Virginia Henderson and her timeless writings


  • Edward J Halloran RN PhD FAAN

    1. Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carrington Hall CB #7460, School of Nursing, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7460, USA
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  • A version of this paper was presented to Miss Virginia A Henderson at the Harkness Auditorium 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, Connecticut, USA as a part of the Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven USA, Sybil Palmer Bellos Lecture on 8 April 1988, in celebration of her 90th birthday, she was born on 30 November 1897


This paper provides a reflection on the written works of Miss Virginia Avenel Henderson Miss Henderson is a nurse, a scientist, an artist and a quintessential human being — all traits which informed her written output Nursing practice, research and education were all subjects of her extensive chronicle The four-volume Nursing Studies Index is her contribution to nursing research The Index was sandwiched between two revisions of Principles and Practice of Nursing (5th and 6th eds), the placement of which caused the Index to focus on practice and the Principles (6th ed) to be based on research The sixth edition of Principles, written with Gladys Nite and 17 contributors, is considered the most important single professional document written in the twentieth century The book synthesizes nursing practice, education, theory and research in an age when many nurses are challenged by the seeming incongruity in these essential professional functions