Health Care Sample Essay on Role Transition

Role Transition

Virginia Avenel Henderson is a legend nurse who became famous after being awarded the title “the best nurse of the 20th century”. Her contributions in this career have created a positive impact to nursing at both national and international level. Henderson became an inspiration to nurses across the world after receiving a prestigious Christianne Reimann prize from the nursing council. As a holder of twelve doctoral degrees, she applied her nursing knowledge through her influencing research and practice across the globe.

Analyzing the leadership characteristics of Henderson, it is evident that she was a gracious person with full sense of humor and wisdom. She was a leader who advocated for teamwork whereby she taught health professionals to work in a peaceful manner to achieve a common goal. Henderson believed that working harmoniously in a team could benefit patients and families that nurses assisted. She was an effective nurse leader who encouraged her colleagues to unite and function effectively to pursue their shared objective. Henderson exhibited a democratic way of leadership and most of the time she guided rather than control individuals she worked with. The other leadership trait she possessed is that she was a manager by attention when she gave directions that attracted followers. She was an excellent nurse who accepted opinion from others and attributed to personal life of individuals and what they contributed to society (Henderson, 2012).

 According to Henderson, a leader who portrays excellence is a complete individual that can take part in any task he or she is assigned. She perceives nurses as individuals who are responsible of assisting patients who are not physically capable or have knowledge to take care of their own. Henderson is a kind of a leader who expects her team members to evade demands that could prevent them from doing their jobs appropriately. Based on her leadership style, good nurses are not supposed to divert from their line of work and focus on activities such as filing, cleaning and clerking that are non-medical.

I believe that Henderson’s leadership traits are the essential characteristics of directing others. First, for a leader to interact well with her staff, she has to be gracious and have a sense of humor as Henderson. This has a positive impact because it creates a mutual relationship that leads to understanding and proper functioning at work. It is also essential for a leader to support teamwork because it unites employees and facilitates them to work hard to achieve their goals. Leading in a democratic manner promotes a working spirit and make employees to feel comfortable in their line of duty. Furthermore, this stimulates sharing of ideas among the parties involved without discriminating against the superior and inferiors. It is vital for a leader to be a role model to others because it attracts many followers who emulate his or her behaviors for success of the organization.

The following are specific contributions that Henderson made to the nursing profession. As a nurse theorist, she significantly took part in nursing practices that gave her titles such as “First Lady of Nursing”. She participated in writing, conducted research, and worked with diverse nurses, which gave her an impression of the best nurse across the world. She mobilized other nurses to assist individuals in society whether sick or well to recover or maintain their good health especially those who lacked strength and knowledge in this area (Smith, 2009). In nursing career, Henderson was an educator in institutions such as Columbia University Teacher’s College and Yale school of nursing where she imparted knowledge to many students pursuing this career. She also contributed to nursing when she wrote three editions of “Principles and practices of nursing” that became widely used in spreading knowledge about nursing. Henderson contributed in creating the first nursing library in Indianapolis that benefited professionals because they were able to access it via electronic means.

The advocacy traits employed by Henderson to meet the needs of individuals in society are evident when she initiated a basic curriculum to solve nursing issues. She also paid frequent visits to nursing schools where she influenced and encouraged individuals in nursing profession. In addition, Henderson was a passionate advocate in spreading health details and resources in society. Her focus in taking care of individuals is evident when she motivated other nurses to aid patients to recover, maintain healthy status of those who are well, and take care of the sick who could not survive to have a peaceful death. She articulated on the significance of promoting self-reliance among patients to enhance their healing progress after their stay at the hospital. This could be achieved by allowing individuals to participate in activities that grant them health or contribute to their recovery. Furthermore, she advocated for nurses to devote their time to patients during day and night and their significance of attaining education at a university level. As a result, this has met healthcare needs of families and individuals in society when they receive services from educated nurses in a satisfactory manner.

In her nursing profession, Henderson encountered obstacles that influenced her decisions to handle a situation that caused change. The first barrier that hindered change is when some of her members failed to be part of teamwork. As a result, this affected the situation because it distracted the unity of other workers in nursing organizations (Henderson, 2011). In another circumstance, a section of nurses did not take their work as a first priority due to their personal demands. This had a negative impact to decision making in addressing a situation because nurses made a habit of coming to work late hence gave patients less attention. In such a condition, patients ended up suffering as they lacked assistance in absence of nurses who showed up late. At some point, her memory and hearing ability began to change and this had a bad effect because it reduced her concentration in this career. However, Henderson worked hard to overcome such obstacles by ensuring that she brought change in nursing profession. 

As a legend nurse, Virginia Henderson contributed a lot in nursing and this had an impact to the future generation in various ways. First, the upcoming nurses will be motivated to pursue higher education in nursing as a way of emulating Henderson’s footsteps. Her contribution also creates a positive impact in future because nurses will be encouraged to conduct research and write books to explore more in this profession. In addition, the nursing generation will advance in providing efficient services to the patients. They will emulate such skills from her teachings when she advocated for concentration in line of duty (Henderson, 2010). For instance, nurses will learn the significance of spending time and assisting patients rather than engaging in irrelevant activities such as filing. They will fulfill this by attending their night and day duties appropriately to ensure that patients recover until they are able to take care of themselves.

 Henderson has created a positive impact to future age group of nurses. They will apply her excellent leadership skills that incorporate teamwork to achieve their goals. In future, professions who engage nursing practices will imitate a democratic way of leadership from Henderson. This will assist nurses in leadership position to guide their colleagues instead of controlling them during work. Furthermore, health professionals will work harmoniously by appreciating different opinions from each other to foster understanding and unity. Learning from her contribution, the future group of nurses will embrace education, and offer quality services that will benefit individuals, families and aggregates in society.

Analyzing Henderson’s contribution and how she propelled change in nursing career impacts on me from a professional and personal perspective in relation to beliefs, knowledge and values. Personally, the values I acquire from her are being gracious and having a good relationship with the individuals I relate with. In addition, I will also stick to the value of offering assistance to others in a peaceful manner to achieve my goals (Davies, 2009). Her contribution in nursing also made me to value opinions from colleagues and professionally to appreciate teamwork. She also encourages me to pursue education at higher levels so as to gain knowledge that is useful in this profession. From her, I learn the significance of democracy in nursing and other organizations in general in that it creates a good working relationship between the leader and her staff.    


Davies, P.  (2009). Nursing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Henderson, V. (2012). The nature of nursing; a definition and its implications for practice,             research, and education. New York: Macmillan.

Henderson, V. (2010). Principles and practice of nursing (6th ed.). New York: Macmillan.

Henderson, V. (2011). A Virginia Henderson reader: excellence in nursing. New York: Springer   Pub. Co.

Henderson, V. (2012). Basic principles of nursing care (Rev. 2012. ed.). Geneva, Switzerland:      International Council of Nurses.

Smith, M. (2009). Best practices in nursing education stories of exemplary teachers. New York:    Springer Pub.