Ernestine Wiedenbach - Helping Art of Clinical Nursing

Wiedenbach believed that there were 4 main elements to clinical nursing. They included: a philosophy, a purpose, a practice and the art.


Wiedenbach conceptualizes nursing as the practice of identification of a patient's need for help through observation of presenting behaviors and symptoms, exploration of the meaning of those symptoms with the patient, determining the cause(s) of discomfort, and determining the patient's ability to resolve the discomfort or if the patient has a need for help from the nurse or other healthcare professionals. Nursing primarily consists of identifying a patient's need for help. If the need for help requires intervention, the nurse facilitates the medical plan of care and also creates and implements a nursing plan of care based on needs and desires of the patient. In providing care, a nurse exercises sound judgment through deliberative, practiced, and educated recognition of symptoms. The patient's perception of the situation is an important consideration to the nurse when providing competent care (Sitzman & Eichelberger 2003) (Extracts from: Ernestine Wiedenbach. A Tribute to her Legacy - Dr. Lisa Wright Eichelberger.


McKee, N. J., Danko, M., Heidenreiter, T. J. Hunt, N. E., Marich, J. E., Tomey, A. M., McCreary, C. A., & Stuart, M. (1998). Ernestine Wiedenbach: The helping art of clinical nursing. In A. M. Tomey & M. R. Alligood (Eds.), Nursing theorists and their work (4th ed., pp. 86-98). St. Louis: Mosby.

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Wiedenbach, E. (1963). The helping art of nursing. American Journal of Nursing, 63(11), 54-57.

Weidenbach, E. (1964). Clinical nursing: A helping art. New York, NY: Springer.

Wiedenbach, E. (1965). Family nurse practitioner for maternal and child care. Nursing Outlook, 13(12), 50.

Wiedenbach, E. (1967). Family-centered maternity nursing (2nd ed.). New York, NY: G. P. Putman's Sons.

Wiedenbach, E. (1968). The nurse's role in family planning: A conceptual base for practice.Nursing Clinics of North America, 3(2), 355-365.

Wiedenbach, E. (1970). Nurses' wisdom in nursing theory. American Journal of Nursing, 70(5), 1057-1062.