The theory and conceptual model you have selected to give structure to nurses' practice of nursing and to aid in the design and planning for the production of nursing for present and future populations of persons to be served has been under development since 1958. The three-part theory, named self-care deficit nursing theory, had its beginning in 1958 in my observations over time of the realities of nursing practice situations, specifically in an insight about when and why individuals, human beings, are in need of nursing. This insight was expressed as the inability of a maturing and mature person to provide for self the amount and quality of self-care required on a continuing basis because of the person's health state or the nature of the person's health care requirements. For children, the reason was expressed as the inability of parents or guardians to provide care required by the child because of the child's health situation. This expression of the proper object of nursing gradually and naturally led, over a period of years, to the formalization, expression, and validation of the concepts
This paper was originally presented at Crawford Long Hospital, Atlanta, GA, November 11, 1992.