Four Approaches to Family Nursing Essay - Essay Prowess

Four Approaches to Family Nursing Essay


Four Approaches to Family Nursing


Family nursing involves four approaches including the following: family as the context for individual development, family as a client, family as a system and family as a component of society. Every approach is founded from various nursing domains: maternal-child nursing, primary health care nursing, mental/psychiatric health nursing and community health nursing respectively (Kaakinen, Gedaly-Duff, Hanson, & Coehlo, 2010). The paper discusses the four approaches to family nursing and their importance.

Family as a context

This approach emphases a personal care and assessment of patient in the context of the family. In addition, it is the core nursing focus where a person is the foreground while the family is the background. Most notably, the family acts as a source of stress or resource for an individual to illness or better health (Kaakinen, Gedaly-Duff, Hanson, & Coehlo, 2010). The approach is based on the importance of maternal-child nursing hence acknowledges the need for many maternity and pediatric health care settings (Fitzpatrick, & Kazer, 2012). A nurse, therefore, must consider the family factors affecting delivery of nursing services to a patient.

Family as client

This approach focuses on the family in the foreground. In this regard, it assesses all members of the family. Therefore, a family is a group of all individuals hence nurses focus on each member (Kaakinen, Gedaly-Duff, Hanson, & Coehlo, 2010). Additionally, each member is assessed; health services are performed to all members of the family. However, the family care physicians offer motivation for the approach in community care settings while nurse practitioners take part in the approach (Fitzpatrick, & Kazer, 2012). Therefore, the nurse may want to determine how the patient’s illnesses or medications affect the other family members.

Family as a system

The third approach emphases the family as a client and as an interconnected system where the wholesome is more than the sum of its parts. Therefore, the interconnections between members of a family are the foundation of nursing interventions. This runs from family assessment as a whole (Kaakinen, Gedaly-Duff, Hanson, & Coehlo, 2010). Furthermore, the approach focuses on both the family and individual simultaneously. It advocates for interactions between family members such as direct interactions and indirect interactions (Fitzpatrick, & Kazer, 2012). Likewise, it suggests that the more children there are in a family the higher is the complexity of these interactions (Kaakinen, Gedaly-Duff, Hanson, & Coehlo, 2010). This approach is applicable in the mental and psychiatric nursing. Most notably, if one member of the family becomes ill, it affects the rest of the family (Fitzpatrick, & Kazer, 2012). Therefore, a nurse may seek to know what have changed between the family members after the disease.

Family as component of society

In the fourth approach of nursing, the family is viewed as a part of many institutions in the society such as educational, health, economic and religious. Therefore, family is the foundation and a vital part of the entire society (Kaakinen, Gedaly-Duff, Hanson, & Coehlo, 2010). The family networks with other institutions to exchange, receive, or give services or communications. This approach is applicable in the studies of families. In addition, this approach focuses on the interrelations between community and family agencies (Fitzpatrick, & Kazer, 2012). A nurse may seek to know the experiences of the family from the community due to the disease diagnosis.


The approach of a family as the client focuses on the family as a foreground, while on the individual as a background. The second approach to family nursing is considering family as a system which encompasses interactional family (Kaakinen, Gedaly-Duff, Hanson, & Coehlo, 2010). The third approach in family nursing focuses on the whole family as on the one patient hence emphasizes the interactions between the family members (Fitzpatrick, & Kazer, 2012). Family as a component of society acknowledges that it networks with other institutions to exchange, receive or give services or communications.




Fitzpatrick, J., & Kazer, M. (2012). Encyclopedia of nursing research (1st ed.). New York, NY: Springer Pub.

Kaakinen, J., Gedaly-Duff, V., Hanson, S., & Coehlo, D. (2010). Family Health Care Nursing (4th ed.). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Co.