing in New Haven, Connecticut as an associate professor of mental health and psychiatric nursing for eight years. She was awarded a federal grant and became a research associate and the principal project investigator of a National Institute of Mental health Institute of the United States Public Health Service’s grant entitled “Integration of Mental Health Concepts in a Basic Curriculum.” The project sought to identify those factors relevant to the integration of psychiatric-mental health principles into the nursing curriculum.
During 1958-1961, Orlando, as an associate professor and the director of the graduate program in mental health and psychiatric nursing at Yale University, used her proposed conceptual nursing model as the foundation for the curriculum of the program. From 1962-1972, Orlando served as a clinical nurse consultant at Mclean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. In this position, she studied the interactions of nurses with clients, other nurses and other staff members and how these interactions affected the process of the nurse’s help to clients. Orlando convinced the administration that an educational program for nurses was needed, whereupon Mclean Hospital initiated an educational program based on her nursing model.
From 1972 to 1984, she also served on the board of the Harvard Community Health Plan in Boston, Massachusetts.
In 1981, Orlando became an educator at Boston University School of Nursing and held administrative positions from 1984 to 1987 at Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham, Massachusetts. In September 1987, she became the Assistant director of Nursing for Education and Research at the said institution. She was also a project consultant for the Mental Health Project for Associate Degree Faculties created by the New England Board of Higher Education. Finally in 1992, Orlando retired and received the Nursing Living Legend award by the Massachusetts Registered Nurse Association.
Ida Jean Orlando developed her theory from a study conducted at the Yale University School of Nursing, integrating mental health concepts into a basic nursing curriculum. She proposed that “patients have their own meanings and interpretations of situations and therefore nurses must validate their inferences and analyses with patients before drawing conclusions.”
The theory was published in The Dynamic Nurse-Patient Relationship: Function, Process, and Principles (NLN Classics in Nursing Theory) in 1961. Her book purposed a contribution to concern about the nurse-patient relationship, the nurse’s professional role and identity, and the knowledge development distinct to nursing.
Orlando’s nursing theory stresses the reciprocal relationship between patient and nurse. What the nurse and the patient say and do affects them both. She views the professional function of nursing as finding out and meeting the patient’s immediate need for help.
She also described her model as revolving around the following five major interrelated concepts: function of professional nursing, presenting behavior, immediate reaction, nursing process discipline, and improvement. The function of professional nursing is the organizing principle. Presenting behavior is the patient’s problematic situation. The immediate reaction is the internal response. The nursing process discipline is the investigation into the patient’s needs. And lastly, improvement is the resolution to the patient’s situation.
The Deliberative Nursing Process has five stages: assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Nurses use the standard nursing process in Orlando’s Nursing Process Discipline Theory to produce positive outcomes or patient improvement. Orlando’s key focus was the definition of the function of nursing. The model provides a framework for nursing, but the use of her theory does not exclude nurses from using other nursing theories while caring for patients.
Ida Jean Orlando’s nursing theory is discussed further below.
After working as a researcher, she wrote a book on her findings from Yale, entitled “The Dynamic Nurse-Patient Relationship: Function, Process, and Principles.” Her book was published in 1961. A year later, she also continued her research studies published her second book “The Discipline and Teaching of Nursing Process” in 1972.
Ida Jean Orlando retired from nursing in 1992. After becoming well-educated, researching over 2,000 nurse-patient interactions, and coming up with a theory that changed nursing, she was recognized as a “Nursing Living Legend” by the Massachusetts Registered Nurse Association.
Ida Jean Orlando died on November 28, 2007 at the age of 81.
One important thing that nurses do is converse with the patients and let them know what the plan of care for the day is going to be. However, regardless of how well thought out a nursing care plan is for a patient, unexpected problems to the patient’s recovery may arise at any time. With these, the job of the nurse is to know how to deal with those problems so the patient can continue to get back and reclaim his or her well-being. Ida Jean Orlando developed her Deliberative Nursing Process that allows nurses to formulate an effective nursing care plan that can also be easily adapted when and if any complexity comes up with the patient.
