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NURS 1004 Nursing theories and models Virginia Henderson's theory

University: Blackburn College

  • Unit No: 12
  • Level: Ph.D./Doctorate
  • Pages: 13 / Words 3289
  • Paper Type: Dissertation
  • Course Code: NURS 1004
  • Downloads: 481
Question :

This assessment will cover the following questions:

  • Provide the principles of Henderson's theory as holistic approach to provide quality care to patient.
  • Determines the fourteen components of theory which are applicable to improve patient's health and ensure quick recovery.
  • State the Significance of Henderson's theory in nursing practices.
Answer :
Organization Selected : Virginia Henderson's theory


Virginia Henderson's theory was developed to draw specific concentration on nursing practices. This theory aimed to enhance the independence of patients in order to accelerate their experience and progress in healthcare centers. This theory focuses on the fundamental requirements of patients. It helps nurses to develop strategies to meet patients' health requirements. This theory defines the role of nurses as complementary, substitutive, and supplementary. Nicely and DeLario Virginia Henderson's theory is acquired from nursing practices that emphasize on roles and responsibilities of nurses in patient care. Nurses adapt this theory to address the arising issues which helps them to provide quality care to patients. There are fourteen components of the Henderson theory which include maintenance of body temperature, selection of appropriate clothes, good sleep and rest, breathing normally, eating and drinking appropriately, elimination of body waste, and maintaining and moving postures desirably. In this report, the discussion is based on meeting the requirements of a 68 years old patient mentioned in the case study. Fourteen components of Henderson's theory are applied to provide quality services to the patient. This paper aims to explain the application of fourteen components of nursing theory to deliver nursing care to a 68 years old stroke patient. This sample is best for paper help for all the students.

Significance of Henderson's theory in nursing practices 

Virginia Henderson developed the Henderson theory of nursing practices. Virginia just put her thoughts into this theory but never she knew that she was developing a theory. Virginia was born on 30th November 1897. The theory developed by Virginia emphasizes describing nursing practices and how nurses can use their acquired knowledge to provide quality care services to patients. These nursing practices promote patient independence in order to hasten the rate of recovery. It helps to design a person-centered approach rather than focusing on a specific task (Knestrick, 2022). Nurses adopt this theory to develop a good patient-nurse relationship. The main aim of this theory is to help the nurse to improve their nursing practices. This theory played a significant role in the development of modern nursing. The theory highlights the definition of nursing which is used by a wide range of nurses and had an important impact on their nursing practices. With the help of the principles of Henderson's theory, nurses help the patient to achieve independence. It is an evidence-based theory that helps nurses to perform their functions better. It is very important to address the requirements of patients in order to provide quality care services. The fourteen components of this theory contribute to maintaining a healthy life and also help patients to achieve independence very rapidly. As per this theory, nurses are reliable to help the patient to perform the mentioned activities to make them dependent (Lin and et. al., 2022).

Four important components of Henderson's theory  

The four major concepts of Henderson's theory are mentioned below:

  • Individual: The individual requires basic requirements to maintain good health. An individual patient requires assistance to reach good health and independence. As per this theory, body and mind are interrelated and inseparable. Nurses require to examine psychological, spiritual, biological, and sociological elements (Hoeck and Delmar, 2018).
  • Environment: Nurses are reliable to develop an environment for an individual patient to learn a specific technique to live healthily and happily. They require to consider all the external and internal factors which may affect a patient's health. Fundamental nursing care entails offering circumstances that make the patient perform all the mentioned components (Llahana, Dwyer, and Yedinak, 2019).
  • Health: As per this theory, health is defined as the condition under which an individual can live a quality life independently. Maintaining good health is very difficult as it gets affected by physical and intellectual capacities, emotional balance, age, and cultural background. Nurses help patients to meet their health requirements independently. Nurses also play a pivotal role in the prevention and treatment of diseases and in promoting good health.
  • Nursing:Nurses are reliable in prove assistance to a patient who lacks the strength to meet their fundamental necessities and hasten their growth. Nurses provide care services to patients in order to make them completely independent and hence they do not require further assistance. Nurses need to implement an evidence-based and patient-centered approach to meet the patient's requirements. They require to adopt a physician's therapeutic plan in order to provide quality care to the patients. They need to develop strategies to resolve patients' health-related problems. According to Henderson's theory, the role of the nurse is to provide strength to the patients so they can work and live independently. Their theory of Henderson was well accepted across the words because it was an evidence-based theory (Notarnicola and et. al., 2018).

