Knowlege of nursing

How does knowledge of the Foundation and History of nursing provide a context in which to understand current practice? Identify at least three trends in nursing practice demonstrated by the interactive timeline. How has these trends influenced your perspective of nursing practice. The knowledge of primitive nursing or Foundation and History of nursing does aid in understanding the root of nursing practice as relevant to understanding the past, defining the present and in determining the future of nursing. The challenges faced in the past, the obstacles overcome, and an understanding of the progression of events and ideas have influenced the profession.

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The knowledge of the History and Foundation of nursing also allow us the opportunity to ask “why” and then get an answer for today’s practices from documented evidence. Learning from past mistake and successes, like the revolutionary work of Florence Nightingale, which improves sanitation, further improves the nursing profession. Understanding today’s practices is directly related to the understanding and documentation of past practices. The nurses of today have the ability to make positive changes in the practice and also set goals for the future of nursing. For instance, the hand washing in nursing stemmed from the awareness of historical practices but only gets better with time.

With information from history and the incorporation of the information into practice,” nursing will continues to be a vital force in the healthcare system” (White, 2005 pg41). Looking back on history and research of practices, it is incredible how far medical technology has come. Three trends in nursing practice demonstrated are: First, Education, Training and also quality of care was elementary prior to the 1800’s but today it is quite advance. Today there are regulations, policies, procedure, and standard of care. Nursing has moved from the rudimentary, uneducated profession to one requiring advance technical skills.

There are different areas of nursing, (ADN, BSN and MSN) and continue education required in some states for renewal of License. At first there was no formal education in the care of the sick rather than knowledge that was being handed down verbally and practically (observation) until 1860 when The Florence Nightingale training school for nurses was created at ST Thomas Hospital in London (K.J.Egenes 5) Then, in 1872, the first three training schools were established, one at New York, one in Connecticut then another one Massachusetts.

According to the timeline, Linda Anne Richards was awarded the first Diploma in 1873 (K.J.Egenes, ch.1. Pg 8). The second trend demonstrated is the shift of the nursing profession to women. Naturally, nursing is a job for a woman. Generally, women care for the sick members of their family, but in the military where nursing started; nursing work was dominated by male of religious calling. The trend is a progression of a male dominated to female dominated profession.

Nursing used to be healing the sick and wounded and also compassion towards the needy. Women’s dominance is shifting gradually, as men are coming back into the profession and as it becomes bi-gender dominated. The third trend demonstrated in nursing practice is the movement from nursing “cap and pin” to a complete uniform profession. In those days during graduation, nurses wore pins, caps, white gown and aprons, but today the “scrubs” have taken over for both male and female nurses. Understanding the foundation and history of nursing helped to be even more proud than ever about my carrier, and to help me appreciate how far nursing has come and continues to be a vital force in the healthcare system.

References: White, L. (2005), Foundations of basic learning (2nd, pg 41.) Creasia and Friberg (2011). Conceptual Foundation: The Bridge to Professional Nursing. 5th ed. Egenes, K. (2008), History of Nursing Ch 1, (pp.5, 10)

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