Free History Of The Nursing Profession Research Paper Example

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Nursing, Health, Breastfeeding, Medicine, Education, Women, Profession, United States

Pages: 8

Words: 2200

Published: 2021/01/06

History is the study of events from the past leading up to the present time; it focuses on the chronology of these developments, their impacts and influences throughout time. The development and evolution of the nursing profession are connected to the historical influences from the ancient times. It is natural that were women were nurses because they are and have been the caregivers during the evolvement of the society and were hence assumed to care naturally for the sick, the injured and the elderly although in some societies medicine were assigned the role of caring for the sick. Nursing is the oldest known profession as women were paid at the beginning of the early society to nurse babies in case of the death of the mother. They would nurse from home from where they were employed marking home as the beginning of health care. This paper is focused on tracing the history of the nursing profession in the United States, its impact upon the treatment of diseases, impact upon birth of babies and the role of women in their families and communities (Eskildsen and Thomas 67). There was no formal education to teach on how to care for the sick, so the nurses had to learn their art through oral traditions passed on from one generation to another through observation and mostly by trial and error method. Those who established themselves as nurses had to acquire a reputation for their caregiving skills which had to be succeeded by positive outcomes while caring for friend and relatives.Origins of Professional Nursing In the United States. Florence Nightingale was the woman responsible for laying the foundations of the nursing profession during the Crimean war. Just like Tim Porter pointed out “Chaos is an essential constituent of all change” and the chaos caused by the war showed the need for nurses. After the Crimean war, there was a civil war in the United States during which period there was no nursing schools, trained nurses nor the credentials to declare someone a trained nurse. Women who were either mothers, wives or nuns offers their services as nurses during the Civil war at home in Catholic churches and military bases. It is the women who went to care for the men in war who laid the foundation of nursing as a profession in the United States as they changed the society’s perspective and opinion about women’s work in health care and saw the need for formal education to train other women co care for the sick. They were instrumental in the establishment of the first nursing school in the year 1868 three years after the end of the civil war. After the civil war, there was a rapid population growth in major cities in the United States due to the rise of industries where people flocked to look for employment. It led to congestion, and the crowded living conditions allowed the fast and wide spreading of diseases. Nightingale School of Nursing was the first nursing school which trained women with caregiving schools following other countries send requests for nurses to start other schools in various religions following its reputation and success. The establishment of the first permanent school for the nursing profession in the United States, however, is said to be the Nurse Training school of Women’s Hospital in Philadelphia established in 1872. It was followed by the founding of a training nurse school in New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston which had a staff composed of only women physicians. Linda Richard is claimed to be the first educated nurse in the United States. By 1873 there were three notable nursing schools that had been established in the United States, ten years later more than 35 nursing schools had been established where they were dependent on the hospitals where the schools were located. By the 1900, the number of schools had risen to 432. After the completion of training, only a few nurses were hired in hospitals with majority nurses being hired to give care at home by those who could afford their services. The nurses employed at homes were in most cases very helpful in consideration that many births take place at home where they would help deliver a baby and tend to the fewer severe illnesses. In some cases, they would also perform surgical procedures which helped a lot in saving many lives. The nurses would share rooms with their patients, prepare their meals and wash their clothes but despite the harsh working conditions women had a source of income which earned them economic independence (Jennifer 34). By the 19th century due to the expansion in of knowledge in science there was an increased influence on medicine and the nursing profession and the identification of many diseases with increment in surgical procedures. The growth of nursing schools was linked to the expansion of scientific knowledge and increased use of complex technological procedures. With the expansion of the medical care, there was a demand for educated nurses to aid in the care and to conduct treatment of patients all over the United States. By the end of the 19th century, there was an institution of the public health nursing which enabled graduate nurses to find employment. By the 20th century, nursing made tremendous advancement in the education, practice research and technology areas. In the 1970s, basic education programs for the nurse practitioners expanded to include the masters’ level development and also the