The history of nursing

The history of nursing

  • Posted On : 10/3/2018 9:20 AM

Professional nursing plays an important in the healthcare system in modern-day U.S.. Nurses provide patients with knowledgeable and ethical health care. Their work goes beyond just physical care but it is also emotional. They connect with patients on a personal level. Nursing would be like this without the help of many influential nurses who impacted the field of nursing in amazing ways.

The beginning of nursing 

The practice of nursing has existed for centuries, but it was not considered as a profession.  Historically, women of low status worked as nurses. Nursing did not become a profession until the 1800s thanks to a woman by the name of Florence Nightingale.

Nightingale was brought to assist with nursing during Britain's Crimean War, where she started to incorporate her scientific knowledge and help decrease the death rates of soldiers. After this, there was increase of people going out to help the sick and the the movement led to the creation of  general hospitals. Normally back in the day, the sick were cared for in a household.

Other influential nurses

Nightingale is a memorable nurse who impacted the field of nursing and changed it. There are many other nurses in history who have also provided selfless service to others and influenced the practice of nursing. Here are some of the influential nurses.

- Clara Barton

From early on, Clara Barton was a selfless nurse providing aid to the wound in the Union Army across many places. For many years Clara helped the wounded without the help of the government. In 1881,she  founded the American Red Cross. It now provides assistance to anyone involved in an emergency and disaster of any sort.

Mary Eliza Mahoney

Another one of the most influential nurses is Mary Eliza Mahoney. Mary was the first registered African American women to become a professional nurse in the U.S.. She began caring for patients as a cook and janitor in the New England Hospital for Women and Children. Later she enrolled in school and received her professional nursing license. Mary’s career led her to co-founding the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN).

- Dorothea Dix

Dorothea Dix was a pioneer of fighting for the living conditions of those with a mental illness held in asylums. Back then, asylum conditions were unlivable. Most of the time, patients were left in the cold, naked and living conditions were unhygienic. Dorothea took her efforts across different state legislations and gained a movement of change. Her movement also helped establish mental hospitals.

- Linda Richards

The modern nursing we know today is forever grateful to Linda Richards. She established the written patient charts used today. Back in the day, patients reports were entirely verbal. Linda started this practice of writing down her patient reports in her first job and a patient noticed her written reports. The patient appreciated them so much he pushed for it to become a norm in nursing.

- Mabel Keaton Staupers

Equality is an important part of nursing. Mabel Keaton Staupers helped million of minority women in the field of nursing. Mabel is notable for fighting for the equality of African American nurses to be accepted to help in military. Not only were these nurses allowed to help in the military thanks to her.

Without the help of these influential nurses and many more we would not have the great profession of nursing we have today! Make sure to thank a nurse!


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