How Nursing was before and How Nursing is Today

Topics: Nursing, Nursing theory, Nursing practice Pages: 5 (1494 words) Published: March 31, 2014

Nursing Theory:
How Nursing was before and How Nursing is Today

Nursing has been and will continue to evolve with new theories related to patients, nurses, education, and science. The past and present research and ideas of nursing theorists impact the science of nursing and the standards of the nursing profession. Core components of nursing have resulted from the development of different nursing theories developed over the years which have contributed to guiding the clinical aspect of nursing into what it is today. Virginia Henderson and Dorothea Orem are both nursing theorists who developed theories that have essentially shaped the foundation of nursing as one had a hand in the development of nursing while the latter contributed to the ultimate shaping of nursing in general. This paper will compare Virginia Henderson’s Nursing Needs-Based Theory against Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory. The Theory of Need was developed by Virginia Henderson and was derived from her education and nursing practice. “Henderson’s goal was not to develop a theory of nursing, but rather to define the unique focus of nursing practice” (, 2013).Virginia Henderson’s theory played a very important role in the development of modern nursing. “Her contributions, especially to evidence based practiced nursing are considered so important that Sigma Theta Tau International Library has been named in her honor” (Jacqueline & Longe, 2006). Henderson believed “that the nurse should help the individual achieve independence as much as possible, and that the nurse should take a patient-centered approach to nursing to be based in evidence and research. She also believed that a nurse should be considered an independent member of the total healthcare team and that the nurse should only perform nursing functions, neither performing the diagnosis, prescription, and prognosis functions of a physician or any tasks such as serving food and cleaning that were not directly related to helping the patient with the 14 basic nursing functions” (Jacqueline & Longe, 2006). Henderson’s believed that her created functions list was an essential part of basic nursing care. The nurse should help the patient perform some essential functions such as eating and drinking, breathing, communicating, participating in recreation, worshiping, avoiding danger or hurting others, and keeping clean. Once these basic needs were met and the patient was “able to perform all the functions by themselves, then the patient would be considered independent and no longer require the aid of a nurse” ( 2013). Virginia Henderson also believed that it was important that nursing be based on evidence and research as it was a critical component of improving nursing research. “Henderson had a strong belief that all nursing staff should have access to literature on nursing and current nursing research to help better their practices” (, 2013). There were three major assumptions that Henderson listed in her model of nursing assumptions: “Nurses care for the patient until the patient can care for themselves, nurses are willing to serve, and that the nurse, devote themselves day and night to the patient, and the nurses should be educated at the college level in both sciences and art” (, 2013). Another great theorist, Dorthea Orem, created the Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory with the assumed philosophy that patients have a desire to be more independent and would want to take care of their own needs thus helping them recover more that patients want to care for themselves and can recover more rapidly and holistically by being as independent as possible. The self- care components identified by Orem can be categorized into one of three categories: Maturational: progresses the patient to a higher level of maturation Situational: prevents against harmful effects in development Deviation...

References: Dorthea Orem 's Theory. (2013). Retrieved from
Henderson vs. The Nature of Nursing: A definition and its Implications, Practice, Research, and Education. (1966). New Yrok: McMillion Company.
Nursing Theorist: Virginia Henderson. (2011). Retrieved from
Virginia Henderson 's Need Theory. (2013). Retrieved from
Henderson Theory of Nursing: The Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing & Allied Health: Ed Jacqueline, L. Longe. Vol. 2. 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2006 (1280-1281)
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