A brief history of nursing
- Before going through the breadth and standards of nursing care, it’s a good idea to go over the history of the nursing profession. Florence Nightingale is widely regarded as the father of modern nursing. She founded the world’s first nursing school in 1860. Nightingale pushed the idea of nurses as a professional, educated workforce of carers for the sick by founding this nursing school. The contributions of Florence Nightingale to health care began during the Crimean War in 1854. Her team observed that overloaded medical professionals were providing poor health care to wounded soldiers in a filthy atmosphere.
- Florence kept track of the hospital’s death rate and developed statistical models that showed that for every 1,000 injured soldiers, 600 died from preventable communicable and infectious diseases. Florence’s nursing interventions were straightforward: she focused on providing a clean atmosphere, clean water, and an appropriate diet to encourage healing, including offering fruit to wounded troops as part of their care. The soldiers’ death rate dropped from 60% to 2.2 percent as a result of these simple actions. Nightingale published Notes on Nursing in 1859, which became the foundation of the Nightingale School of Nursing program. Nightingale thought that putting a patient in a healing atmosphere where they could recover from disease was critical.
- She emphasized the distinction between this and medical understanding. Many of the core principles that we now utilize in establishing healing health care setting today were created by her emphasis on the value of the environment. She also emphasized the necessity of developing trusting connections with patients and believed that nurses’ presence with patients resulted in therapeutic recovery. She advocated for confidentiality, arguing that a nurse “should never answer questions about her sick except to those who have the right to ask.” These nursing concepts established the framework for modern nursing practice.
- Over the past 160 years, modern nursing has reinvented itself several times as health care has evolved and altered. The nursing profession is the largest part of the healthcare workforce in the United States, with over four million members. Nursing practice encompasses a wide range of activities, including health promotion, illness prevention, care coordination, and palliative care in the case a cure is not possible. In hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, schools, workplaces, and ambulatory settings, nurses have a direct impact on patient care and provide the bulk of patient assessments, evaluations, and care. They are on the front lines of ensuring that patient care is provided in a safe, efficient, and compassionate manner.
Nursing foundation – American Nurses Association (ANA)
- The American Nurses Association (ANA) was founded in 1896 as a nationwide professional nursing organization. The ANA represents nurses in all 50 states of the United States while simultaneously advocating for better health care for all.
- The ANA’s aim is to “guide the profession to influence the future of nursing and health care.” According to the ANA, it exists to advance the nursing profession by:
- Fostering high standards of nursing practice
- Promoting a safe and ethical work environment
- Bolstering the health and wellness of nurses
- Advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public