This paper examines Thomas Kuhn's notion that theory develops by means of revolution and its pervasion within nursing theory Initially, the traditional, cumulative model of theory development is examined and then Kuhn's idea is explored The extent of its pervasion in nursing theory is outlined Finally, the value of Kuhn's model of theory development in nursing is evaluated It is argued that while Kuhn's model has set nursing theory free from logical empiricism, it needs to be understood in conjunction with the traditional cumulative model