History of Nurse And Nursing

History of Nurse And Nursing
Posted by Lgists Media

Definition of nursing 

Nursing may be defined as a process by which a patient is helped by a nurse to recover from an illness or injury or to regain as much independence as possible.

Nursing history

To be frank, much is involved in that process. It is more than just the performance of routine tests, such as checking the pulse, and the blood pressure. 

Simple Role of A nurse

The nurse plays an integral role in the patient's recovery. Very proficient nurses are more concerned with the patient's overall reaction to the disorder than with the disorder itself, and are devoted to the control of physical pain, the relief of mental suffering, and when possible the avoidance of complications. 

In addition, the nurse offers understanding care which involved listening with patience to anxieties and fears and providing emotional support and comfort. 

When a patient is dying the nurse's role is to help the patient meet death with as little distress and as much dignity as possible.

 From the foregoing, it is very evident that nurses weave a tapestry of care, knowledge, and trust that is critical to a patient's survival.

A nurse can therefore be defined as a person who nourishes, fosters, and protects. A person who is prepared to care for the sick, injured, and aged. In its simplest form nursing goes back thousands of years even to the Bible times. (I king 1:2-4)

Throughout history, many outstanding women have nursed the sick. For example, Elizabeth of Hungary daughter of king Andrew Il organized food distribution during a famine in 1226.

Thereafter she arranged for hospitals to be built, and there she cared for lepers. She died at a mere twenty-four years of age having spent most of her short life caring for the sick.

It is difficult to speak of the history of nursing and not mention Florence nightingale. With a group of thirty-eight nurses, she reorganized the military hospital at Scutari a suburb of Constantinople, during the Crimean war of 1853-56. When she arrived there the mortality rate was nearly sixty percent but when she left in 1856. It was less than two percent.

Another strong influence on nursing was the institution of protestant deaconesses at Kaisers-werth, Germany, which Nightingale had attended before going to the Crimean war.

In time other outstanding nursing groups developed Agnes Karl in 1903 founded the professional organization for German nurses.

Today, nurses make up what is considered to be the largest professional group in our healthcare system. The world health organization reports that currently there are well over nine million trained nurses and midwives. Unselfishness, though essential, is not enough to make a proficient nurse. 

Good nurses also need extensive and breadth of experience. The requirement is from one and a half to four years or more of study and practical training. In this article, several qualities of a good nurse were highlighted. A cross-section of nurses interviewed in our environment concerning the qualities of a good nurse was documented as follows.

Qualities Of A Good Nurse

  • The doctor heals, but the nurse cares for the patient. This often requires building up patients that have been damaged both inside and outside when for example, they are informed that they have an incurable disease or will face imminent death. 
  • The nurses have to be a mother to the sick person" "It is necessary to be able to feel the pain and anguish that the patient feels and to want to help. Kindness and long-suffering are needed. As a nurse you have to show warmth you must be tolerant and show empathy"
  • A good nurse must be studious, observant, and extremely professional. If a nurse is not self-sacrificing if he or she has a selfish streak or resents advice from others higher up the medical hierarchy that nurse will become unsuitable both for patients and for colleagues".

"Several qualities are indispensable: flexibility, tolerance, and patient. You also have to be open-minded, with the ability to get on well with your colleagues and the medical hierarchy"

"You have to be quick to assimilate new skills to remain efficient"."You must love people and want to help others. You have to be able to cope with stress because in the nursing

What is surprising was that none of them frowns about the world as all or nothing. You must be adaptable to do the same work when at times you have fewer fellow workers without compromising quality".

These were the varying qualities given by the nurses showing untoward attitude to the patient and his relations and participating in unholy or unwholesome alliance to the knowledge of all.

Why Are You A nurse?

The joy of being a nurse) The answer will depend on the person's field of nursing activity. 

Midwives, for example, feel rewarded with every successful birth of one healthy child whose development you have supervised said, one midwife. One midwife said "a delivery is one of the most beautiful things that a couple and a health worker can experience. It is a miracle."

Another forty-year-old nurse said, "the satisfaction of having contributed to the success of an operation and of being a member of a profession that is facilitating and constantly progressing is all that I need."

Another nurse said, "I am touched by the expression of thanks we receive from patients and their families especially in emergencies when we manage to recover a patient for whom we thought there was no hope." But along with the joy of nursing come many challenges. 

There is no room for mistakes whether giving mediation or drawing blood or inserting an intravenous device or even simply moving a patient, a nurse must be extremely careful. 

He or she cannot afford to slip up and this is true in lands where litigation is common yet the nurse is placed in a difficult situation. For example, suppose the nurse feels that a doctor has prescribed the wrong medication for a patient or has given orders that are not in the patient's best interest.