inclusion of a graduate requirement and a certificate for one to become a nurse practitioner. Later in the 1980s the type of patients needing healthcare change due to the increased cost of health care with also the emerging of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome commonly known as AIDS which was a fatal and a frightening disease. The health education became much more important the patients were encouraged to take responsibility for their care (Stanhope and Lancaster 20). In the following 1980 the US experienced a nurse shortage where it proposed to establish a 9-month program to prepare Registered Care Technologists, a proposal that was met with a unified rejection by nurses. The 1990s began with an alarm over the state of the U.S. economy where everything was almost unaffordable. Nurses had to select jobs in which they worked more hours to earn more money, where they had to sacrifice the opportunity that would allow them to work a second job or earn higher pay through shift differential for working evening and night shifts. The creation of shits was common during this period where nurses would work in 2-3 hour shifts. It was during this time that more than two million US residents died of various diseases which included cancer, heart disease, tuberculosis, liver cirrhosis and HIV among other diseases (Davis 56). In 1990s, the increasing costs of Medicaid and Medicare triggered political action for health care reform to take place in the United States. During this time the nation was presumed to have spent more than any industrialized state and sometimes twice as much to fund the health care services. The findings also showed that many of the people in the country were aging at an alarming rate, which would later result into a growing demand for home health and nursing home care services, as well as increased expenses for the medical care services. In the 1990s the managed care was mainly focused on providing more preemptive and primary care through the use of the setting of the home and outpatient service when possible and where one could afford it which in turn limited and reduced the expensive hospitalizations of patients. The nurses in the 1990s had to focus on delivering health care services which entailed health risk assessment which were mostly based on the factors related to family and environmental, supported health promotion and disease prevention, and advanced counseling and health education in order to deal with the rise of so many diseases (Verena, and Anne 45).Impact of nursing upon treatment of diseases. Nurses have made very important contributions as professionals in the treatment of diseases in the United States. Following the development of the nursing as a profession there were better chances of curing diseases preventing so many days. The growth and evolvement of nursing led to more experiments that were able to come up with medical equipment and medicines. The advances in nursing today have opened many practice roles for nurses where they are trained to provide best health care even to people with complex diseases. By the 1970, there was the development of special clinical roles where the nurses were trained to be a psychiatrist, mental illness doctors, and even community health nurses.Florence Nightingale; She was the founder of the of the modern organized nursing profession as well as the establisher of the first school of nurses that provided theory based education on clinical skills building. She encouraged the belief of a nursing knowledge which was distinct from that of medicine knowledge. She demonstrated the value for nursing care during the Crimean war and advocated the value of cleanliness and nutrition as a way of leading a healthy life. She helped greatly in creating the public awareness for nursing as a profession.The impact of nursing upon birth of babies. In the early 1900s many women in the rural areas of the United States had no access to health care and gave birth to their children at home with only the help of the family and relatives or the neighbors which resulted too many maternal deaths. During this period, there were very few nurses and also very few nursing schools and hospitals where women could give birth. After the education of nurses, they found out that women lacked prenatal care which was essential for a normal healthy birth and also that the greatest focus of the child is after birth (Barron 67).The role of women in their families and communities. In the 1960s the role of women was limited to every possible aspect. The community had the expectation that every woman was to marry in an early age of about 20 years, where she would start a family and devote all her life to the home making and be a legal subject of their husbands. The development of nursing as a profession contributed a great deal to the role of women in the communities and their families as well. The history of nursing is intertwined with the history of womanhood and her roles in the United States. The early nursing profession received a lot of problems due to a male-oriented society that did not accept women as leaders let alone being educated. When the profession of nursing was introduced, the perceived role of a woman was changed, and she was seen as an important member of the communities. Women who were trained to be nurses could now care for the sick, get paid and hence become economically independent. Women in would now leave their homes and go to war to treat and care for the injured. It led to the birth of women in their communities. They were now respected and even though not treated as an equal sex their role changed