N 491 What is an opportunity in your nursing practice that would benefit from application of Henderson’s theory?

Nursing theories guide nurses to offer quality care and ensure that patient have better outcomes. Theories like Virginia Henderson’s needs theory, provide frameworks upon which individuals and nurses can implement certain strategies to improve care provision (Smith, 2019). The purpose of this discussion is to demonstrate application of needs theory by Virginia Henderson based on the opportunities that exist in emergency room nursing setting.

At the core of the needs theory is that nurses have a duty to assess the need of their individual patients and help them meet their health needs. Henderson’s theory advances that nurses should help patients have an environment where they can independently carry out their activities, especially upon their discharge from hospitals. The model underscores the significance of addressing human needs and the role of nurses in addressing them. Henderson described the role of health practitioners as substitutive, complementary, and supplementary (Smith, 2019). All these focus on helping patients be as autonomous as possible. Under substitutive role, nurses should carry out some tasks on behalf of their patients while in their complementary role, the practitioners should work with the patients to develop effective approaches to overcome their health challenges and issues. In their supplementary role, nurses assist patients to be independent and also ensure that they make informed decisions related to enhancing their health outcomes.

Henderson theory implores nurse to fulfill their unique responsibilities to cater for the health care needs of patients and facilitate the recovery process. Henderson’s theory also emphasizes patients’ education and its implementation to improve overall outcomes (Smith, 2019). The implication is that the theory placed a majority of attention to individual care while nurses’ role is to help patients carry out these activities for health maintenance, recovery, and attainment of even a peaceful death.

Different opportunities in my practice would benefit from the use of Henderson’s theory as an emergency room nurse. The core aspect of providing emergency care is to ensure that patients are stable through immediate medical attention. Imperatively, the opportunity in my nursing practice that would benefit from this model is stabilization of individuals in emergency rooms. People come to the emergency settings to acquire fast intervention to reduce the effects of their conditions or those emanating from medical health emergencies associated with accidents (Maier et al., 2018). A core part of the emergency care is to stabilize a patient so that they can breathe normally as advanced by Henderson. The patient requires stabilization before anything else is done and part of that is to ascertain that they breathe normally. Therefore, ensuring that such patients are out of danger means ascertaining that they can breathe well. The fourteen components in this theory shows that effective nursing is necessary to attain better patient outcomes.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) defines nursing as the protection, promotion, and optimization health and abilities. It also entails injury and illness prevention, alleviating suffering through the medical processes, diagnosis and treatment of human response (“American Nurses Association”, 2022). Nurses also advocate while caring for individuals, families, and communities as well as populations. As such, the need to stabilize patients and ensure that they can breathe normally aligns with the ANA’s definition since it protects and promotes their well-being. The opportunity means that patients can only survive when they have stability to undergo other surgical or non-surgical procedures. Emergency room nurses ensure that patients can become independent as soon as possible once in the department. Nurses must ensure that they fulfil their roles to facilitate patient-centered healing.


American Nurses Association (ANA) (2022). What is Nursing?


Maier, C., Köppen J., Busse,R., & MUNROS Team. (2018). Task shifting between physicians

and nurses in acute care hospitals: Cross-sectional study in nine countries. Human Resources Health, 16(1), 24. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12960-018-0285-9

Smith, M. C. (2019). Nursing theories and nursing practice. FA Davis.

N 491 Module 2 Discussion

Henderson believed nurses have the responsibility to assess the needs of the individual patient, help individuals meet their health needs, and provide an environment in which the individual can perform activities unaided. What is an opportunity in your nursing practice that would benefit from application of Henderson’s theory? How does this align with the ANA’s definition of nursing? Provide at least one evidenced-based research article to support this recommendation.

Reference no: EM132069492

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