Henderson graduated from the Army School of Nursing, Washington, D.C., in 1921.
Henderson defined nursing as "assisting individuals to gain independence in relation to the performance
of activities contributing to health or its recovery" (Henderson, 1966, p. 15).
Her famous definition of nursing was one of the first statements
clearly delineating nursing from medicine:
"The unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or
well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to peaceful
death) that he would perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge. And to do
this in such a way as to help him gain independence as rapidly as possible" (Henderson, 1966, p.
15). She was one of the first nurses to point out that nursing does not consist of merely following
physician's orders. (Extract from