In the world of business and employment, many sectors stand out as key to all our lives. Nursing certainly fits the bill. Nurses are a key part of the healthcare system, and the number of nurses in the US certainly reflects this. Not only is it an important job but it’s also a popular one due to its job security, good pay and ability to really make a difference in society.
Nursing is an old profession, which means that it has evolved greatly over time while building upon the work done by previous generations. As a result, new nurses studying today know more when they graduate than nurses who came before. Inarguably, modern nursing is only where it is now due to how iconic names from the past helped shape the profession over time.
How has nursing been shaped by the previous work of others?
Nursing is one of the oldest and most important jobs in global healthcare. It is also a sector that is greatly influenced by the pioneering work of those who have come before us. Innovations in patient care and disease prevention developed in the past have helped to push nursing forward and grow into what it is today.
Throughout history, famous nurses have impacted the sector by bringing something new to the table during their practice. If you fancy following their footsteps, a great way to start is enrolling in an online DNP program at Baylor University. This course will help you develop the knowledge and skills needed to become a leader in modern nursing and even someone who can help shape the future of the profession.
Here are some famous names who have contributed to the evolution of nursing and who you may wish to emulate.
Just as understanding ethical funds is key for investors, learning about the important role that Florence Nightingale played is critical to understanding how significant figures throughout history have shaped the nursing profession.
She is still considered the founder of contemporary nursing and is particularly known for her work treating injured soldiers in the Crimean War in the 1850s. After arriving at a military hospital in Scutari, she soon realized that it was the unsanitary conditions that were the most dangerous issue!
Nightingale took what was then a daring step and introduced a radical hygiene program to improve conditions. The most notable was washing hands with soap and water, something which we now take for granted in healthcare. After the Crimean War, Nightingale continued her trailblazing work in nursing, including the use of statistical analysis, and helped pave the way for nursing as we now know it.
Another nurse who has helped shape the profession over time is Mary Breckenridge. Her major impact on nursing was establishing the US nurse-midwifery system, in addition to rolling out healthcare in rural Kentucky. Before this highly influential work, she served as a volunteer in France, helping families recover after WWI. She also worked in Washington, D.C. in 1918 during the global flu epidemic.
Working within healthcare around the same time as Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton is another figure from the past who has made a significant impact on nursing.
Barton was born in Massachusetts during 1821 and was an academically gifted child. She showed a talent for nursing from a young age, when she spent two full years caring for her brother after he fell from the roof of a barn. Further on in her career, she worked as a nurse during the Civil War and established the American Red Cross in 1881.
Why do new nurses studying now know more than nurses from the past?
It is also fair to say that modern nurses studying now will probably know more than those who have come before. But why is this?
To start with, as medical knowledge and techniques continue to improve over the years, the education given to nurses correspondingly grows more advanced. The modern curriculum assigned to new nurses includes courses with much deeper understanding of both common and rare illnesses and modules on the latest nursing techniques. Throughout their studies, nursing students also have access to world-class instructors.
In addition to specialized training courses for nurses, basic knowledge of hygiene and healthy living has also greatly improved among the general population compared to generations past. What most people now know about staying healthy and caring for the sick and infirm is simply a lot more advanced than 50 or 100 years ago!
Returning to the realm of education, the latest academic courses also focus on teaching students about cutting-edge tech platforms and software in nursing. This arms modern students with a much greater knowledge around IT and lets them learn how to use this technology in their future role. This is naturally leagues ahead of student nurses from the past, who might not have had this kind of advanced IT knowledge.
When you also factor in how the internet now makes it far easier for modern nursing students to access a wide pool of knowledge, the picture becomes clear that students today are well-positioned to take full advantage of all the nursing wisdom accumulated by previous generations.
Nursing is more advanced than ever – but only thanks to those who came before
In conclusion, nurses studying today on the whole know more than those who came before. This is only possible thanks to the famous names from nursing’s past whose accomplishments helped the sector reach where it is today.