What can the nurse do? 

That requires courage tact and diplomacy and it carries an element of risk. Sadly, some doctors do not take kindly to suggestions from those they view as subordinates.

What have some nurses noted in this regard? One staff nurse midwife of thirty-four years said "A nurse must be courageous. First of all, she is responsible for any medication that she administers or treatments that she performs and for any harm caused by them.

She must be able to refuse to carry out an order from a doctor if she feels it is out of her scope of practice or if she believes that the order is incorrect. 

Nursing is not what it was in the days of Florence Nightingale or even fifty years ago. Now the nurse needs to recognize when to say no to the physician and when to insist that the doctor see the parent, even if it is in the middle of the night and if you are wrong you must be thick-skinned enough to take any ridicule you night get from the doctor".

However, many doctors and even none doctors appreciate the role of nurses in the hospital. Doctor Anokwuru a medical doctor in Lagos once said "Good nurses also teach doctors. The nurses in specialized wards like the intensive care unit are some of the best-trained professionals in the hospital. 

When I was a house officer they taught me how to put catheters and adjust ventilators.

They told me which medicines to avoid. Rarely do I respond faster than when a nurse I trust tells me I must see a patient right away.

In June 1999, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, director-general of the World Health Organization said, "Nurses, as the key health professionals are in a unique position to act as powerful advocates for a healthy planet.

As nurses and midwives already constitute up to eighty percent of the qualified health workforce in most national health systems they represent a potentially powerful force for bringing about the necessary changes to meet the needs of Health for all in the twenty-first century. 

Indeed their contribution to health services covers the whole spectrum of health care. It is clear that nurses are the backbone of most health care teams." 

The former president Of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Loon gave special praise to nurses of Mexico in a speech in which he said "Day after day all of you devote the best of and restoring the health of Mexicans. 

Day after day, you take your knowledge, your solidarity, your service to preserving to those who need it not only your professional help but also from your kindly committed and deeply humanitarian manner.

You are the largest segment of our health institutions. In each life saved, in each child vaccinated, in each assisted birth, in each health talk, in each care, in each patient who receives attention and solid support, the comfort that comes there is present the work of our nursing staff


Violence is one other problem that nurses have to face besides abuse. A report from South Africa says that nursing personnel is recognized as being at higher personal risk of abuse and violence at the workplace. Nurses are more likely to be attacked at work than prison guards or police offices as 72% of nurses don't feel safe from assault".

 Often the problem comes from the patients who are on drugs or who have been drinking or who are under stress or who are affected by grief.

Nurses also have to contend with burnout caused by stress. Staff shortages are one other factor. 

When a conscientious nurse cannot give adequate care to a patient because of work overload stress soon build up. Trying to save the situation by skipping breaks and doing overtime seems only to lead to more frustration.

Worldwide many hospitals are understaffed said "we lack nurses in our hospitals" The need to save money by these hospitals has been given as the reason for the shortage. Another reason given for stress is that shifts are often too long and wages too low.

Three out of five nurses feel they are underpaid and have considered leaving the profession. Others too have at to the second job to make ends meet.

Death of deaths can have a depressing effect on nurses. One nurse said " watching at least thirty terminal patients whom I had cared for closely die in a period of ten the year could be devastating". Little wonder that one source says "continually investing oneself in patients who die can take a tremendous toll on personal resources".


Nursing is an everlasting profession. So long as humanity exists, there will always be a need for caring, compassion, and understanding. No matter the growth and influence of technology, no machine can ever replace a nurse's touch and compassion

The world should be grateful for all the attention given and sacrifices made by the millions of nurses around the world, without whom hospital stay would certainly be less pleasant if not impossible.


Young Florence was born in 1820 in Italy to wealthy British parents. She had a pampered upbringing bringing turned down offers of marriage and rather opted for studies in health and care of the poor.

She went to the school of nursing at Kaisers-with in with owned by the protestant church. She was later to study in Paris. At the age of thirty-through, she became the superintendent of a woman hospital in London.

Florence made her mark in nursing when she volunteered to care for the wounded soldiers in the Crimea her band of thirty-eight nurses she started with nothing but by the end of the war had brought worldwide reforms in nursing and hospital administration. 

By 1860, she founded the Nightingale Training School for Nurses at St Thomas Hospital, London. This was the first school of nursing without religious affiliation. She wrote books and pamphlets in an effective standards of health care.

While many were fascinated by her brilliance and cham and her astonishing vitality, there were others too who did no like her. This later group claims she was temperament,opinionated, quick tempered many countries. 

She is regarded as a pioneer in the nursing Whatever her true character, one thing is certain; her techniques in nursing and hospital management spread in the profession as we know it today. 

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