Discussion 5: Historical Contribution of the Nursing Profession C2.a. 1. Select a nurse that historically contributed to the profession’s advancement.
Describe the background of the nurse selected.
Discuss the significant social issues occurring at the time the nurse lived.
Describe two contributions the nurse made in practice, including explaining how these two unique contributions influenced current nursing practice.
2. View the videos of Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole.
Compare and contrast three significant similarities and three major differences in their values, personalities, and practice philosophy. Which nurse leader do you identify with and why?
3. Diversity in nursing.
What would be the benefits of having greater diversity in the nursing workforce today?
Compare and contrast the concepts of inclusion and equity when promoting population-specific positive nursing outcomes.
4. The post should be at least 300 words. Observe APA 7th edition
Florence Nightingale: A Pioneer of Modern Nursing
One of the most influential figures in nursing history is Florence Nightingale. Born in 1820 in Italy, Nightingale is considered the founder of modern nursing. She played a pivotal role in improving sanitation and reducing mortality rates for soldiers during the Crimean War in the 1850s. Nightingale’s contributions helped establish nursing as a respected profession. This article will examine Nightingale’s background, the social issues of her time, her key contributions to nursing practice, and how her work continues to impact the field today.
Background and Social Context
Nightingale was born into a wealthy, well-educated family in Florence, Italy (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.). However, as a woman in the Victorian era, her career options were limited. Against her family’s wishes, Nightingale felt called to nursing (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.). When she began her work in the 1850s, nursing had a poor reputation (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.). Nurses were often untrained and seen as little more than domestic servants (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.).
The Crimean War erupted in 1853, with Britain and France allied against Russia over territories in the Ottoman Empire (History, 2009). Over the next two years, thousands of British soldiers died from disease and infection, not combat injuries (History, 2009). Nightingale saw an opportunity to reform military nursing and care for the sick and wounded (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.). In 1854, she led a group of 38 nurses to the Ottoman Empire’s Scutari Army barracks hospital (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.). There, she encountered appalling sanitation and overcrowding, contributing to rampant mortality (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.).
Contributions to Nursing Practice
Through diligent data collection and analysis, Nightingale identified that poor hygiene and sanitation, not disease itself, caused the most deaths (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.). She instituted handwashing and other infection control practices, improved ventilation, provided balanced diets and organized care, reducing the death rate from 42% to 2% (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.). Nightingale also trained nurses, establishing the first formal nursing school at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London in 1860 (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.). Her model of professional nursing education focused on sanitation, statistics, and hospital administration (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.).
Nightingale’s work demonstrated nursing’s vital role in health outcomes (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.). She published Notes on Nursing in 1859 to disseminate her evidence-based practices (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.). Nightingale consulted globally on hospital and nursing reform and established nursing as a respected, scientific profession (Nightingale International Foundation, n.d.). Her data-driven approach transformed healthcare delivery and established the foundation of modern nursing.
Comparison to Mary Seacole
While Nightingale worked in the Crimean barracks hospital, Mary Seacole (1805-1881) independently traveled to the Crimea and established the “British Hotel” near Balaclava to care for sick soldiers (Seacole Heritage Centre, n.d.). Both women were pioneers in military nursing during the Crimean War, though their backgrounds differed—Nightingale was English and upper class, while Seacole was Jamaican with Scottish heritage.
Some key similarities between Nightingale and Seacole include their strong work ethic and compassion for soldiers, recognition as skilled nurses, and impact establishing nursing standards. However, Nightingale focused on hospital administration and statistics, while Seacole emphasized hands-on care (Seacole Heritage Centre, n.d.). Nightingale’s reforms centered on hygiene and sanitation, compared to Seacole’s holistic approach addressing diverse medical and comfort needs (Seacole Heritage Centre, n.d.). Finally, Nightingale received fame and recognition for her contributions, whereas Seacole faced racism and obscurity in her lifetime (Seacole Heritage Centre, n.d.).
In summary, Florence Nightingale made immense contributions to professionalizing nursing through her exemplary leadership and data-driven reforms during the Crimean War. Her work established standards in nursing education, administration, and evidence-based practice still followed today. Nightingale’s example of compassionate, scientific caregiving helped elevate nursing’s status as a respected career. She remains one of the most influential figures in nursing history.
History. (2009). Crimean War. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/british-history/crimean-war
Nightingale International Foundation. (n.d.). Florence Nightingale: The Lady with the Lamp. Retrieved from https://www.nightingale2020.org/florence-nightingale
Seacole Heritage Centre. (n.d.). Mary Seacole. Retrieved from http://www.maryseacole.info/