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Neuman Systems Model Conspectus

The Neuman Systems Model (NSM) is an operating framework designed to guide

caregivers and administrators in helping those in their charge to manage stressors.
[1] Globally, NSM practitioners recognize the theory as a valid method to create
positive client outcomes. Dr. Neuman aggregated health, business and academia
setting best practices. These institution types all apply the theory the help clients
manage stressors.

In the healthcare setting, Neuman Systems Model practitioners seek to help patients
heal physically, mentally and spiritually. Dr. Neuman encourages users to interpret
the framework as it suits their specific environments. To keep the framework current,
Dr. Neuman revises and republishes the system periodically.

Portrait of a Theorist

Ohio native Betty Neuman spent considerable time earning her education and
constructing NSM theory. She graduated from Peoples Hospital School of Nursing,
Akron in 1947. In 1957, the nurse earned majors in public health and psychology
from the University of California in Los Angeles. Between 1992 and 1998, other
universities awarded Betty Neuman two distinct honorary doctorates for her

Neuman published her first patient whole-healing theory in the early 70’s and
released “Conceptual Models for Nursing Practice,” the published report on the
Neuman Systems Model, in 1974. Since then she has released several updated
NSM theory editions. [2]

Neuman Systems Model Foundations

Neuman Systems Model practitioners generally follow prescribed assumptions in

regard to clients. [3] The model suggests that every client has distinct
characteristics and circumstances and responds, within a limited range, to their
environment. The theory goes on to warn that several known and unknown stressors
can affect clients and possibly disturb their well-being. In the Neuman Systems
Model, practitioners call this stability the client’s Line of Defense (LOD). It is how the
stressors interact with the patient that determines how the patients’ LOD holds up
against stressors. Neuman Systems Model practitioners work to eliminate or mitigate
these stressors.

NSM practitioners monitor and note normal client LOD levels and interpret negative
deviations from this status as trouble signs. NSM practitioners subscribe to the idea
that clients’ support resources strongly influence their stress levels.

The NSM model suggests that all clients have a Line of Resistance (LOR). Clients’
LORs are a defense mechanism used to maintain mental and environmental
stability. The LOR continues to function despite clients’ stability status. Neuman
Systems Model practitioners use these concepts to create stress preventive
environments for clients, allowing them to heal as quickly and wholly as possible.

Heart of the Neuman Systems Model

The Neuman Systems Model operates on the premise that several resource
variables affect the client. Clients’ resources determine how they persevere against

These resources include:

 healthy body temperature

 client stressor response patterns

 client physical health

 client mental health and emotional characteristics

 client genetic makeup

According to NSM theory, clients can maintain stability as long as their stressors do
not exceed these available resources. The client’s perpetually cycle through
resource exhaustion and rejuvenation. This cycle is crucial to a client’s stability. NSM
practitioners work to help clients maintain this stability.
Neuman Method Approaches

NSM practitioners believe clients possess several layers. According to NSM theory,
these layers each have five dimensions. The physiological client dimension
encompasses body chemistry state, and the client’s psychological dimension
involves their mental health. The socio-cultural dimension concerns clients’
relationships and cultural belief systems. NSM practitioners also consider clients’
spiritual beliefs. The fifth NSM dimension takes into account clients’ development
throughout their lifespan.

Worldwide, Neuman Systems Model practitioners use the technique to help clients’
heal and function. Dr. Betty Neuman engineered the practice starting in the early
70’s. The model is fluid; Neuman encourages its users to reformulate the model as it
applies to their work environment. NSM practitioners treat each client based on their
individual characteristics, unique circumstances and background. The methodology
is hugely successful, regularly revised and remains current to this day.

Learn More

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when it began training nurses so healthcare could be provided for more people.
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1. Neuman System Model Trustees Group, Inc. Welcome to the Neumans System
Model Nursing Theory Betty Neuman Website. Welcome to the Neumans System
Model Nursing Theory Betty Neuman Website [Web Page]. 2011. Available at: Accessed 2016.

2. Betty D. NSM Overview as PDF. Welcome to the Neuman Systems Model

Nursing Theory Betty Neuman Website. 2005.
pdf. Accessed 2016.
3. Current Nursing. Betty Neuman’s System Model. Current Nursing [Web Page].
2012. Available at: Accessed

4. Neuman Systems Model, Inc. The Neumans Systems Model Trustee Group, Inc.
Welcome to the Neuman Systems Model Nursing Theory Betty Neuman Website
[Web Page]. 2011. Available at:
htm#Betty M. Neuman, R.N., B.S.N. Accessed 2016.