Benner and Henderson Nursing Philosophy

Benner and Henderson Nursing Philosophy

Compare the nursing philosophy of Benner and Henderson on the basis of the following criteria.Benner and Henderson Nursing Philosophy

•Main ideas of the theory
PLEASE NOTE: I\’m pasting TITLE here because I\’m not sure, the whole title is showing in title space: Compare the nursing philosophy of Benner and Henderson on the basis of the following criteria.

•Main ideas of the theory
•Main concepts
•Relationships between concepts
•How different concepts affect each other
Cite an example or case study from your field (HOSPICE NURSING) where both these philosophies find practical utility.


Benner and Henderson Nursing Philosophy

Patricia Benner’s nursing philosophy is centered on the establishment of five levels of nursing practice that reflect the aspect of skill acquisition and skill development (Alligood, 2014). The file levels include novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient, and expert. Each of these levels reflects an advancement from the absolute reliance on abstract principles to the utilization of past concrete experience in solving practice dilemmas.

The philosophy proposes that a nurse is in a position of gaining knowledge and skills without necessarily studying the theory. On the hand, Virginia Henderson’s philosophy is based on the ability of a nurse to help their patients through emphatic understanding. Benner’s philosophy establishes that experience is the ingredient for the nurse to become an expert (Butts, Bandhauer & Rich, 2013).

Indeed, the main concept of the philosophy emphasizes the importance of skilled performance.

In realizing this, the philosophy stipulates that individuals need to move from the dependence on theoretical and abstract principles to the aspect of using concrete professional experience. Specifically, the philosophy highlights the importance of the ability of the nurse to use her situational expertise towards connecting more easily with their patients.

Henderson’s philosophy establishes the need for a nurse to assist their patient on both physical and emotional needs.
Evidently, both philosophies focus on the issue of employing professionalism in practice. Both philosophies explicitly state metaparadigms that are necessary for nursing practice (Masters, 2014).

Good examples include providing for the patient good communication, appropriate safety procedures, among others. Notably, the difference among the two philosophies is on the aspect of personal emotional development, as well as overall commitment to the patient. Benner focuses on the importance of professional abilities in terms of complexity and significance.

On the other hand, Henderson focuses on the importance of practicing towards realizing a sense of accomplishment. In my own practice, the two philosophies have a great practical utility. For instance, in dealing with terminally ill patients I found it very important to assist them on both their physical and emotional needs. As I worked in this way, I found that I gained immense expertise on how to deal with different patients who exhibited various needs.


Alligood, M. R. (2014). Nursing theorists and their work. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Butts, J. B., Bandhauer, D., & Rich, K. L. (2013). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Masters, K. (2014). Nursing theories: A framework for professional practice. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

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