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Essay on Imogene M. King

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Imogene M. King, RN, Ed.D

Imogene M. King was born on January 30, 1923, in West Point Iowa; and died December 24, 2007, in St. Petersburg, Florida (Alligood & Tomey, 2010). Imogene King throughout her career worked as a staff nurse, nurse educator, professor and nurse administrator, along with many other jobs and roles in her career. During her timeframe, King states that nursing was changing as a profession and nurses were questioning the existing dimensions and roles in nursing. (1971). King began her work in nursing theory with a conceptual framework that she considered to be a deviation from systems theory, with emphasis on interaction theory (King, 1971). Imogene King went on to develop a conceptual model for nursing in the mid 1960's with the idea that human beings are open systems interacting with the environment (King, 1981). King's work is considered a conceptual model because it comprises both a conceptual framework and a theory (Fawcett, 2000).

The central focus of King's framework is man as a dynamic human being whose perceptions of objects, persons and events influence his behavior, social interaction, and health (King, 1971). King states that people are members of groups in life, they learn ways of meeting their basic needs through interactions as members of a group, and some of these interactions lead to transactions. (1981). King then describes transactions as "purposeful interactions that lead to goal attainment. In nursing goals are achieved through nurse-client transactions when there is mutual goal setting by nurse and client, when both parties explore the means to achieve the goal and agree on the means, and

when both exhibit behavior that moves toward goal attainment. The outcomes of transactions are satisfactions in performing actives of daily living, success in performing

activities in one's usual roles, and achievement of immediate and long range goals" (1981). King's motivation started with the question "What is the nature of nursing?" and her answer "The way in which nurses, in their role, do with and for individuals that differentiates nursing from other health professionals." (Alligood & Tomey, 2010) She started then by breaking down what nursing is through the characteristics of nurses, goals of nurses, function of nurses, and from that help to establish her framework for nursing.

Her formulation of conceptual framework is made from the conclusion that human beings are open systems interacting with environment (King, 1981). This framework consisted of interacting systems of personal, interpersonal and social systems. King (1981) describes personal systems as individuals and that it is necessary in this group to understand the concepts of body image, growth and development, perception, self, space and time. King (1981) then describes interpersonal systems as 2 or more interacting individuals and comprehension in this system include understanding of role, interaction, communication, transaction and stress. King (1981) states that and interpersonal system with common goals and interests make up society and is referred to as a social system. Within a social system the concepts of organization, power, authority, status, decision making and roles are knowledge basis to help nurse function in a variety of social systems (King, 1981). She provides social systems in which nurses and consumers interact are family systems, religious or belief systems, educational systems and work systems. Health care systems, such as hospitals and health agencies are major

social systems and are influenced by other social systems like the American Nurses' Association (King, 1981). This goes to prove her point of all systems having constant

and ever-changing interaction and reactions to reach goals and lead to satisfaction for all. It was the relationships between these three systems that led to King's Theory of Goal Attainment.




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