JULY 13, 1925 - AUGUST 10, 2012
Angela Farris, Laura Huizenga, & Gena Furgeson
Madeleine Leininger’s educational expertise, international travel, and cultural enrichment through
the lives of those she encountered lead to the modern day Transcultural Nursing Theory. A
theory which embraces cultural diversity as an advancement for nursing instead of a hindrance.
Madeleine’s influence in the educational community advanced nursing as a profession and
promoted the development of Doctorate degrees in nursing. Her Sunrise Theory sought to
include not only different cultures but variances within cultures that make cultures similar.
However, her Culture Care theory is the basis for all of her models as well as her approach to
nursing overall, which states:
The theory is a holistic, culturally based care theory
that incorporates broad humanistic dimensions about people
in their cultural life context. It is also unique in its incorporation
of social structure factors, such as religion, politics,
economics, cultural history, life span values, kinship, and philosophy
of living; and geo-environmental factors, as potential
influencers of culture care phenomena
The Transcultural Nursing Society will be having a special tribute to Dr. Leininger
during its 38th Annual Conference in Orlando, FL - Friday, October 19, 2012 at 7pm.
 1948 - Attended St. Anthony’s Hospital School of Nursing in Denver, Colorado. Member of
the United States Cadet Nurse Corps in anticipation of World War II.
 1950 - Received a Bachelors of Science from Mount Saint Scholastica College in Atchison,
 1954 - Received Bachelors of Science of Nursing equivalence at Creighton University in
Omaha, Nebraska.
 1954 - Received Masters of Science in Nursing from The Catholic University of America in
Washington, DC.
 1959 - Graduate studies at University of Cincinnati, director of the Child Psychiatric Nursing
Program, and Associate Professor of Nursing.
 1966 - Received a Doctorate degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of
Washington in Seattle, Washington.
For an extensive historical perspective and complete circa vitae please visit the Florida Atlantic
University – Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing Archives at the link below.
Author’s Motivation
To discover culturally based care that promotes and/or maintains the health and well-being
of individuals, families, or groups.
To study the diversities and universalities of care in different cultures; the differences and
the similarities
Author’s Philosophic Values Regarding Nursing & Knowledge Development
Leininger believed nursing was based on caring.
Goal to change the focus of nursing from the disease, condition, and symptoms to caring
for the patient.
To provide “culturally congruent and competent care”.
Influences on Author’s Philosophy
Leininger used a combination of holistic nursing and anthropology to create her theory.
She was not directly influenced by any particular nursing theories throughout her career,
although she saw value in each of the nursing theories.
 She practiced psychiatric nursing for children where she was shocked to see
the differences in cultures that surrounded her.
 This opened her eyes to the diversity of cultures.
 She realized the need for nursing to take the needs of cultures and religious
beliefs into account as they care for their patient.
 Health care without considerations of cultural and religious beliefs does not
promote compliance and progression to health.
 Provided nursing care to children with psychiatric disorders.
Caring for people with their beliefs and cultural rituals in mind.
Committing to helping every culture find a way to benefit their health without betraying
their upbringing or religious ideas.
Encouraging the patients to an take an active role in their own health plan.
Created the Culture Care Theory and the Sunrise Model for nursing care across cultural,
gender, and economical boundaries.
Founded The Transcultural Nursing Society - “Many Cultures, One World”
Founded The International Association of Human Caring
For more information on Transcultural Nursing please visit the Transcultural Nursing
Society website at the link below.
Human Beings
“Each individual man, woman, or child”
Nursing care must address all basic needs as well as the culturally specific needs of the patient,
families, and communities.
“All the circumstances, influences, and conditions that surround and affect individuals, families,
and groups”
Culturally congruent care addresses all aspects of a patient’s environment.
“A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease
or infirmity”
Transcultural nursing is a holistic approach to care. The patient’s needs, behaviors, and beliefs are
addressed. Care also includes the family and community.
“The provision of healthcare services, focusing on the maintenance, promotion, and restoration of
Transcultural nursing focuses on holistic nursing to include the body, mind, and spirit. It is more
than being aware of a person’s ethnicity or religion. Transcultural nursing is having an advanced
knowledge of the different cultures of the patients we serve.
Clarification of Origins and Range of View
The original theory was intended for nursing care and applied to over 100 cultures. Over
the years the transcultural approach has been applied to other areas of medicine, social
work, and education.
This nursing theory was influenced by Dr. Leininger observing children from different
cultures. She observed different behaviors, belief, and needs and realized the necessity
for a holistic approach to nursing.
