Nursing Theory

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The theory was developed by Virginia Henderson who was resulting from her practice as well as her education. The main aim for Henderson was not to come up with a theory based on nursing; instead, it was to define the different objective of the practices under nursing practices. Under this theory, a lot of emphases dwells in ensuring there is an increase in the independence of a patient’s progress after being hospitalized and that there is are no delays in the recovery progress. More emphasis was on the needs of the human being primarily the necessities since the central attention for nursing activities has resulted to more profound development of the theory depending on the needs of a patient and the methods used in nursing to achieve the set needs.

            Virginia Henderson (1966) also identified essential assumptions in the nursing theory model which states that nurses must take care of a given patient until the time when the patient will be in a position to make care for them. Though this assumption is explicitly stated, it is not at most times put into practice. Another assumption under this theory implies that the medical faculties have the will to take care and furthermore they are devoted to the patients all the time even after the patient is in a position to do it themselves. Lastly, there is an assumption that states that nurses are required to get the education in both sciences and also arts at a given institution. The importance of this paper is to explain the main reasons of Henderson’s theory, the central concepts of nursing as well as its applications (Henderson, 1966).

            The above-discussed theory has some crucial concepts that are important in addressing the approach. The individual idea is one among the four central concepts of the nursing theory as stated by Henderson; the different individual does have crucial needs that they cannot do without whereby the requirements are health components. At sometimes, the individuals need help to acquire health and also independence and sometimes they may require assistance for peaceful death achievement. According to Ahtisham & Jacoline (2015), the mind and the body of a person cannot be separated either can they be interrelated thereby making the person to consider their sociological, spiritual, biological and psychological components. The individual concept views a patient as a composition of different parts containing biophysical needs apart from being a consumer or even a client.

            The surroundings are a build-up of a setting where a person acquires different living patterns. For this reason, the outside conditions enhance the impact of life as well as the growth. Such atmosphere at the same time is such as persons who are families that are connected.

            Nursing is another important concept of the theory. According to the Henderson(1966),  she defines nursing as the unique importance of the clinicians that have the ability in helping both the sick and well individuals in performing some of the responsibilities hence, taking part to the well being of the individual’s recovery. Nurses have a prominent role in making the patient comfortable, whole, and independent. However, temporary nurses help a patient that does not have the required strength and skills for satisfying people for their daily requirements.

Henderson explores that one contains a basic needs which are health’s component as well as needs assistance in achieving healthcare as well as independence or unpainful death.

             A person fulfils wholeness through maintaining physiological as well as emotion balance (Henderson, 1966).  According to Henderson, a patient is a person who requires nursing protection and care. The patient is a sum of parts containing biopsychosocial desires with the mind and body that is indivisible and consistent.

The definition of theory concerning health is based on the person capability in working independently. Clinicians require emphasizing health promotion as well as prevention and all the diseases that are treated. The model of Henderson explains that the best health is a barrier since it is impacted by a lot of features which include age, sensitive stability, as well as ethical background (McCrae, 2012).

            According to Henderson, the nurses have the responsibility of doing to other people what they do as individuals since they have the power helping their patients. Henderson’s theory explains nursing care, roles, and duties of nurses and a focus on particular sectors where nursing care is needed. Nursing is mainly assisting individuals whether unwell or well in the functions of the activities contributing to health or the people’s recovery. Henderson examines fourteen different actions of one’s daily living, regular breathing, adequate eating and drinking, maintenance of required body temperature as well as changing of the surrounding, movement, and maintaining of attracting postures, sleeping and resting, grooming among other components (Watson, 1999).


            Additionally, Henderson’s theory is currently in use in the various healthcare centres. The method has been a breakthrough to research to unending search for the goodness of the patient care. The belief of Henderson of formulating her effort with interminable polishing has influenced other theorists’ well-defined frameworks. Henderson’s shot is the beginning of civilizing the training for nursing. Her emphasis is the significance of research in assessing and maintaining practices of nurses.


Ahtisham, Y., & Jacoline, S. (2015). Integrating Nursing Theory and Process into             Practice; Virginia's Henderson Need Theory. International Journal of Caring             Sciences, 8(2).

Henderson, V. (1966). The Nature of Nursing a Definition and Its Implications for             Practice, Research, and Education.

McCrae, N. (2012). Whither Nursing Models? The value of nursing theory in the             context of evidence‐based practice and multidisciplinary health care. Journal             of Advanced Nursing, 68(1), 222-229.

Watson, J. (1999). Nursing: Human science and human care: A theory of   nursing (Vol. 15, No. 2236). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

October 13, 2023

Health Science


Nursing Scientific Method

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Nursing Theory Theory

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