Historical Development of Nursing

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Historical Development of Nursing
The American Nurses Association (ANA) defines nursing as “…the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (American Nurses Association, 2003, p. 6). Nursing is considered an art, a practice, and a science. The relationship between theory, research, and practice is circular. According to Dr. John Daly of Australia, “Nursing science is an identifiable, discrete body of knowledge comprising paradigms, frameworks, and theories” (George, 2011, p. 1). Nursing science provides the basis for the professional nursing practice. The Early Years: Nightingale to 1950s

Many would agree that Florence Nightingale was the first nursing theorist, although she did not receive this recognition until after her death. Florence Nightingale published Notes on Nursing in 1859. “Nightingale’s most widely known research contribution involved data collection and analysis relating to factors affecting soldier mortality and morbidity during the Crimean War” (Polit & Beck, 2004, p. 5). Although Nightingale did not offer her research as theory, it has changed nursing for more than 150 years (George, 2011). There was very little research after Nightingale’s research in 1859; this was attributed to the apprenticeship nature of nursing at the time. In 1900, the first issue of the American Nursing Journal was published. Most research studies from 1900 and 1940 were based on the education of nurses. In 1923, a study was performed by the Committee for the Study of Nursing Education. This committee recommended the need for advanced education preparation for nurses (Polit & Beck, 2004). During the 1940s, nursing education research continued and additional nursing journals were published. There was an increased demand for nurses...
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