From Medicine Men before Christianity began to today, there has been much change. There are similarities of past nursing practice to present, but the scope of practice has changed (Spector, 2004), (Chapter 2 History of Professional Nursing by Stacey Whitney, 2018). Key leaders in this change would start with Florence Nightingale in 1837, where she began the change in a hospital in Turkey (Cohen, 1984). There she and her nurses took care of the wounded soldiers in unsanitary conditions. She felt a change in environment was needed in order to decrease the death rate of infections. It was because she took the leadership role to request a change and formed research and data analysis to convince those that could help her implement the environmental change (Cohen, 1984). She then wrote a book of her experiences and founded a school in London in 1859, called the Nightingale Training School for Nurses (Cohen, 1984). In 1867-1940, Mary Brewster and Lillian Wald founded a Visiting Service of New York and the Henry Street Settlement House. The Settlement House was where they cared for poor immigrants. Lillian Wald also helped student absenteeism in New York Schools due to sickness, to decrease by having one of her nurses, Lina Rogers, to be responsible for the care of the poor sick children in their homes so that they may return to school. With nursing services needed in the American Civil War (1821-1912), Clara Barton volunteered and became the founder of the American Red Cross. With the difference she made in the military, military officials saw the need and convinced Congress to allow trained female nurses to be members of the military. It was in (1862-1919) that Jane Delano founded the American Red Cross Nursing Service (Sarnecky, 1999). As the advancement of nursing continued, the need for professional nursing education was recognized during the Civil War. Linda Richards became the first graduate as a professional trained American nurse. By the early 1913, Nurse training programs was on the rise in the United States and Japan where Linda Richards began nurse training programs (Faison, 2012).
This history is the reason for the advancement of nursing practice. With research and evidence of conditions and needs to ensure quality care of patients, and the foundation of focus on health promotion, disease prevention, and risk reduction. Nursing practice has taken this foundation and moved forward with understanding the importance of continuing education, the use of technology, and the importance of continuing research for the purpose of quality care and future knowledge of even better ways to meet the needs of the patients and ensure positive outcomes.
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