Ida Jean Orlando’s nursing theory stresses the reciprocal relationship between patient and nurse. It emphasizes the critical importance of the patient’s participation in the nursing process. Orlando also considered nursing as a distinct profession and separated it from medicine where nurses as determining nursing action rather than being prompted by physician’s orders, organizational needs and past personal experiences. She believed that the physician’s orders are for patients and not for nurses.
She proposed that “patients have their own meanings and interpretations of situations and therefore nurses must validate their inferences and analyses with patients before drawing conclusions.”
Ida Jean Orlando’s goal is to develop a theory of effective nursing practice. The theory explains that the role of the nurse is to find out and meet the patient’s immediate needs for help. According to the theory, all patient behavior can be a cry for help. Through these, the nurse’s job is to find out the nature of the patient’s distress and provide the help he or she needs.
Ida Jean Orlando’s model of nursing makes the following assumptions:
The nursing metaparadigm consists of four concepts: person, environment, health, and nursing. Of the four concepts, Ida Jean Orlando only included three in her theory of Nursing Process Discipline: person, health, and nursing.
Orlando uses the concept of human as she emphasizes individuality and the dynamic nature of the nurse-patient relationship. For her, humans in need are the focus of nursing practice.
In Orlando’s theory, health is replaced by a sense of helplessness as the initiator of a necessity for nursing. She stated that nursing deals with individuals who are in need of help.
Orlando completely disregarded environment in her theory, only focusing on the immediate need of the patient, chiefly the relationship and actions between the nurse and the patient (only an individual in her theory; no families or groups were mentioned). The effect that the environment could have on the patient was never mentioned in Orlando’s theory.
Orlando speaks of nursing as unique and independent in its concerns for an individual’s need for help in an immediate situation. The efforts to meet the individual’s need for help are carried out in an interactive situation and in a disciplined manner that requires proper training.
Ida Jean Orlando described her model as revolving around the following five major interrelated concepts: the function of professional nursing, presenting behavior, immediate reaction, nursing process discipline, and improvement.
The function of professional nursing is the organizing principle. This means finding out and meeting the patient’s immediate needs for help. According to Orlando, nursing is responsive to individuals who suffer, or who anticipate a sense of helplessness. It is focused on the process of care in an immediate experience, and is concerned with providing direct assistance to a patient in whatever setting they are found in for the purpose of avoiding, relieving, diminishing, or curing the sense of helplessness in the patient. The Nursing Process Discipline Theory labels the purpose of nursing to supply the help a patient needs for his or her needs to be met. That is, if the patient has an immediate need for help, and the nurse discovers and meets that need, the purpose of nursing has been achieved.
Presenting behavior is the patient’s problematic situation. Through the presenting behavior, the nurse finds the patient’s immediate need for help. To do this, the nurse must first recognize the situation as problematic. Regardless of how the presenting behavior appears, it may represent a cry for help from the patient. The presenting behavior of the patient, which is considered the stimulus, causes an automatic internal response in the nurse, which in turn causes a response in the patient.
The patient’s behavior reflects distress when the patient experiences a need that he cannot resolve, a sense of helplessness occurs.
The immediate reaction is the internal response. The patient perceives objects with his or her five senses. These perceptions stimulate automatic thought, and each thought stimulates an automatic feeling, causing the patient to act. These three items are the patient’s immediate response. The immediate response reflects how the nurse experiences his or her participation in the nurse-patient relationship-
The patient behavior stimulated a nurse reaction, which marks the beginning of the nursing process discipline.
When the nurse acts, an action process transpires. This action process by the nurse in a nurse-patient contact is called nursing process. The nurse’s action may be automatic or deliberative.
Automatic Nursing Actions are nursing actions decided upon for reasons other than the patient’s immediate need.
