Myra Estrin Levine’s Nursing Theory

Introduction to Myra Estrin Levine’s Nursing Theory

Myra Estrin Levine was a nurse theorist and author known for her conservation model, a holistic approach to nursing that emphasizes the importance of patient care and well-being. Her theory focuses on the four conservation principles: energy, structural integrity, personal integrity, and social integrity.

According to Levine’s approach, patient care should be centered on energy conservation, which can be accomplished by carefully managing the patient’s surroundings, structure, and social and personal integrity. This kind of nursing can aid nurses in giving better care and enhancing patient outcomes.

Brief History of Myra Estrin Levine’s Nursing Theory

Myra Estrin Levine’s nursing theory, also known as the conservation model, was developed in the 1960s in response to the growing complexity of patient care. As a nurse, educator, and author, Levine sought to develop a comprehensive nursing strategy to provide a framework for understanding and caring for patients’ needs.

Four conservation elements make up the Myra Estrins Levines conservation model: energy, structural integrity, social integrity, and personal integrity. Levine contends that to advance the health and well-being of patients, these concepts must be addressed because they are intertwined and interdependent.

Energy conservation involves balancing the body’s energy intake and output to prevent weariness. It entails getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising. To preserve or restore the physical body and encourage physical healing, one must practice conservation of structural integrity.  Integrity acknowledges the patient’s right to autonomy, respect, self-awareness, and recognition. For instance, a nurse will respect a patient’s demand for privacy in this region. The patient’s interactions and connections with others, such as those in a neighborhood, community, or religious group, are covered by preserving social integrity.

Energy Conservation

Energy conservation refers to regulating energy inputs and outputs to prevent excessive weariness. It entails getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising. 

Preserving Structural Integrity

Preserving or repairing the body’s structure, averting physical deterioration, and fostering healing are all considered aspects of conserving structural integrity.

Examples: Help the patient perform range-of-motion exercises and maintain the patient’s hygiene.

Preservation of Individual Integrity

Preserving personal integrity acknowledges the person as someone who aspires to respect, acknowledgment, self-awareness, selfhood, and autonomy.

Example: Recognize and protect the patient’s demand for space.

Preservation of Social Integrity

The preservation of social integrity occurs when a patient is identified as a member of a family, community, religious, ethnic, or other group.

Importance of the theory

The conservation model, sometimes called the Myra Estrin Levine nursing theory, is a significant framework that has influenced nursing practice over the past few decades. The theory is founded on the notion that patient treatment should preserve and protect energy and resources to advance health and well-being.

Moreover, the conservation model’s all-encompassing approach to patient care is among its most noteworthy advantages. The approach highlights the significance of attending to patients’ physical, psychological, and social needs to produce the best possible health outcomes. Nurses can deliver more effective and compassionate care by concentrating fully on the person rather than just their symptoms or concerns.

The Core Concepts of the Myra Estrin Levine Nursing Theory

The Myra Estrin Levine nursing theory, or the conservation model, is built upon several core concepts that form the framework’s foundation. These concepts are essential for nurses to effectively understand and apply the theory in clinical practice.

Conservation: The conservation concept within Myra Estrin Levine’s nursing theory underscores the importance of preserving patients’ energy and resources. Nurses must prioritize strategies that minimize unnecessary expenditure of these vital assets, fostering healing and sustaining health over time.

Wholeness: Emphasizing wholeness, Levine’s theory encourages nurses to approach patients holistically, recognizing their multifaceted nature beyond mere symptoms. By addressing physical, emotional, and social dimensions, nurses can offer comprehensive care that addresses all aspects of patients’ well-being.

Adaptation: Adaptation is a core tenet of Levine’s theory, recognizing patients’ need to adjust to changing circumstances for optimal health. Nurses must assess patients’ adaptive abilities and provide tailored interventions to support successful adaptation to varying health challenges and environmental changes.

Environment: Acknowledging the influence of the environment on health outcomes, nurses must consider the physical, social, and cultural contexts in which patients exist. Understanding these environmental factors enables nurses to tailor care plans for patients’ unique circumstances and needs.

Health: In the Levine theory, health is conceptualized as a state of equilibrium in which patients effectively conserve energy and resources to maintain overall well-being. Nurses play a crucial role in promoting this equilibrium by assisting patients in managing their health challenges and fostering resilience in the face of adversity.

Models of Guided Assessment in the Four Conservation Principles

Levine’s notion of the Four Conservation Principles in nursing includes nine guided assessment models focusing on different areas essential to patient care and overall health.

These models include keeping an eye on vital signs to determine physiological stability, evaluating body positioning and movement to prevent discomfort and injury, attending to personal hygiene requirements to maintain cleanliness and dignity, comprehending the pressure gradient system in nursing interventions to ensure proper circulation and tissue perfusion, identifying nutritional needs and nursing interventions to meet them, controlling the application of heat and cold locally for therapeutic purposes, safely and effectively administering medications, and creating an aseptic environment to prevent the spread of infection.

