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Naturally, nursing practice has evolved over time. An example of how it has evolved includes the first medicine men. These men were essentially the first “nurses.” Whitney (2018) suggests that most of their nursing was based on trial and error. When diseases affected people, it was thought that evil spirits were responsible. The Middle Ages occurred and women caregivers were thought of as “witches.” The Industrial Revolution came next and due to plagues and unsanitary conditions, the concept of ‘public health’ began where it was determined that a Center for Disease and Control Center was necessary (Whitney, 2018). Shortly thereafter, the Departments of Health and Human Services began.
Florence Nightingale is the first distinguished nurse of name. She basically paved the way for nursing as we know it today. She took care of injured soldiers in the Crimean War and improved patient care by changing the environmental conditions around her (Whitney, 2018). From there, the first nursing school was founded and Lillian Wald and Mary Brewster pioneered the area of public health.
During the 20th century, the focus shifted from public health to individual health. Diploma programs were offered and college programs began in the early 1900’s. As the demand for nurses increased, and a scope of practice was needed and developed (Whitney, 2018).
Clara Barton is another significant name in nursing. She was involved in the Civil War era and founded the Red Cross, which is still running to this day. World Wars I and II occurred and due to low pay and not being given a rank, there was a nursing shortage. As a result, African Americans were playing the roles of caregivers but this caused problems due to racial bias (Whitney, 2018).
ADN programs were formed in the 1950’s due to the nursing shortage but Bachelor programs had been created in the early 1900’s. The purpose behind the ADN programs was to get nursing students through the program to begin working under a BSN nurse due to the shortage occurring. Presently, the ADN programs still exist, as we are still in a nursing shortage to this day. However, due to hospitals wanting to achieve MAGNET status within the next couple years, many nurses are encouraged to finish their BSN.
Whitney, S. (2018). Dynamics in Nursing: Art and Science of Professional Practice. History of Professional Nursing. Retrieved from https://www.gcumedia.com/digital- resources/grand-canyon-university/2018/dynamics-in-nursing_art-and-science-of-professional-practice_1e.php
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