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Theory and Legacy 1897-1996

Virginia A. Henderson was born November 30, 1897 and was the fifth of eight children. The Henderson family moved to Virginia in 1901, where Miss Henderson grew into adulthood. In 1918, she entered the Army School of Nursing in Washington, DC, and in 1921, she recieved her nursing diploma. Henderson very much wanted to teach nursing therefore she accepted her first instructor position in 1924. In 1934 and for the next fourteen years, she remained at the Teachers College, Columbia University where she joined the teacher's faculty and earned her bachelor of science and master of arts degree in nursing education.

In 1953, Henderson accepted a research associate postion Yale University School of Nursing. The project was designed to survey and assess the status of nursing research in the United States. From 1959 to 1971, Henderson was funded to direct the Nursing Studies Index Project. The result of the project was the publication of the four-volume Nursing Studies Index, the first annotated index of nursing research. Henderson had now deserved the title of research associate emeritus at Yale University. At 75 years of age, Henderson focused her career on international teaching and speaking engagements.