These evaluation models provide nurses with a thorough framework for assessing and managing many aspects of patients’ health and fostering the best possible outcomes.

Application of the Nursing Process in Myra Estrin Levine’s Conservation Model

A core structure known as the nursing process directs nurses as they deliver patient-centered care. The nursing process can assist nurses in efficiently addressing their patients’ physical, emotional, and social needs when used within the Myra Estrin Levine conservation model.
There are five steps in the nursing process:

Assessment: According to the Levine conservation model, nurses must evaluate patients’ adaptive capacity and ability to conserve energy and resources.
Based on their assessment, nursing diagnoses include prospective or actual issues with energy and resource conservation and potential or actual issues with patients’ capacity for adaptation.

Planning: Nurses must create a care plan that addresses the problems observed while considering each patient’s unique requirements, abilities, and objectives.

Implementation: To promote energy and resource conservation and improve adaptive capacities, nurses must carry out the care plan using evidence-based treatments.

Evaluation: To promote the best possible patient outcomes, nurses must assess the success of the care plan and make any necessary modifications.

Nurses must keep the main ideas of the theory in mind when they perform the nursing process within the Levine conservation model. They must, for instance, strive to maintain and safeguard patients’ resources and energy, address patients’ wholeness, encourage adaptation and balance, and be conscious of the environment in which their patients are situated.


In nursing, the conservation approach has several noteworthy benefits.

Holistic approach: Nurses that apply the conservation model see patients as whole individuals with interwoven social, emotional, and physical components by taking a holistic approach. This method guarantees complete healing and the best possible health results by addressing all aspects of well-being.

Personalized care: The conservation approach promotes individualized care plans designed to satisfy particular needs and preferences, acknowledging the unique characteristics of every patient. Patients are more satisfied and actively participate in their healthcare process when using this personalized approach.

Emphasis on prevention: The conservation model encourages proactive steps to stop health issues before they start by strongly emphasizing saving energy and resources. To assist patients in maintaining wellness and reducing risk, nurses can address risk factors and encourage healthy habits.

Applicability across numerous contexts: The conservation model’s adaptability makes it suitable for use in various healthcare contexts, such as clinics, hospitals, and community-based care. This flexibility guarantees that nurses may apply the model successfully in various contexts, satisfying patients’ requirements in various care settings.


While the conservation model in nursing offers several benefits, it also comes with certain limitations:

  1. The Myra Estrins model’s holistic nature makes it challenging to implement into individualized care plans, resulting in additional costs for healthcare systems.
  2. The Myra Estrins Levines model is time-consuming. The model provides personalized care, and focusing on prevention often requires more time and resources from nurses. This may lead to increased workload and potential strain on healthcare resources, especially in settings with limited staffing or high patient volumes.
  3. Potential for overlooking acute needs: The conservation model’s emphasis on holistic care and prevention may sometimes result in nurses overlooking acute or urgent health needs. Patients requiring immediate attention or interventions may experience delays in receiving necessary care if resources are allocated primarily toward preventive measures.
  4. Difficulty in measuring outcomes: Evaluating the effectiveness of the conservation model in achieving desired health outcomes can be challenging. Measuring holistic outcomes and assessing the impact of preventive interventions may require sophisticated measurement tools and longitudinal studies, making it challenging to demonstrate transparent cause-and-effect relationships.
  5. Resistance to change: Some healthcare professionals may resist adopting the conservation model, mainly if they are accustomed to more traditional care delivery models. Overcoming resistance to change and gaining buy-in from all stakeholders may present barriers to successful implementation.


The Myra Estrins Levines conservation model, developed by Myra Estrin Levine, is a nursing philosophy that emphasizes the value of resource and energy conservation in patient care. The model is predicated on the idea that a patient’s resources and energy should be preserved to aid healing and guard against health issues. The conservation paradigm approaches patient care holistically and values each patient’s individuality. It can improve health outcomes by preventing health problems and is helpful in various healthcare settings.

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs)

Q: What is the Myra Estrins Levines conservation model?

A: The Myra Estrins Levines conservation model is a nursing theory developed by Myra Estrin Levine that emphasizes the importance of energy and resource conservation in patient care. The model takes a holistic approach to patient care and recognizes the uniqueness of each patient.

Q: What is the goal of the conservation model?

A: The conservation model aims to promote healing and prevent health problems by conserving a patient’s energy and resources.

Q: How is the conservation model applied in nursing practice?

A: The conservation model is applied in nursing practice by assessing a patient’s energy and resource level, developing a plan of care to conserve those resources, and evaluating the plan’s effectiveness.

Q: What are the core concepts of the conservation model?

A: The core concepts of the conservation model include conservation of energy, conservation of structural integrity, conservation of personal integrity, and conservation of social integrity.

Jermaine Huey
Jermaine Huey
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