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The theories of two nurse visionaries, Rosemarie Rizzo Parse and Jean Watson, are examined for areas of agreement and notable differences Watson and Parse reject (or hold seriously suspect) traditional, positivistic methods of studying human behaviour and posit their theories as alternatives to the totality paradigm Since both of these theories, Parse's theory of human becoming and Watson's theory of transpersonal care, borrow heavily from existential phenomenology, major tenets of this philosophic perspective are outlined Each theory is then described with emphasis on anchoring motifs, concepts, and principles Next both theories are analysed and critiqued simultaneously Finally, the theories are applied to a case study with the intent of maximizing their mutual strengths and diminishing their limitations Coalescence of compatible theories is recommended as a way of enhancing the application of nursing knowledge in practice