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Traditionally, specific theoretical frameworks which are congruent with psychiatric nursing practice have been poorly articulated The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss a philosophical base, a theoretical framework, application to psychiatric nursing, and issues related to psychiatric nursing knowledge development and practice A philosophical framework that is likely to be congruent with psychiatric nursing, which is based on the nature of human beings, health, psychiatric nursing and reality, is identified Aaron Antonovsky's Salutogenic Model is discussed and applied to psychiatric nursing This model provides a helpful way for psychiatric nurses to organize their thinking processes and ultimately improve the health care services that they offer to their clients Goal setting and nursing interventions using this model are discussed Additionally, application of the use of Antonovsky's model is made to nursing research areas such as hardiness, uncertainty, suffering, empathy and literary works Finally, specific issues related to psychiatric nursing are addressed.