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Human Becoming Theory

Rosemarie Rizzo Parse


This page was last updated on October 27, 2011
INTRODUCTION

The Parse theory of human becoming guides nurses


In their practice to focus on quality of life as it is
described and lived (Karen & Melnechenko, 1995).

The human becoming theory of nursing presents an


alternative to both the conventional bio-medical
approach and the bio-psycho-social-spiritual (but still
normative) approach of most other theories of
nursing.(ICPS)

The human becoming theory posits quality of life


from each person's own perspective as the goal of
nursing practice.(ICPS)

Rosemarie Rizzo Parse first published the theory in


1981 as the "Man-living-health" theory (ICPS)

The name was officially changed to "the human


becoming theory" in 1992 to remove the term "man,"
after the change in the dictionary definition of the
word from its former meaning of "humankind."

ABOUT THE THEORIST

Educated at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh

MSN and Ph.D. from University of Pittsburgh

Published her theory of nursing, Man-Living-Health


in 1981

Name changed to Theory of Human Becoming in


1992

Editor and Founder, Nursing Science Quarterly

Has published eight books and hundreds of articles


about Human Becoming Theory

Professor and Niehoff Chair at Loyola University,


Chicago

THEORY DEVELOPMENT

The human becoming theory was developed as a


human science nursing theory in the tradition of
Dilthey, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and
Gadamer and Science of Unitary Human Beings by
Martha Rogers .

The assumptions underpinning the theory were


synthesized from works by the European
philosophers, Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty,
along with works by the pioneer American nurse
theorist, Martha Rogers.

The theory is structured around three abiding themes:


meaning, rhythmicity, and transcendence.

ASSUMPTIONS
About man

The human is coexisting while coconstituting


rhythmical patterns with the universe.

The human is open, freely choosing meaning in


situation, bearing responsibility for decisions.

The human is unitary, continuously coconstituting


patterns of relating.

The human is transcending multidimensionally with


the possibles

About Becoming

Becoming is unitary human-living-health.

Becoming is a rhythmically coconstituting humanuniverse process.

Becoming is the humans patterns of relating value


priorities.

Becoming is an intersubjective process of


transcending with the possibles.

Becoming is unitary humans emerging

Three Major Assumptions of Human Becoming

Meaning
o

Human Becoming is freely choosing personal


meaning in situations in the intersubjective
process of living value priorities.

Mans reality is given meaning through lived


experiences

Man and environment cocreate

Rhythmicity
o

Human Becoming is cocreating rhythmical


patterns of relating in mutual process with the
universe.

Man and environment cocreate ( imaging,


valuing, languaging) in rhythmical patterns

Transcendence
o

Human Becoming is cotranscending


multidimensionally with emerging possibles.

Refers to reaching out and beyond the limits


that a person sets

One constantly transforms

SUMMARY OF THE THEORY

Human Becoming Theory includes Totality Paradigm


o

Simultaneity Paradigm
o

Man is a combination of biological,


psychological, sociological and spiritual
factors

Man is a unitary being in continuous, mutual


interaction with environment

Originally Man-Living-Health Theory

NURSING PARADIGMS AND PARSE'S THEORY

Person
o

Environment
o

Everything in the person and his experiences

Inseparable, complimentary to and evolving


with

Health
o

Open being who is more than and different


from the sum of the parts

Open process of being and becoming.


Involves synthesis of values

Nursing
o

A human science and art that uses an abstract


body of knowledge to serve people

SYMBOL OF HUMAN BECOMING THEORY

Black and white = opposite paradox significant to


ontology of human becoming and green is hope

Center joined =co created mutual human universe


process at the ontological level & nurse-person
process

Green and black swirls intertwining = humanuniverse co creation as an ongoing process of


becoming

STRENGTH AND WEAKNESSES


Strengths

Differentiates nursing from other disciplines

Practice - Provides guidelines of care and useful

administration

Useful in Education

Provides research methodologies

Provides framework to guide inquiry of other


theories (grief, hope, laughter, etc.)

Weaknesses

Research considered to be in a closed circle

Rarely quantifiable results - Difficult to compare to


other research studies, no control group, standardized
questions, etc.

Does not utilized the nursing process/diagnoses

Negates the idea that each person engages in a


unique lived experience

Not accessible to the novice nurse

Not applicable to acute, emergent care

APPLICATION OF THE THEORY


Nursing Practice

A transformative approach to all levels of nursing

Differs from the traditional nursing process,


particularly in that it does not seek to fix problems

Ability to see patients perspective allows nurse to be


with patient and guide them toward desired health
outcomes

Nurse-person relationship cocreates changing health


patterns

Research

Enhances understanding of human lived experience,


health, quality of life and quality of nursing practice

Expands the theory of human becoming

Builds new nursing knowledge about universal lived


experiences which may ultimately contribute to
health and quality of life

CRITIQUE

Congruence with personal values


o

Congruence with other professional values


o

Complements and competes with other health


care professionals values

Exoteric foundations

Esoteric utility

Congruence with social values


o

Nurse must subscribe to this world view to


truly use it

Fulfills societys expectations of nursing role

Social Significance
o

Makes a substantial difference in the lives of


clients and nurses

RESEARCH ON PARSE'S THEORY


1. Nursing practice in human becoming: the "Parse
nurse" in French Switzerland
2. The lived experience of suffering: a parse research
method study
3. On joy-sorrow: a paradoxical pattern of human
becoming
4. Human becoming criticism--a critique of Florczak's
study on the lived experience of sacrificing
something important
5. A Human Becoming perspective on quality of life

6. Feeling respected: a Parse method study


REFERENCES
1. Karen L. Melnechenko. Parse's Theory of Human
Becoming: An Alternative Guide to Nursing Practice
for Pediatric Oncology Nurses. Journal of Pediatric
Oncology Nursing, Vol. 12, No. 3, 122-127 (1995)
2. ICPS-International Consortium of Parse Scholars
website

http://www.discoveryinternationalonline.com/site/ont
ology.html

http://library.stritch.edu/research/subjects/health/nurs
ingTheorists/parse.html