Case study

In this report, a 68-year patient who is suffering from a stroke requires a patient-centered approach to get a quick recovery. The principles of Henderson's theory apply to all groups of patients. Nurses help patients to acquire basic knowledge of their bodies and health so they can improve their health.  Henderson's theory is more applicable to meet the requirements of the patient as this theory categorised the activities of nurses into fourteen components. Nurses play an important role to recognise patients with stroke (Grech and Grech, 2021). They play a pivotal role in the initial stage of assessment and provide complete care to the patient for his quick recovery. Nurses are reliable to help patients to perform all the functions mentioned in this theory. The patient is considered independent when he performs all the functions and does not require any assistance in the future. The patient needs to follow all the functions mentioned in this theory to become independent. Stroke is a disease that can disrupt the normal breathing rate as it generates an obstruction for the generation of central rhythm. Strokes also interfere with the respiratory tract which reduces the respiratory rate. It causes impairment in lower cranial nerves which result in aspiration. In this case study, patients are required to breathe normally as stoke creates obstacles to regular breathing. The patient is more likely to experience breathlessness which is also known as dyspnoeic. Nurses need to observe and record his respiration rate. Nurses maintain the patient's posture and make him sit straight to breathe normally. Nurses also provide CPR in case patients feel breathless. Nurses compress the patient's chest to make him breathe appropriately. The patient must avoid smoking as smoking makes breathing difficult. Sometimes, a gentle rubbing on the back of patients helps them to breathe normally and feel relaxed. Nurses instruct the patient to breathe slowly and deeply which reduces his effort to breathe normally. Sometimes patients need oxygen therapy along with an oxygen mask in case of emergency. Nurses need to be very patient and calm with stroke patients and ask close questions while communicating. Nurses do not make assumptions and communicate with patients to access relevant information about their health (Oliveira‐Kumakura et. al., 2018).

Nurses prove only soft food to stroke patients. These foods include mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, cooked cereals, and vegetable soups. Nurses cut the together foods into small pieces so patients can chew easily. Nurses recommend thickening liquid to patients as it enhances the safety of swallowing. Stroke patients are allowed a minimum of 10 to 15 seconds for each bite when nurses feed them. The patient is allowed to drink between each mouthful. There is some nursing intervention for stroke patients which include preventing flexion, preventing edema, preventing venous stasis, maintenance of personal hygiene, full range of motion and regaining balance. Nurses contribute to make patient physically active which increase their airflow and blood flow. Nurses make patient feel relax and help them to have a good sleep. Nurses recommend patients to wear light and comfortable clothes which does not make their breathing difficult. Nurses are reliable to make sure that patient is taking good sleep which reduces anxiety and depression (Falcó‐Pegueroles and et. al., 2021).

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The fourteen components mentioned in this theory is a holistic approach in order to make patient independent. Henderson considered the process of nursing as logical approach in order to resolve patient's problem. As per Henderson the process of nursing involves six components: patient assessment, diagnosis, planning strategies, implementation of plans and strategies, evaluation and outcome. Nurses must prove an effective care treatment to patient as it helps to reduce the chances of long-term disability and ensures patient's safety (Parse, 2022).

