NRS 430 Discussion Evolution Of Nursing
NRS 430 Topic 3 DQ 1
How has nursing practice evolved over time? Discuss the key leaders and historical events that have influenced the advancement of nursing, nursing education, and nursing roles that are now part of the contemporary nursing profession.
Things change. That’s life. The nursing profession is no exception. Although the primary focus of nursing– taking care of patients– is still the same, almost everything else has been modified. The evolution of nursing doesn’t stop in the present, either. New breakthroughs, medicines and technologies are constantly being made. This means nurses and their employers must keep up or risk becoming obsolete. It has become an industry of adaptation.
The Evolution of Nursing
Nursing in the Past
Nursing, in its most basic form, started out in the home. Before hospitals were built to house the sick, they were taken care of by their family members in their home. Medicine was not yet considered a science.
Nursing as a practice is said to begin between 1840 and 1845. In Great Britain, Florence Nightingale led several women to a group of sick or injured Crimean War soldiers and began to give them supervised care. On the other side of the sea, American doctor Joseph Warrington wrote a book for society nurses and midwives, the first example of a regulated nursing text.
From there, women started receiving training to become nurses in small to mid-size hospital systems. Their education was observation-based and took normally two to three years. When they graduated, the hospital that owns the education center would bring them on as full-time nurses.
As time went on, hospitals grew larger and education became more comprehensive. Nurses of all races and backgrounds were accepted into programs and became part of the workforce. Technology was brought into hospitals in the form of advanced patient beds, stethoscopes and blood pressure devices.
In the 1960s, it became commonplace for hospitals to require nurses to have a specialty instead of being proficient in several different areas.
With the advancement of technology and medicine came the need for more education. A certain certification means some can work in nursing homes, a degree or two grants access to patient care in hospitals, and so on. Nurses learned mostly in the classroom and then implemented what they learned on the job.
Re: Topic 3 DQ 1
Medicine men provided nursing care initially, and women were considered witches for attempting to provide nursing care. Women now dominate nursing. Nursing care in the early days was based on trial and error because science and research were not available (Whitney, 2018). Florence Nightingale was a pioneer of nursing who helped care for soldiers during the Crimean War. Her actions started the evolution of nursing as a profession (Steele, 2017). Nursing has evolved, but the fundamentals of caring for the sick, injured, and dying have not changed. Nightingale and her team of nurses helped soldiers dying from unsanitary conditions. She demonstrated this by her coxcomb diagram, which showed a decrease in the mortality rate (Samardi, 2014). Nightingale established the first nursing school in London to help train nurses. In the US, Lilian Wald, a public health pioneer and a social worker, and her friend, Mary Brewster, started Visiting Nurse Service of New York to take care of the poor immigrants. Wald assigned Lina Rogers to provide nursing care for poor kids absent from school and spreading infection (Whitney, 2018). During the American civil war, Clara Barton volunteered as a nurse and founded the American Red Cross. Jane Delano also founded the American Red Cross Nursing Service during the civil war (Whitney, 2018).
The nursing profession has evolved from Nightingale’s time to nursing training established at hospitals, and now nursing education is available at various colleges and universities. To become a nurse today, one needs education and to take a standardized test called NCLEX to get a license to practice. Colleges and universities offer associate and Baccalaureate programs. It has led to higher education among nurses, helping to incorporate evidence-based and critical thinking into the profession. Nursing keeps evolving and adapting to the changing needs of society to ensure the safe delivery of care and improved patient outcomes.
Sarmadi, M. T. (2014). Florence Nightingale who raised nursing as a highly profession. International Journal of Nursing Science, 4(3), 33-36.
Steele, N. M. (2017). A time to celebrate: Florence Nightingale. Urologic Nursing, 37(2), 57–59.
Whitney, S. (2018). History of professional nursing. In Grand Canyon University (Eds.), Dynamics in nursing: Art and science of professional practice. https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs430v/dynamics-in-nursing-art-and-science-of-professional-practice/v1.1/#/chapter/2
Re: Topic 3 DQ 1
Nursing was not an educated professional in its beginning times. People with illness and disease were often thought of as evil and avoided. As religion and science became more prevalent the nursing role changed. Hospitals began to pop up to care for ill and wounded soldiers. Surgeries, treatments, and medication such as anesthesia were putting more pressure on hospitals and physicians to be better educated. As medicine began to be seen as science, people understood the need for training nurses. Nurses have progressed from working in households to working in hospitals, schools, and outpatient clinics. Nurses, as one of the oldest professions, have seen and inspired a wide range of developments. The most notable improved not only the profession, but also patient outcomes and the quality of health care. Florence Nightingale is a well-educated British woman who is credited as the creator of modern nursing. Nursing as a profession began in the mid-nineteenth century.
The British government solicited Nightingale’s assistance at a military hospital in Turkey during the Crimean War in 1854. The fatality rate of British soldiers dropped drastically within weeks of her small team’s arrival. The public was impressed by Nightingale’s achievements, and she eventually persuaded the Western world of the dignity and worth of educated nurses (Texas Woman’s University, 2019). A decade later, during the American Civil War, the evolution of the nursing profession quickened. Women, often mistresses or wives of soldiers, began following the troops when war erupted in the North and South. They were primarily responsible for the care of sick troops. The most common infections were pneumonia, typhoid, diarrhea or dysentery, and malaria.
Evolution of the nursing profession. (n.d.). Online Nurse Practitioner Programs | Texas Woman’s University. https://onlinenursing.twu.edu/blog/evolution-of-nursing-profession 2019.
How nursing has changed over time. (2019, February 28). Minority Nurse. https://minoritynurse.com/how-nursing-has-changed-over-time/
Yes nursing is evolving day by day, with new concepts and the digital era everything seem to be diversely evolving. This historic lady’s writings are always fresh in peoples mind. She wrote; “nursing care as being centered around three main pillars, health promotion, disease prevention and risk reduction.” in her notes on nursing, Nightingale said that :”nursing ought to signify the proper use of fresh air, light and warmth, cleanliness, quiet and proper selection and administration of diet- all of the list expense of vitals power of the patient” (Nightingale, 1859). This makes us reflect and respect this founder of modern nursing, since these same priorities are still very important in the current nursing practice.
Thank you for highlighting the work of Alice Magaw in this nursing profession whose interest was in anesthesia and today we have graduate nursing courses that prepares nurses to become Certified Nurse Anesthetist or Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists provide to patients anesthesia in acute care settings, outpatient surgery centers for all types of procedure and surgeries. We can see that nursing has transcended from providing caring for the sick at the bedside to other aspects that have today made nursing into respectable profession.
Also many thought of nursing as being the largest profession and the most trusted by the public. It is no secret that the foundation of nursing is mirrored by none other than Florence Nightingale. She felt like nurses only needed to know how to care for their patients through the environment and help them to cope symptoms and changes that can occur, but anything pertaining to disease processes like the medical field was unnecessary.
UT Health Science Center Library February 28, 2018 “The lady with the lamp” and her contributions to modern nursing
- Tajinder Singh
replied toPhyllis Osafo
Sep 10, 2022, 1:43 PM
- Phyllis, you made some great points here! I never knew nursing was see as a low down profession or job even though sometimes it feels that way especially if you are a floor nurse working on the floor and overloaded with patients and highly acute patients with complex care needs. We have alot to thank Florence Nightingale for as she was at the forefront of making nursing a profession that would be respected by all in the years to come following her work and discoveries about sanitization practices during the Crimean war.