Understanding Nursing History Discussion
Understanding Nursing History Discussion
I’m working on a writing question and need a reference to help me learn.
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.
I find history so incredibly interesting, and the history of nursing did not let down. Nursing began as an under-appreciated career, one that people avoided at all costs. Nurses made very little money and nursing jobs were left for society’s misfits like alcoholics and illiterates. It was not until, the advocate of public health and the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, came into the picture that we started realizing the importance of nursing and thus the proper education of nursing began. With Florence Nightingale leading the way, nursing programs slowly started to spring up everywhere and nursing education has continued to blossom to this day.
Nurses began working from home and on the battlefield. Nurses were sent overseas to aid the military and risked their lives along with the soldiers to provide nursing care. Nurses have always been the heroes at the front line of new illnesses and continue to show their fearlessness at the front line of the pandemic we face today. Nurses play a vital role in healthcare and I’m so excited to one day be a part of something so significant.
Grand Canyon University. (n.d.). Nursing Timeline. GCU. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from https://www.gcumedia.com/lms-resources/student-success-center/v3.1/#/media-element/CONHCP/9A618C63-0C53-E811-BF97-005056BD7343
History Channel. (2016, February 29). Florence Nightingale: Changing the field of nursing – fast facts | history. YouTube. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from
The nursing field evolved from being a male-dominated practice associated with magic and the occult to today’s evidence-based discipline with women at the forefront of the nursing profession. In the past, women were shunned as caregivers; instead, “Medicine men” with very little knowledge of health fulfilled the role of healers (Whitney, 2018). However, women persevered and continued to improve the nursing field through their efforts.
Although, at its root, Nursing has always involved caring for the sick, according to Whitney (2018), it was not until Florence Nightingale, with her nursing research, entered the picture as a pioneer the nursing profession was defined as a professional discipline. Nightingale revolutionized medical care with her environmental theory emphasizing “health promotion, disease prevention, and risk reduction” to improve patient survival rates during the Crimean War and World War II (Whitney, 2018). Similarly, prominent nurses like Clara Barton helped create the Army Nurse Corps, which introduced women as members of the U.S. military forces in 1901 (Whitney, 2018). All in all, women earned a place of respect in the nursing profession because they helped save lives and contributed academically to society worldwide.
Interestingly, substandard conditions affecting the world have played a significant role in the development of the modern nursing profession. Factors such as wars, overcrowded cities, and lack of basic hygiene became breeding grounds for diseases during the 18th century following the industrial revolution (Whitney2018). Because people previously lacked knowledge of germs, disease, and infection — unsanitary conditions claimed countless lives. Ironically, this detrimental environment opened new roles for nurses, who followed a calling, and used their resourcefulness to help their communities and future generations. Eventually, they needed to be better educated in the disease process and infection transmission to generate better patient survival. In a sense, the challenges the world met in the past influenced the advancement of nursing, nursing education, and nursing roles that made the nursing field what it is today.
Whitney, S. (2018). History of Professional Nursing [E-book]. In Dynamics in Nursing: Art and Science of Professional Practice (p. 1). Retrieved June 20, 2022, from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs430v/dynamics-in-nursin…