  • In first component, patient is required to take breath normally. In case of stroke the breathing rate falls down and nurses are required to be calm with patients. Nurses need to communicate with patience as sometimes, patient becomes anxious and irritated due to shortness of breath.
  • Appropriate food and drink is required for stroke patient as tougher food increase the risk of stress and rise blood pressure. Nurses provide plenty of vegetables such spinach, legumes and beans. Nurses prepare an appropriate diet chart for patient which is required to maintain his good health. Nurses ensure that patient is not consuming alcohol. Smoking is also life threatening for stroke patient and hence patient requires to avoid smoking. Generally, nurses recommend to add salmon in diet chart as it contains omega-3 fatty acid which promotes neuroplasticity. Nurses also include flaxseeds, nuts, avocados, eggs, olive oil, Greek yogurt, green tea and legumes which helps to maintain the blood flow to the brain (Fagerström, 2021).
  • Nurses make sure that patient is taking enough amount of roughage which helps in digestion and excretion. Elimination wastage is very essential to reduce fatigue substance in body and make the muscles stronger. Eliminating wastes helps to maintain a good blood flow in patient. It also strengthens the immunity of the patient.
  • AS per the fourth element of the theory, nurses assist patient to maintain a good and desirable positioning as it enhances the elasticity and flexibility of the body. Appropriate body positioning will assist the patient to send sensory messages effectively. In this case study, patient may experience paralysis due to poor blood flow. Appropriate positioning of the body reduces the risk of dislocation and complexity in chest of the patient (Seah and et. al., 2022).   
  • Nurses must ensure that patient is wearing comfortable clothes which are not making breathing difficult for him. Patient need to wear comfortable clothes so he can move his body freely. Loose dressing will assist patient to undress easily. As patient is very old, tight clothes would make him uncomfortable and he would not be able to move his body. He may find difficulty in walking and it may result to his physical inactivity.
  • Maintaining the body temperature is very vital as it helps to avoid stroke attacks in patients. Nurses must ensure the normal body temperature of the patient as elevated body temperature is a key indicator of raised blood pressure. A stable body temperature requires for patient to function appropriately.
  • A nurse is also reliable to maintain the hygiene as poor hygiene gives rise to skin infection easily. Nurses assist patient to take bath daily to remove dirt from his skin. Nurses wash his clothes, cut his nails, clean his bed and help him to maintain personal hygiene. As patient is 68 years old, the risk of getting infectious diseases gets increased. Nurse perform all the hygiene related activity in order to ensure patient safety. It is very essential for the patient to take bath and perform other grooming activities as it helps him to become independent (Chapman, 2018).
  • Nurses must address the risk factors for the patient in order to minimise them. In the given case study, the patient is 68 years old and he needs to avoid smoking and consuming alcohol as it can make harm to him. Sometimes, stroke leads to paralysis, loose carpet and poor lighting can make him fall down and get injured. Nurses minimises all the potential risk and hazards for patient in order to ensure his safety.
  • Nurses need to establish a good patient-nurse relationship in order to communicate with patient effectively. Usually, old patient does not like to socialise and hence nurses need to be more conscious about the patient's emotional and behavioural changes. Nurse provide emotional support to the patient so he can share his feeling and symptoms.
  • Nurses respect the cultural and spiritual believes of patient as it helps to build a strong relationship between patient and nurses. It also helps to cope up with the emotional imbalance and get a rapid recovery. Cultural and religious believes impacts patients emotions and health and hence, it is very important to provide emotional support to patient (Tanioka and et. al., 2019).
  • Nurses always encourage and motivate patients to perform all the mentioned activities to get him recover fast. Continues motivation helps patient to keep faith in ongoing treatment. Nurses motivate stroke patient to exercise daily which helps to maintain their blood pressure and keep them physically active (Beyera, O'Brien and Campbell, 2022).
  • Nurses facilitate physical activities for stroke patient as it is essential to maintain the flexibility and good blood flow in the body. Daily exercise helps to reduce blood pressure and minimise the chances of stroke attacks.
  • Older patient requires extra care and support as they often feel isolated and loneliness. Nurses make patient curious and learn new things in order to maintain positivity during the treatment (Tucker and et. al., 2021).  
  • Nurses conduct creative activities in order to make patient happy and physically active. In case of stroke, patient become poor-actualised and physically inactive. In such case nurses make them focus on their health in order to improve quality health.

