PURPOSE: Effective transitional care is needed to improve the quality of life in older adult patients with chronic illness and avoid discontinuity of care and adverse events. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the key features, broader implications, and the utility of Meleis' transition theory intended for the transitional care of older adults with chronic illnesses. We present the role of nurse in the context of transitional care and propose future directions to increase the quality of nursing care. METHODS: The online databases Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, MEDLINE, and Science Direct were searched for relevant literature published since 1970 along with textbooks regarding nursing theory. RESULTS: An evaluation of the usefulness of transition theory based on transitional care in older adult patients with chronic illnesses is provided. Healthy transition should be the expected standard of nursing care for older adults across all healthcare settings. CONCLUSION: Nurses need to contribute to the development of transitional care for vulnerable populations; however, transition theory needs to be enhanced through additional theoretical work and repeated evaluations of the applicability in areas of transitional care.