Brief Chronology of the Development of the Neuman Systems Model
Professional History of Betty Neuman
1947: RN from diploma cadet nurse program, Akron, Ohio.
1957: BSN, UCLA; dual majors: mental health and public health.
1966: MSN, UCLA.
1967-1973: UCLA faculty; developed first community mental health program for
Graduate students in the LA area.
1985: PhD, Pacific Western University, Los Angeles, CA, in clinical psychology.
1970: NSM developed as a graduate course guide to integrate four variables of man.
1972: Publication of “A model for teaching total person approach to patient problems”,
Nursing Research, May/June.
1974: Refined model published in Riehl & Roy, Conceptual Models for Nursing Practice.
Model classified as a systems model, and titled “The Betty Neuman Health-Care
Systems Model: A Total Person Approach to Patient Problems”.
1980: Riehl & Roy, Conceptual Models for Nursing Practice, 2nd edition. Practice tools for
NSM implementation added, and term “patient” changed to “client”.
1982: Neuman’s first book, The Neuman Systems Model: Application to Nursing
Education and Practice. Nursing process format & care plans included;
Chapters include applications of the NSM to individuals, families and community;
A total approach to client care.
1989: The Neuman Systems Model, 2nd ed. Created environment added to
expand concept of environment. Spiritual variable added to diagram as fifth variable.
1995: The Neuman Systems Model, 3rd ed. Chapters on culture, international use of the
Model, applications to administration and construction of conceptual-
theoretical-structures for research added.
2002: The Neuman Systems Model, 4th ed. Co-edited by Drs. Betty Neuman and
Jacqueline Fawcett. Guidelines for clinical practice, model-based research,
education and administration, plus appropriate tools highlight this edition.
2010: The Neuman Systems Model, 5th ed. Co-edited by Drs. Betty Neuman and
Jacqueline Fawcett. Chapters include an expansion of the client system as an
individual, family, group and community. Highlights include advances in thinking
about the created environment, reconstitution, and critical thinking within the
context of the NSM. Middle-range theory development and integrative
theorizing conclude the edition.
Sources for further information
The five Neuman texts listed above contain in-depth information about the history of the development of the model, and each text presents original applications of the model to education, practice, administration and research that have evolved through the years.
Chapter 7 in the text by Jacqueline Fawcett, (2005). Contemporary Nursing Knowledge: Analysis and Evaluation of Nursing Models and Theories, 2nd ed., F.A.Davis, provides a detailed analysis and evaluation of the Neuman’s Systems Model and an extensive bibliography.
The original diagram of the model, copyright in 1970, has not been altered since that date, and can be found in the Neuman texts.
The overall contributions of the model to the discipline of nursing are summarized by Neuman: “The Neuman Systems Model fits well with the wholistic concept of optimizing a dynamic yet stable interrelationship of spirit, mind, and body of the client in a constantly changing environment and society” (Neuman & Young, 1972).