Patient assessment


Mr.X nursing Assessment

14 components of Henderson

Assessment results


Normally breathe

He was facing breathing issue as his respiratory rate is 16 which is irregular and oxygen saturation is 87%


Elimination of body Wastes

Catheter of Foley was placed


Drink and Eat Adequately

Weight 45 kg, height 153 cm, skin good, he was advised liquid diet but she do not ready to take any liquid diet.


Posturing and Movement

Feeble to walk, report fatigue


Maintain body temperature

No sign of high and low body temp


Select appropriate cloth dress and undress

Wearing loose fitted dress


Rest and sleep

Feel insomnia


Avoid dangers in the environment




Damaged larynx


Keep the body well-groomed and clean

Very conscious of her physical appearance


Work accomplishment

Lost interest


Worship as per the one's faith

Religion, Islam, not spiritual


Learn, satisfy and discover the curiosity

Finding difficult to cope with stress


Participate or play in different forms of recreation.

Used to spend time with family.


From the above report, it has been concluded that the principles of Henderson's theory are considered as holistic approach to provide quality care to patient. It helps carers to provide quality care and support to patients to make them independent so they do not require any assistance in future. The paper determines fourteen components of theory which are applicable to improve patient's health and ensure quick recovery. In this report, the nurses adopted the Henderson theory to meet with health requirements of a 69 years old stroke patient.  You can get the answer: NURS 1004 Nursing theories and models Virginia Henderson's theory

Read Also: The Role of Nurse in Promoting Health and Preventing ill Health


  • Beyera, G.K., O'Brien, J. and Campbell, S., 2022. Choosing a health behaviour theory or model for related research projects: A narrative review. Journal of Research in Nursing, 27(5), pp.436-446.
  • Chapman, H.M., 2018. Nursing theories 3: nursing models.
  • Fagerström, L.M., 2021. The Caring Advanced Practice Nursing Model. In A Caring Advanced Practice Nursing Model (pp. 65-73). Springer, Cham.
  • Falcó‐Pegueroles, A., Rodríguez‐Martín, D., Ramos‐Pozón, S. and Zuriguel‐Pérez, E., 2021. Critical thinking in nursing clinical practice, education and research: From attitudes to virtue. Nursing Philosophy, 22(1), p.e12332.
  • Grech, P. and Grech, R., 2021. The role of health promotion theories in Stroke Awareness and Education. Applied Nursing Research, 58, p.151415.
  • Hoeck, B. and Delmar, C., 2018. Theoretical development in the context of nursing—The hidden epistemology of nursing theory. Nursing Philosophy, 19(1), p.e12196.
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  • Llahana, S., Dwyer, A.A. and Yedinak, C., 2019. Conceptualization, Definition, and Competencies of Advanced Practice Nursing with a Focus on Endocrinology. In Advanced Practice in Endocrinology Nursing (pp. 1281-1302). Springer, Cham.
  • Notarnicola, I., Stievano, A., Pulimeno, A. and Rocco, G., 2018, June. Systems thinking, complex adaptive systems and health: An overview on new perspectives for nursing education. In International Conference in Methodologies and intelligent Systems for Techhnology Enhanced Learning (pp. 285-292). Springer, Cham.
  • Oliveira‐Kumakura, A.R.D.S., de Araujo, T.L., Costa, A.G.D.S., Cavalcante, T.F., Lopes, M.V.D.O. and Carvalho, E.C., 2018. Clinical validation of the nursing outcome “swallowing status” in people with stroke: Analysis according to the classical and item response theories. International Journal of Nursing Knowledge, 29(4), pp.234-241.
  • Parse, R.R., 2022. Celebrating 35 Years of Scholarly Publications. Nursing Science Quarterly, 35(1), pp.5-6.
  • Seah, B., Tan, G.R., Eriksson, M., Wang, W. and Ramazanu, S., 2022. Re-orienting healthcare for healthy living communities: A qualitative exploration of nursing students utilising the salutogenic theory for community health practice. Nurse Education Today, p.105545.
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