Virginia Henderson’s Concepts of Nursing and its Application to Practice

Virginia Henderson’s Concepts of Nursing and its Application to Practice

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The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the key points of Virginia Henderson’s theory “Concepts of Nursing” (CON) and its application in practice using specific examples. Henderson’s CON is a grand theory written in 1978. (Waller-Wise, 2013) The CON theory provides a definition of nursing care, responsibilities and a focus on specific areas where nursing care is required. (Waller-Wise, 2013) As Henderson (1978) writes, “Nursing is primarily helping people (sick or well) in the performance of those activities contributing to health, or its recovery (or peaceful death) that they would perform unaided if they had the necessary strength, will, or knowledge.” (p.26) It is the role of the nurse to help aid the patient back to independence as soon as possible. (Henderson, 1978) Henderson’s theory can be categorized as an “interactive model”, placing importance on the interpersonal relationships between the nurse and patient. (Tourville, 2003)
Henderson (1978) outlined fourteen different activities of daily living: breathing normally, eating and drinking adequately, elimination of body waste, movement and maintenance of desirable postures, sleep and rest, dressing and undressing, maintaining a normal body temperature and changing the environment, grooming, avoiding environmental danger or injury of others, communication, worship of one’s faith, working toward accomplishment, recreational participation and a learning and discovering curiosity that leads to normal development and maintenance of health. While all of these needs are intertwined when giving care, for the purposes of this paper, these “activities of daily living” (ADLs) will be sorted into different groups: physiological, psychological, spiritual and sociological. (Tourvill...


... middle of paper ...


...gists, psychiatrists and nurses who work in mental health clinics, CON can be applied to any care setting by making sure ADLs are being met and patients work toward becoming more independent. (Henderson, 1978)



Works Cited

Clark, D. (1997). The unique function of the nurse... tribute to Virginia Henderson. International Nursing Review, 44(5), 144-152.
Henderson, V. (1978). The concept of nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 3, 21-34.
Nicely, B., & DeLario, G. T. (2011). Virginia Henderson's principles and practice of nursing applied to organ donation after brain death. Progress In Transplantation, 21(1), 72-77.
Tourville, C., & Ingalls, K. (2003). The Living Tree of Nursing Theories. Nursing Forum, 38(3), 21-36.
Waller-Wise, R. (2013). Utilizing Henderson's Nursing Theory in Childbirth Education. International Journal Of Childbirth Education, 28(2), 30-34.

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