Content and Situational Use
This theory addresses the 4 global concepts: human being, environment, health, and
nursing. Transcultural nursing is applicable to all areas of nursing such as pediatrics,
geriatrics, surgery, obstetrics, mental health, community health, emergency room nursing,
etc. Wherever a holistic approach to nursing is applicable so is transcultural nursing.
The transcultural theory of nursing adds to the 4 global concepts by educating nurses on
transcultural assessment to include patient’s gender, dress, diet, language, sexual
orientation, disabilities, age, socioeconomic status, and religion or faith.
The life and works of Madeleine Leininger will be remembered fondly not only by
those directly and indirectly impacted by her presence and care, but for generations of
new nurses learning compassionate care in an ever diversifying population. Cultural
awareness and sensitivity to the individual needs of the patient increases the comfort of
the patient, decreases anxiety and promotes an environment conducive to healing. By
developing cultural sensitivities to those around her Madeleine provided a model for all
nurses that promotes comfort and healing within our patients, their families, and the
communities we serve. Increased cultural sensitivity allows for traditional care to merge
with modern medicine.
Additional information is available on the Nursing Theories web blog page in a format
similar to the current assignment at the link below.
[Photograph of Madeleine M. Leininger]. (ca.1925-2012). University of Wisconsin: School of Nursing. (2012).
Remembering Madeleine Leininger, leader in transcultural nursing and former dean of the UW school of nursing.
Retrieved from
Allauigan, D., Sarmiento, E., Muñoz, D. N., Sayo, F., de Jesus, G. A., Nuguid, E. L., Barasi, D. M., Alobin, F. K.,
Herrera, , F. A., Auro-Llenas, A., Reyes, E. L. M., Hilario, D., Resma, E. A., Maco, F., Digap, D., &
Sarmiento, E. (2011, July, 11). Leininger’s theory of culture care. [Web blog post and comments]. Retrieved
angle71054. (2009, November, 22). Buddhist and there practices [Web blog post]. Retrieved from
Chitty, K.K., & Black, B.P., (2011). Professional nursing: concepts & challenges. Maryland Heights, MO: Saunders
Clarke, P. N., McFarland, M. R., Andrews, M. M., & Leininger, M. (2009). Caring: Some reflections on the impact
of the culture care theory by McFarland & Andrews and a conversation with Leininger. Nursing Science
Quarterly, 22(3), 233–239. doi: 10.1177/0894318409337020.
Current Nursing. (2011, October, 17). Nursing theories: A companion to nursing theories and models: Nursing theorists.
Retrieved from nursing_theorists.html
Current Nursing. (2012, January, 26). Nursing theories: A companion to nursing theories and models: Transcultural
nursing. Retrieved from transcultural_nursing.html
Eichelberger, L.W. & Sitzman, K. Understand the work of nurse theorist: A creative beginning. Sunbury
M. A. (2011). Jones and Bartlett. Retrieved from
Florida Atlantic University - Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. (2011). Archives of caring in nursing:
General Leininger collection description. Boca Raton, FL: Florida Atlantic University. Retrieved from
Leininger, M. (2002). Founder's focus: Cultural diffusion trends, uses, and abuses in transcultural nursing.
Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 13(1), 70. doi: 10.1177/104365960201300113.
Leininger, M. (2007). Letter to the editor. Nursing Outlook, 55(6), 271. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2007.09.004.
Leininger, M. (2007). Theoretical questions and concerns: Response from the theory of culture care
diversity and universality perspective. Nursing Science Quarterly, 20(1), 9–13. doi:
Miller, J. E., Leininger, M., Leuning, C., Pacquiao, D., Andrews, M., Ludwig-Beymer, P., et al. (2008). Transcultural
Nursing Society Position Statement on Human Rights. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 19(1), 5–7. doi:
Munoz, D. N. (2011). Biography and career of Madeleine Leininger. Retrieved from
raekaylvn. (2010, November, 10). Religion, culture and nursing [Web blog post]. Retrieved from
Ray, M. A. (2011). A celebration of a life of commitment to transcultural nursing: Opening of the Madeleine M.
Leininger collection of human caring and transcultural nursing. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 22(97).
Transcultural Nursing Society. (October 2009). Foundress page: It is time to celebrate, reflect and look into the future: Dr.
Madeleine M. Leininger: Founder of transcultural nursing, leader in human care theory and research . Retrieved from
Wiggin, A. (2012). Remembering Madeleine Leininger, leader in transcultural nursing and former dean of the UW school of nursing.
Retrieved from
You are a nurse caring for a practicing Jehovah’s Witness. What
information should you include in your cultural assessment of the
You are a nurse taking care of a Buddhist patient who is terminally ill and
expected to pass soon. What should you discuss with the patient and/or
Please separate attached document for answers

Madeleine Leininger - Gena`s Ferris Nursing Portfolio