Deliberative Nursing Actions are actions decided upon after ascertaining a need and then meeting this need
The following list identifies the criteria for deliberative actions:
The nursing process discipline is the investigation into the patient’s needs. Any observation shared and explored with the patient is immediately useful in ascertaining and meeting his or her need, or finding out he or she has no needs at that time. The nurse cannot assume that any aspect of his or her reaction to the patient is correct, helpful, or appropriate until he or she checks the validity of it by exploring it with the patient. The nurse initiates this exploration to determine how the patient is affected by what he or she says and does. Automatic reactions are ineffective because the nurse’s action is determined for reasons other than the meaning of the patient’s behavior or the patient’s immediate need for help. When the nurse doesn’t explore the patient’s reaction with him or her, it is reasonably certain that effective communication between nurse and patient stops.
The nurse decides on an appropriate action to resolve the need in cooperation with the patient. This action is evaluated after it is carried out. If the patient behavior improves, the action was successful and the process is completed. If there is no change or the behavior gets worse, the process recycles with new efforts to clarify the patient’s behavior or the appropriate nursing action.
The action process in a person-to-person contact functioning in secret. The perceptions, thoughts, and feelings of each individual are not directly available to the perception of the other individual through the observable action.
The action process in a person-to-person contact functioning by open disclosure. The perceptions, thoughts, and feelings of each individual are directly available to the perception of the other individual through the observable action.
Improvement is the resolution to the patient’s situation. In the resolution, the nurse’s actions are not evaluated. Instead, the result of his or her actions are evaluated to determine whether his or her actions served to help the patient communicate his or her need for help and how it was met. In each contact, the nurse repeats a process of learning how he or she can help the patient. The nurse’s own individuality, as well as that of the patient, requires going through this each time the nurse is called upon to render service to those who need him or her.
The Deliberative Nursing Process has five stages: assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
In the assessment stage, the nurse completes a holistic assessment of the patient’s needs. This is done without taking the reason for the encounter into consideration. The nurse uses a nursing framework to collect both subjective and objective data about the patient.
The diagnosis stage uses the nurse’s clinical judgment about health problems. The diagnosis can then be confirmed using links to defining characteristics, related factors, and risk factors found in the patient’s assessment.
The planning stage addresses each of the problems identified in the diagnosis. Each problem is given a specific goal or outcome, and each goal or outcome is given nursing interventions to help achieve the goal. By the end of this stage, the nurse will have a nursing care plan.
In the implementation stage, the nurse begins using the nursing care plan.
Finally, in the evaluation stage, the nurse looks at the progress of the patient toward the goals set in the nursing care plan. Changes can be made to the nursing care plan based on how well (or poorly) the patient is progressing toward the goals. If any new problems are identified in the evaluation stage, they can be addressed, and the process starts over again for those specific problems.
The concept of interaction also limits it to individuals capable of conversing, a shared limitation with other nurse-client dynamic theories – unconscious patients are not covered by this theory.
The guarantee that patients will be treated as individuals is very much applied in Orlando’s theory of Deliberative Nursing Process. Each patient will have an active and constant input into their own care.
Assertion of nursing’s independence as a profession and her belief that this independence must be based on a sound theoretical framework.
The model also guides the nurse to evaluate her care in terms of objectively observable patient outcomes.
The lack of the operational definitions of society or environment was evident which limits the development of research hypothesis.
Orlando’s work focuses on short term care, particularly aware and conscious individuals and on the virtual absence of reference group or family members.
Orlando’s nursing theory stresses the reciprocal relationship between patient and nurse. What the nurse and the patient say and do affects them both. Orlando views the professional function of nursing as finding out and meeting the patient’s immediate need for help. She was one of the first nursing leaders to identify and emphasize the elements of the nursing process and the critical importance of the patient’s participation in the nursing process. Orlando’s theory focuses on how to produce improvement in the patient’s behavior. Evidence of relieving the patient’s distress is seen as positive changes in the patient’s observable behavior. Orlando may have facilitated the development of nurses as logical thinkers.
The Deliberative Nursing Process helps nurses achieve more successful patient outcomes such as fall reduction. Orlando’s theory remains a most effective practice theory that is especially helpful to new nurses as they begin their practice.
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References and sources for this study guide about Ida Jean Orlando:
With contributions by Wayne, G. (for Biography), Vera, M., Ramirez, Q.