Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Nursing Essay.


One of the most well-known theories of motivation is Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of requirements, our behaviors are driven by physiological needs. It is frequently shown as a pyramid of requirements, with the most fundamental demands at the bottom and the most sophisticated needs at the top.

What Is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

Abraham Maslow popularized the notion of a hierarchy of needs in his 1943 work “A Theory of Human Motivation,” as well as in his following book, Motivation, and Personality. According to this hierarchy, people are driven to meet fundamental wants before moving on to more complex requirements.

While several existing schools of thought at the time, like psychoanalysis and behaviorism, focused on undesirable behaviors, Maslow was more interested in discovering what makes individuals happy and what they do to accomplish that goal.

Maslow, as a humanist, thought that humans had an inborn drive to be self-actualized, or to achieve their full potential. However, in order to accomplish this ultimate aim, a number of more fundamental demands must be addressed. Food, safety, love, and self-esteem are all examples of basic human needs.

Maslow felt that these requirements are analogous to instincts and that they play a significant role in driving action.

Maslow’s hierarchy of requirements is divided into five stages, with physiological needs being the lowest.

These five stages of Maslow’s hierarchy are divided into two parts namely:

  1. Deficiency needs and
  2. Growth needs.

Deficiency Needs

The first four levels are known as deficiency needs (D-needs). Deficiency needs occur as a result of deprivation and are considered to motivate people when they go unsatisfied. Furthermore, the drive to meet such wants grows stronger the longer they are ignored.

Growth Needs.

The top-level is known as growth or being needs (B-needs).


5 Categories Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

According to Maslow (1943, 1954), humans are driven to meet particular wants, and certain needs take precedence over others.

Our most basic need is for bodily survival, and it is this that will drive our conduct. When that level is completed, the next level is what drives us.

The following are the 5 stages of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:

  1. Physiological needs.
  2. Safety needs.
  3. Love or belongingness needs.
  4. Esteem needs.
  5. Self-actualization needs.

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Physiological needs.

They are also referred to as biological needs. These refer to needs which the human body cannot operate efficiently unless they are met. Maslow believed physiological requirements to be the most essential since unless these needs are addressed, all other needs become secondary.

Examples of physiological needs are such as air, food, drink, shelter, clothes, warmth, sex, and sleep.

Safety needs.

After an individual’s physiological needs are met, the desire for security and safety becomes apparent. People desire order, predictability, and control in their life. These requirements can be met by the family and society (e.g. police, schools, business and medical care).

Examples of safety needs include emotional security, financial security (e.g., job, social welfare), law and order, fearlessness, social stability, property and health.

Love or belongingness needs.

After physiological and safety requirements are met, the third level of human wants is social, which includes emotions of belonging. Belongingness is a human emotional need for interpersonal interactions, affiliation, closeness, and group membership.

Esteem needs.

The fourth level of Maslow’s hierarchy is esteem needs, which include self-worth, accomplishment, and respect. Maslow categorized esteem requirements into two categories: I esteem for oneself (dignity, success, mastery, independence) and (ii) regard for others (reputation or respect) (e.g., status, prestige).

Self-actualization needs.

The highest level in Maslow’s hierarchy is self-actualization needs, which pertain to realizing one’s potential, self-fulfilment, pursuing personal progress, and peak experiences. Maslow (1943) defines this level as the ambition to achieve all possible, to become the best that one can be.


Expanded Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

The expanded Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs has 8 stages. These stages are namely:

  1. Biological and physiological needs.
  2. Safety needs.
  3. Love and belongingness needs.
  4. Esteem needs.
  5. Cognitive needs.
  6. Aesthetic needs.
  7. Self-actualization needs.
  8. Transcendence needs.


To summarize, when applying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Requirements Theory, the nurse should always prioritize physiological needs first, followed by safety and security needs, and so on, with self-actualization as the lowest priority to meet.

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