Florence Nightingale

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Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale

Undoubtedly the most significant key historical development in nursing research began with the work done by Florence Nightingale in 1850 at the beginning of the Crimean War. She was a pioneer in nursing research as she laid the groundwork for what nursing research has evolved into today. Her publication in 1859, Notes on Nursing, described her main focus in environmental factors that promoted physical and emotional well-being of the patient (Potter, Perry, 2001). She researched the ill effects of poor hygiene and sanitation among the military in the war. She began to collect statistical information and epidemiological data in order to change the methods in which care was the given to the military personnel. Improvements were made to the environments in which the soldiers were attended, which had a marked impact on decreasing the mortality from wounds they had received while in battle. Because of this work of Nightingale at the time, as stated in Needlman, Buerhaus, Mattke et al, (2002) "The military began to view the sick as having the right to adequate food, suitable quarters and appropriate medical treatment. These interventions drastically reduced mortality from 43% to 2% in the Crimean War”(Chap. 1, p.9).

Her ground work in research also demonstrates nursing research utilizations because she used her research knowledge to prompt changes in society by improving sanitation, testing public water, preventing starvation and decreasing sickness and death (Watson, 1994). Her theories are perceived as the foundation of modern day nursing. With the writings of Florence Nightingale, the beginnings of a unique nursing knowledge base were identified. Although Nightingale did not use the term nursing theory in her work, she focused on how nurses could manipulate the environment to benefit the patient. Early in nursing history, Florence Nightingale advocated for safe care. She proposed that nurses through their practice had to put the patient in the best condition possible for nature to act upon the patient. In the Crimea, Nightingale conducted some of the earliest nursing studies on factors influencing the outcomes of patient care (Nightingale, 1859).

Three Major Milestones in The Development Of Nursing As A Profession

The basis for the scientific practice of nursing includes nursing science; the biomedical, physical, economic, behavioral and social sciences; ethics; and philosophy. A nurse's ability to be a critical thinker and to use this knowledge in the delivery of nursing care is essential to the well being and safety of those for whom nurses care (Needlman, Buerhaus, Mattke et al, 2002). In discussing contemporary nursing practice, ANA states that an essential feature of nursing is the provision of a caring relationship that facilitates health and healing (Leininger 2001). In the Crimea, Nightingale conducted some of the earliest nursing studies on factors influencing the outcomes of patient care (Nightingale, 1859). It is important that nurses work to continue these traditions by strengthening the nurse-patient relationship and diligently using research findings so as to provide safe care for patients.

Clinical issues must be connected to conceptual models of ...
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