Advanced Practice Nursing: Essential Knowledge for the Profession Essay

Advanced Practice Nursing: Essential Knowledge for the Profession Essay

Assignment

How has nursing practice evolved over time? Discuss the key leaders and historical events that have influenced the advancement of nursing, nursing education, and nursing roles that are now part of the contemporary nursing profession. Advanced Practice Nursing: Essential Knowledge for the Profession Essay

How has nursing practice evolved over time? Discuss the key leaders and historical events that have influenced the advancement of nursing, nursing education, and nursing roles that are now part of the contemporary nursing profession.

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Nursing practice has been around for as long as humans have existed, from the simple practice of attending and caring to sick persons at home. Modern nursing practice has its origins in the mid-19th century when Florence Nightingale brought attention to nursing. At the time, Nightingale was a well-educated woman who presented nursing as a unique profession. She challenged the social norms that women could not nurse strangers, and insisted on pursuing a nursing profession. She presented nursing as an extraordinary professional opportunity that women could pursue. She made significant advances in the profession, encouraging nurses to use scientific knowledge and education to improve patient care while gaining personal independence. Since then, the public perception of nursing has continued to change with nurses making a significant impact on the different wars as they cared for wounded persons (Reef, 2020).

The Crimean War was a particularly important period in the history of nursing practice. In 1854, Nightingale worked under the British government mandate to set up a nursing practice for British soldiers in a military hospital located in Turkey. Within weeks of setting up the nursing unit at the hospital and overseeing the nurses operation, the hospital reported a dramatic drop in mortality rates among the wounded British soldiers. Her efforts and accomplishments at the hospital convinced the British government and the western world that there was value and dignity in educating nurses for professional practice (Hinton, 2019). Advanced Practice Nursing: Essential Knowledge for the Profession Essay

The American Civil War that occurred ten years after the Crimean War accelerated the evolution of nursing practice outside Europe. As the South and North states fought, women took it upon themselves to follow the soldiers as nursing volunteers and tend to the sick and wounded ones. Some of the common illnesses these nurses attended to included malaria, dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid and pneumonia. A notable figure in the American nurses’ movement was Mary Ann Bickerdyke who worked as a nursing volunteer in the army of Union General William Sherman, a position in which she care for more than 2,000 soldiers (Dickey, 2019).

Other than Bickerdyke, other notable nursing personalities in the American Civil War included Phoebe Levy Pember and Captain Sally Tomkins who supervised teams of soldiers to care for nurses. Collectively, these nurses who volunteered during the different wars helps in saving many lives, thereby creating prestige for the profession and allowing respect for the profession to substantially grow. With the indisputable contributions to public health care and growing public support, it was not surprising that the nursing profession developed quickly (Dickey, 2019). Advanced Practice Nursing: Essential Knowledge for the Profession Essay

In addition to the change in public perception, nursing also saw significant change with introduction of formalized education. The late 19th century saw the first nursing training programs being offered in hospitals with the student nurses receiving clinical instructions on how to care for patients. With the addition of nurses in hospitals, health care reported tremendous improvements in quality and safety, to include provision of humanized care. By the second half of the 20th century, the need for skilled nurses increases as patients’ needs become more complex. This saw a shift in nursing training approaches, from hospital-based training programs, to colleges and universities offering accredited nursing training programs. Today, nursing education is offered at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels. Nursing education continues to evolve to offer comprehensive training that meets the needs of patients (DeNisco & Beauvais, 2020).

Besides training, nursing roles have also evolved. Nurses are no longer solely involved in care-taking roles. They have taken on a broad scope of duties that require them to leverage a mix of modern knowledge, skill and judgement. Some of the duties of modern nurses include providing patient care, conducting research to improve care, leading health care teams, and serving as patient advocates. Furthermore, nurses receive additional training to take on some physician duties such as diagnosing and treating illnesses. Moreover, nurses are specializing in many areas, thanks to shifting patient needs and medical advancements (Zaccagnini & Pechacek, 2019). As such, it can be perceived that change is a constant in the evolution of nursing practice, to include education and roles.

References

DeNisco, S. M. & Beauvais, A. M. (2020). Advanced Practice Nursing: Essential Knowledge for the Profession (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.

Dickey, J. D. (2019). Rising in Flames. Pegasus Books.

Hinton, M. (2019). Victory Over Disease: Resolving the Medical Crisis in the Crimean War, 1854-1856. Helion.

Reef, C. (2020). Florence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of the Legendary Nurse. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade & Reference Publishers.

Zaccagnini, M., & Pechacek, J. M. (Eds.) (2019). The Doctor of Nursing Practice Essentials: A New Model for Advanced Practice Nursing (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC. Advanced Practice Nursing: Essential Knowledge for the Profession Essay

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