Dorothea Elizabeth Orem’s Life Events…

  • One of the America's foremost nursing theorists
  • Born 1914 in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Father was a construction worker
  • Mother was a homemaker
  • Youngest of two daughters
  • Died on June 22, 2007

    • 1931- High School,  Seton High School,  Baltimore, Maryland  
    • 1934- Nursing diploma certificate, Providence Hospital  School of Nursing, Washington, DC
    • 1939 – BSN Ed., Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
    • 1945 – MSN Ed., Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

    • 1976 - Doctor of Science, Georgetown University
    • 1980 – Doctor of Science, Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Texas
    • 1980 -  Alumni Achievement Award for Nursing Theory, Catholic University of America
    • 1988 - Doctor of Humane Letters, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois 
    • 1991 – Linda Richards Award, National League for Nursing
    • 1992 – Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing
    • 1998 -  Doctor Nursing Honoris Causae, University of Missouri, Columbia; received awards from the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society 

    • Involved in nursing practice, nursing service, and nursing education.
    •  During her professional career, she worked as a staff nurse, private duty nurse, nurse educator and administrator and nurse consultant
    • 1939 – 1941- taught biological sciences and nursing at Providence Hospital School of Nursing in Detroit, Michigan
    • 1945-1948 - director of the Providence Hospital School of Nursing in Detroit, Michigan
    • 1949 - 1957- curriculum consultant, Division of Hospital and Institutional Services, Indiana State Board of Health
    •  1958-1960 - curriculum consultant, United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Practical Nurse Section
    • 1959 – 1946 - Assistant Professor, Catholic University of America
    • 1964-1970 - Associate Professor, Catholic University of America
    •  1965-1966 -Dean of the School of Nursing, Catholic University of America
    • 1969-1971- curriculum consultant, Center for Experimentation and Development in Nursing, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
    • 1975-1976- curriculum consultant to the Director of Nursing, Wilmer Clinic, The Johns Hopkins Hospital curriculum consultant, in the following universities and colleges: The University of Alberta, George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology, The University of Southern Mississippi, Georgetown University, Incarnate Word College, El Paso Community College, The Medical College of Virginia, and The Washington Technical Institute.  Leader of the Nursing Model Committee of the School of Nursing Faculty of the Catholic University of America
    • 1949-1957. Orem worked for the Division of Hospital and Institutional Services of the Indiana State Board of Health. Her goal was to upgrade the quality of nursing in general hospitals throughout the state. During this time she developed her definition of nursing practice.
    • 1959. When she was employed by the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare. During this time, she became more aware of deficiencies in the training of practical nurses so she worked on a project where she published her book “Guidelines for Developing Curricula for the Education of Practical Nurses.”
    • 1959. Orem subsequently served as acting dean of the school of Nursing and as an assistant professor of nursing education at Catholic University of America. She continued to develop her concept of nursing and self care during this time and later wrote “The Hope of Nursing,” published in the Journal of Nursing Education (1962).
    •  May 1968 was the submission of the final report, that the Nursing Model Committee of the School of Nursing Faculty of the Catholic University of America has developed, reviewed, and tested several generalizations about nursing. Orem was the chairperson of the said committee whose task was to develop a model that would express the foundations for, and characteristics of, research in nursing.
    • 1973. publication of Concept Formalization: Process and Product formalized by Nursing Development Conference Group (NDCG), a group of 11 nurses with different backgrounds and areas of practice was formed because of their dissatisfaction with the lack of an organizing framework for nursing knowledge. They believed that a concept of nursing would help develop that framework.
    • 1971. Orem’s Nursing Concept of Practice was first published and subsequently in 1980, 1985, 1991, 1995, and 2001. The work in which she outlines her theory of nursing, the Self-care Deficit Theory of Nursing. She left the university and started her own firm called Orem and Shield’s Inc. at Chevy Chase, Maryland
    • 1984. retired but continues to work on the conceptual development of Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory