Henderson Model

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Book Chapter

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Virginia Henderson (1897–1996) was widely known as the Mother of Modern Nursing. She graduated from the Army School of Nursing at Walter Reed Hospital in 1921 with her diploma in nursing (McEwen & Wills, 2014). After serving as a visiting nurse as well as a teaching nurse in the hospital, Henderson returned to Columbia University's Teachers College in 1929 to complete both her bachelor's and master's degrees. She then joined the prestigious faculty at Columbia and remained there until 1948 (McEwen & Wills, 2014). Due to her dedication to nursing education and research, Sigma Theta Tau, the Honor Society for Nursing, named its global nursing library in her honor (Sigma Theta Tau International, 2016).

Henderson's model used the concepts she found from her own experiences as a nurse as well as from educating nurses. She developed her model to be a concept, and ultimately, it became the foundation of the holistic nursing practice seen today. Yet the concept of nursing care is a source of debate in the United States and globally. In the United Kingdom, under the National Health Service (NHS), there have been numerous reports of basic nursing care not being fulfilled (Englebright, Aldrich, & Taylor, 2014). The United States struggles to find the meaning among the numerous roles the nurse plays, as well as the many degrees offered as entry to practice.


Encyclopedia entry.

Heather Peralta is an adjunct instructor of Nursing at Sacred Heart University.




Encyclopedia of nursing research


4th ed.


Springer Publishing Company