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History of Nursing

Below is a model introduction of a research paper on the history of nursing.

The History of Nursing, or the care of the sick, dates back into antiquity. The early Christians began incorporating hospitals with the churches beginning in the 4th century. During the Middle Ages, many monasteries and convents operated hospitals. These middle aged religious hospitals declined in Europe during the Protestant Reformation, but Catholic areas continued to expand the nursing work done by nuns.

History of Nursing

History of Nursing

in the US

 

During the 1700s, the city of Philadelphia opened the first almshouse, providing housing for the elderly and sick. By 1902, this institution had become the Philadelphia General Hospital. Modern nursing began in Germany during the 19th century, and many nurses helped assist during the various Continental Wars. It was the Crimean War in 1854 that laid the foundations for modern, professional nursing. Florence Nightingale used the experience to produce her book, Notes on Nursing.

Linda Richards is considered to be the first professionally trained American nurse, graduating from the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston in 1873. The next year she became the superintendent for the Boston Training School for Nurses. By 1900, clinical experience in the medical field was becoming the standard of nursing education as the number of US hospitals expanded from 149 in 1873 to over 6300 by 1933. Most of these larger hospitals also opened their own school of nursing. The History of Nursing Organization was created in 1978.

Why Study the History of Nursing?

  1. Recognize the leaders within the Nursing Field and the challenges they faced
  2. Discover how the major organizations in nursing began
  3. Describe the influence of cultural, social and political historical events on the field of nursing
  4. Trace the influence of the government on nursing
  5. Explore the trend of nursing roles throughout history and how they led the field of nursing to its professional status today

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