Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in nursing


What is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?

Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a framework for comprehending what drives human behavior. It maps various drives onto a pyramid, with each level standing for a different condition of people. These consist of physical requirements, safety, feelings of love and belonging, self-actualization, and esteem. Maslow believed that people could only concentrate on the conditions at the top of the pyramid once they had mostly met the wants at the bottom. He also believed that meeting needs at all five levels lead to life fulfillment.

Deficit needs and growth needs can be used to categorize this five-stage model. The top level is regarded as growth or being needs, whereas the first four tiers are sometimes called insufficiency needs. The deficit needs to develop due to deprivation and is said to motivate individuals when unsatisfied. Additionally, the longer these wants go unmet, the bigger the motivation to satisfy them. For instance, people will become increasingly hungry longer without meals. On the other hand, growth requirements do not result from a deficiency but rather from the desire to advance personally. It’s possible to reach the highest level of self-actualization once these growth needs have been somewhat satisfied.

Maslow observed that although the theory is typically presented as a reasonably rigid hierarchy, the sequence in which these needs are satisfied does not necessarily follow this predetermined pattern. He pointed out, for instance, that some people’s desire for self-esteem outweighs their need for love. Others may have wants beyond the most fundamental ones, such as the need for creative expression. Maslow’s theory has gained enormous popularity both inside and outside of psychology. The theory has had a powerful impact on the business and education sectors. But who is the man behind the legendary pyramid?

Who was Abraham Maslow?

Abraham Maslow was the first of his Jewish parents’ seven children to be born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where he was born on April 1, 1908. His parents had emigrated from Russia. Maslow recalled his early years as being miserable and lonely. Nevertheless, he was engrossed in books and spent considerable time in the library. After becoming interested in psychology while studying law, Maslow changed his major to psychology. Harry Harlow, a psychologist, became his mentor and served as his doctoral advisor.

Humanistic psychology gained popularity in the late 1950s, and Maslow is usually considered its father. Humanistic psychology gained popularity in the late 1950s, and Maslow is generally considered its father. Maslow returned to work in New York in 1935 when he met Alfred Adler and received guidance from him. Later, starting in 1937, he worked as a psychology lecturer, where he became friends with Ruth Benedict, an anthropologist, and gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer. Not only were these two individuals Maslow’s friends, but they also soon became the focus of his investigation. His beliefs on human potential and psychological well-being were built on his observations and evaluations. When he was named Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association in 1967, he was honored for his contributions to the humanistic psychology method.

What are the contributions of Maslow to psychology? His breakthroughs in humanistic psychology and the creation of the hierarchy of needs are just two of his numerous contributions to psychology. Although Maslow’s career in psychology was before the present positive psychology movement, without him, the discipline today probably wouldn’t look as it does. So, how is Maslow’s work being used today?

How is the hierarchy of needs applied in nursing?

The importance of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in nursing care is to remind nurses to meet an individual’s basic needs before attempting to complete any higher-level wants. Additionally, those involved in patient care should be conscious that everyone has requirements that must be met to survive and maintain their bodily and emotional well-being. As a result, an individual may need help from a healthcare professional if an illness, an accident, or advanced age prevent them from meeting their needs.

This hierarchy of needs can be helpful for nurses when deciding how to prioritize patient care. The first time that you’ll come across this idea is in the field of study – for example, in the accelerated BSN programs online provided by Baylor University. You’ll utilize it to demonstrate that you can adequately prioritize the best course of action to pursue with a fictitious patient. The goal of nursing is to increase each patient’s general well-being. You can decide on treatment priorities by considering the hierarchy of needs and using it to assess the patient’s condition. For instance, patients cannot develop self-esteem if their basic physiological needs are not met. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can also be helpful to hospital management when considering supporting their employees.


Many distinct theories today concentrate on various psychological, social, and human behaviors. Theories often represent earlier actions and perspectives and are later used to advance knowledge or practice in a particular field. Theories often represent earlier actions and perspectives and are later used to increase knowledge or training in a specific area. To comprehend a theory’s structure and the necessity of using it in practice or research, it is crucial to evaluate it. A theory’s strengths and weaknesses are frequently revealed due to theory evaluation.

By keeping Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in mind, healthcare professionals can evaluate a patient as a whole person – a physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and moral entity whose body cannot be isolated from psychology and feeling. A patient’s fundamental physical requirements must be considered at every level of treatment, whether by a nurse, a social worker, a psychologist, or even a speech-language pathologist.