History of Nursing
Nursing is an evolution. Starting from the 19th century through today nursing has changer drastically and is always changing. It is important to study the evolution of nursing because today most of the same principles are used but have just been expanded. It was women like Nightingale, Dock, Wald and Brewster who pushed nursing in the right direction to get I to the profession it is today. Starting with something like the germ theory and now having research articles and funding for nurses is pushing the nursing career in whole new heights. Nurses changed the face of medicine.
Nursing was born a reform I the 19th century. For most of history nursing was done in the home by women or by men at war. Modern nursing began with Nightingale during the Crimean War (Ellen D. Baer (Nursing in America: A History of Social Reform). She fed the soldiers, changed their sheets, read them stories, and bathed them. People started to notice that the soldiers were doing much better when they had this type of care. Nightingale believed other nurses should educate nurses. In 1863 Women’s Hospital of Philadelphia offered 6-month training course for nurses (Insight Media). In 1873 was the opening of Nightingale influenced nurse training school. Student nurses staffed hospitals and learn the necessary skills by working with other nurses. In 1888 Isabelle Hampton was the first super intendant for the school of nursing at John Hopkins University (Ellen D. Baer (Nursing in America: A History of Social Reform). In 1917 the US National League of Nursing Education made the first national curriculum for nursing students (Insight Media). This included Anatomy and Physiology and the history of nursing. Only few nurses remained at hospitals after graduation. Those who did stayed on to supervise and teach. Most went to work as private duty nurses in middle and upper class houses.
Lillian Wald and Mary Brewster founded the Henry Street Settlement house in 1893. The main purpose was to provide bedside care and public health education to the poor in New York City (Ellen D. Baer (Nursing in America: A History of Social Reform). Wald and Brewster influenced change in child labor laws, access to care, and managed care. They offered primary health care through visiting nurses. Wald converted the Henry Settlement’s backyard into a playground in 1915. Wald was concerned with over crowded tenements, widespread poverty, and poor access to health care. She would visit families at their homes, organize well-baby classes for new moms, promoted the first nursing school in New York, and established playgrounds in community. Like travel nurses, frontier nurses brought primary care to the mountains of Kentucky. They also practice midwifery, which reduced the dangers of childbirth.
In 1898 nurses took care of soldiers for the Spanish-American war (Ellen D. Baer (Nursing in America: A History of Social Reform). There were about 12,000 trained nurses and 109,000 untrained nur...