dramatically. Just like Gloria Smith said “recognize the talent of others and acknowledge it”, women were now viewed in a very different way as a result their art of taking care of others even in the harsh conditions of war, they were now more acknowledged. The women’s movement in the 1970’ greatly influenced the profession on learning. During this period nurses were very few in numbers but the provided healthcare services to their communities and became very instrumental in developing health programs, birth centers and daycares for the sick and elderly (Stanhope and Lancaster 50)Nursing profession in the United States today. It is the nation’s largest health care profession with more than three million registered nurses. According to Dawn Freshwater “Effective nursing leaders are transformational not only in their management and leadership styles, but also in their very being”, through the periods of war and even after the war nurse contributed a lot in the changing and improvement of the health care which included the changing of the social economy, in the United States. Nurses have provided the uprightness to maintain the quality of care in all health care settings and sections with the evolution of the practice of the treatment of disease to health promotion and disease prevention leading the way in determining the type of providers needed to care for patients in the future. The role of nurses- the nursing profession has the highest potential to affect wide-reaching changes in the health care system today due to their high numbers and their adaptive capacity. Nurses have a regular, proximity to patients and scientific understanding of care processes due to the continuous range and time of care give them a unique capability to act as partners with other health professionals and to lead to the enhancement and the reshaping of the health care system and its many practice that followed especially the environment, with the building of hospitals and health clinics across the nation and public health centers. Nurses are exalted due to their help in bridging the gap between coverage and access, which have helped a great deal in the coordinating of the increasingly complex care for a wide range of patients, and for their potential to fulfill as their role as primary care providers to the full extent of their education and training. In this case they have enabled the full economic value of their contributions across practice settings to become realized. A very promising field of evidence links nursing care to high quality of care for patients, including protecting their safety due to the considerable amount of time they spend with their patients. Nurses are the most crucial when it comes to the preventing medication errors which in turn reduces the rates of infection hence facilitating the transition of patients from the hospital to home as they constantly check on them and keep up with their wellbeing. Nursing constitutes the backbone of the health services in the United States in the present day with more than 2.9 registered nurses serving the nation. Despite this high number the nation is faced with a shortage of labor with the high aging population in demand for more nurses to care for them. With the current emerging of other professions, the low wages paid to nurses make the profession unattractive today with many women venturing into other careers while the early trained nurses continue to retire. The united states have made efforts to import nurses even from other countries to deal with the shortage of nursing in the country which by far has not helped deal with the situation (Kathleen and Janice 98). There is no reservation whatsoever that the nursing profession is one of the most required professions in the USA, and there is evidence that nurses contribute greatly to producing high-quality care both in the hospitals and at home, and nurses profound assistance and contributions to care teams that have expanded access to primary care, coordination across the practice of care, and their continued care which have resulted to greater attention of the health care as the reform discussions continue taking place. The changing dynamics of the nursing profession is evident today with more men and other minority groups joining the profession. What was termed as a woman’s career is now a man’s career showing that men can be caregivers too. The prominent shortage of the nurses in the country should be addressed by offering scholarships in nursing schools and increasing the wages of nurses because they are very crucial to the health system today.

Work Cited

Stanhope, Marcia, and Jeanette Lancaster. Community & Public Health Nursing. St. Louis:
Mosby, 2000. Print.
Stanhope, M. and Lancaster, J. (2000). Community & public health nursing. St. Louis: Mosby.
Eskildsen, Manuel, and Thomas Price. 'Nursing Home Care In The USA'. Geriatrics &
Gerontology International 9.1 (2009): 1-6. Web.
Law, Emily. 'Discover The USA Through Heritage Travel'. Nursing 35 (2005): 14-17. Web.
McBride, Angela Barron. 'Mental Health Nursing Today: A View From The USA'. International
Fields, Jennifer. Choosing A Career As A Nurse-Midwife. New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 2001.
Blais, Kathleen, and Janice S Hayes. Professional Nursing Practice. Boston: Pearson, 2011. Print.
'Nursing Stands Out As A Profession'. Nursing 36.7 (2006): 33. Web.
Davies, Paul A. Nursing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print.
Tschudin, Verena, and Anne J Davis. The Globalization of Nursing. Oxford: Radcliffe Pub.,
2008. Print.

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