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DISCUSSION: Betty Newman’s System Model on nursing


Purpose: Discussion 

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Betty Newman’s System Model is a holistic and system-based approach to nursing (Alligood, 2014).  This theory focuses on the response of the patient to environmental stressors.  Every patient is viewed as a unique system of factors the respond differently to known, unknown, and universal stressors.   Prevention is viewed as the primary intervention.  She addresses five subsystems within a person: psychological, physiological, socio-cultural, spiritual, and developmental.  There are six steps in Newman’s System Model for the nursing process: assessment, diagnosis, goal setting, plan, implementation, and evaluation.   The goal of this model is to have harmony within each subsystem and move toward wellness.

Hettler (1976) created a model of wellness that is frequently used.  It includes six dimensions: intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, physical, and occupational.  His theory is that all of these dimensions are interconnected and contribute to healthy living.  When all of these dimensions are in line for a person, they will experience optimal wellness.

Both of these models are focused on wellness.  Newman’s System Model (2014) and Hettler’s Six Dimensions of Wellness Model (1976) identify areas of a person that need to be fulfilled to achieve this ultimate goal.  A practioner may be using Newman’s Model, while another may be using Hettler’s Model.  Ultimately the goal is to provide wellness for their patient.  Both models look at similar aspects of a patient that lead to the whole being highly functional. 


Alligood, M. R. (2014). Nursing theorists and their work. (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Hettler, B. (1976). Six dimensions of wellness model. Retrieved from

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