• nursing theories;
  • needs;
  • values;
  • human nature;
  • happiness

Purpose: To present an alternative to the recent proposal that the extant theories of nursing be replaced with culture-specific theories of nursing in order to have theories of nursing that are culturally responsive.

Method: A philosophical analysis of the implications for nursing practice of adopting the proposal serves as the basis for recommending a different philosophically based theoretical solution. Anticipated probable objections to that recommendation are considered.

Conclusion: Culture-specific theories of nursing might allow nurses to be culturally sensitive. However, because nurses must be humanly responsive to the needs of people as human beings and not just as cultural beings, cultural theories of nursing should be developed within the precepts of a transcultural theory of nursing grounded in a conception of objective human needs and values.