October 5, 2014
Historical Development of Nursing Timeline
Upon reviewing nursing history it is evident that the key players in the professional used the knowledge that was placed before them to expand learning and evidence based practice for those around them intentionally. Along with the necessary clinical expertise it is important for nurse to explore nursing theory along with their clinical practice improvements. Unlike other professions nurses have many factors to consider when changing any aspects of care delivery. During day-to-day operations we encounter a very diverse population with varying degrees of illness and needs. Although we have had significant improvements in caring and care delivery we still have not grown to our full potential. Theory helps nurses to be able to learn about themselves, behaviors and trends as they care for others. This paper will explore the development of nursing science and theorist that have contributed to nursing, as we know it today.
The first person that contributed to the nursing and actually did much work to organize groups of professional was Florence Nightingale. “Although Florence was from a wealthy family she recognized early on that others were not as fortunate and there were disparities among those in the community (Roux & Halstead, 2009)”. The biggest disparity she recognized was among the men fighting the Crimean War in 1854. She put together a small group of women to provide clean hygienic quarters for these wounded soldiers and recorded the statistics of their work. She also realized that it was important to be professionally trained as a nurse. Although others performed nursing task it was important that she went away and actually learned nursing as a skill. Once she learned the basic skill she used her knowledge to influence the next generation as an educator, researcher and administrator designing curriculums that could be expanded upon.
All of the great work that Florence was doing in England was brought about through similar situation that was occurring the United States. That similar situation was a war. In 1861 the civil war started. During this time in America there were not formal nursing schools and anyone caring for the sick was titled a nurse. Dorthea Dix was a very prominent figure that was in charge of all of the nurses caring for those injured on the battlefield. After the civil war there was rapid growth in the population and the amount of women working outside the home. Other industries were booming and women were joining the work force to help support their families. In 1872 the first nursing school was developed and called Nurse Training School of Women’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Before this there were training programs that were unorganized. In 1903 North Carolina was the first state to require license for registered nurses. “This was a very important time in nursing history, because anyone who was caring for the sick was able to label themselves as a nurse, but this set the registered nurse apart from everyone else (Roux & Halstead, 2009)”.
During the 19th Century many discoveries were made that made it possible for nurses to advance in science, which in return expanded the profession. The discovery of disease causing microbes allowed nurses to be able to tailor fit treatment along with physicians to treat the exact cause of sickness. The use of microscopes was encouraged and anesthesia was making surgery more possible and less painful. In 1929 the great depression occurred and nurses moved their work into the community because people did not have the money to come to the hospital. In the 1950’s and 1960’s there was a big change in society sparked by the civil rights movement. “Although Mary Mahoney the first African American nurse graduated from a formal nursing program decades before in 1905 minorities were still facing