Virginia Henderson's Need Theory

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Virginia Henderson
“The Nightingale of Modern Nursing”
“Modern-Day Mother of Nursing.”
"The 20th century Florence Nightingale."
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, November 30, 1897.
Fifth of eight children of Lucy Abbot Henderson and Daniel B. Henderson •Received a Diploma in Nursing from the Army School of Nursing at Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D.C. in 1921. •Worked at the Henry Street Visiting Nurse Service for 2 years after graduation. •In 1923, started teaching nursing at the Norfolk Protestant Hospital in Virginia •In 1929, entered Teachers College at Columbia University for Bachelor’s Degree in 1932, Master’s Degree in 1934. •Her work influenced the nursing profession throughout the world. •A well known nursing educator and a prolific author.

Honorary doctoral degrees from the Catholic University of America, Pace University, University of Rochester, University of Western Ontario, Yale University •In 1985, honored at the Annual Meeting of the Nursing and Allied Health Section of the Medical Library Association. •Died: March 19, 1996 at the Connecticut Hospice, aged 98, and was interred in her family's plot of the churchyard of St. Stephen's Church, Forest, Bedford County, Virginia.

Henderson’s Theory Background
Virginia Henderson defined nursing as "assisting individuals to gain independence in relation to the performance of activities contributing to health or its recovery" (Henderson, 1966). •She categorized nursing activities into 14 components, based on human needs. •She described the nurse's role as substitutive (doing for the person), supplementary (helping the person), complementary (working with the person), with the goal of helping the person become as independent as possible. •Her definition of nursing was one of the first statements clearly delineating nursing from medicine: "The unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those...
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