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Developing And Advancing The Standard Of Care Nursing Nursing Essay

Info: 1884 words (8 pages) Essay
Published: 1st Jan 2015 in Nursing

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In today’s society, nursing care and treatment represents a unique opportunity to develop effective outcomes in advancing the standard of care. Nursing has evolved from unstructured methods

of handling the sick into a scientific profession incorporating physical and social sciences, humanities

and clinical competencies. It also focuses on the clients response to illness incorporating critical thinking

skills with caring behaviours. This requires astute attention to detail, as well as different opportunities to

engage nurses in the field and its opportunities for growth. Therefore, the work of historical characters

is of critical importance in order to identify areas where the field has grown to incorporate some of the

ideas and concepts of its most notable professionals. In this manner, it is widely observed that Florence

Nightingale serves as one of the primary contributors to the nursing profession in many important ways,

and her ability to influence future nurses has been remarkable, leading to a new degree of confidence

and strength for generations of nurses. In the 21st Century, Nightingale’s contributions continue to shine

and to make the profession worthy and valuable. These contributions are important and necessary in

promoting the nursing field and its primary objectives, and this process supports a clearer understanding

of the challenges that are evident in advancing nursing-related outcomes. The following discussion will

address the contributions of Florence Nightingale in greater detail, emphasizing the value of her work

and its many characteristics in supporting the profession and many generations of nurses that continue

to study the field and work in facilities throughout the world. It will be demonstrated that Florence

Nightingale’s greatest strengths are her confidence and knowledge of the profession, as these have

made a significant difference in promoting advanced nursing outcomes over the past century. These

qualities, in turn, serve as a primary example of excellence for current and future nurses to follow as

they expand their knowledge of the field and its primary objectives. Florence Nightingale is best known

for her essential innovations in nursing care. She was a pioneer in nursing and a key reformer of hospital

sanitation methods and had a sincere concern with terrible circumstances of medical care for the

regions of the poor and indigent. The image of nurses in most instances has been a young woman

seeking for romance and adventure and is carrying out the unpleasant but essential duty of supporting

the magnificent work of physicians. By comparing the character of nurses in novels and that of the

physicians in terms of personality, it can be generalized that nurses are obedience and kind while the

physicians are more confident, stylish, ambitious, aggressive and rational. Both the nurses and the

physicians are equally altruistic, honest, warm, sympathetic and nurturing. The physicians have thus

sustained a stronghold on the traditionally masculine traits while also showing the nurturant and caring

attributes that typify the nursing function. One of the few personalities that have greatly influenced the

nursing function or image is Florence Nightingale . Florence Nightingale wrote a book in 1859 named

‘Notes on Nursing’: What it is and what it is not’ to help all women that stayed at home, effective nursing for family members. (Nursing History, Wendy Madsen, 2nd edn, p1, Fundamentals Of Nursing,


It is important to consider how existing literature plays an important role in analyzing the work and

Contributions to the nursing profession as a whole. To be specific, an article by Holliday and Parker

(1997, p.483) addresses that Florence Nightingale’s role is a feminist and a strong example of nursing in

its best form, demonstrating her ability to maintain confidence and exude professionalism in a career

that was just beginning its ascent into the world of healthcare as a valuable force. In this context,

Nightingale believed that nursing required training’she attempted to channel her energies and desires

more constructively’ (Fundamentals of Nursing, Vol 1 p 4, p5. In this manner, it is observed that

Nightingale sought refuge in a profession that would enable her to utilize her skills more effectively in

Order to produce the desire outcomes, and to reflect upon the nature of nursing as an opportunity to

help others in tremendous ways, which would provide Nightingale with a means of managing her own

issues more effectively (Holliday and Parker 1997, p. 485)

Sisters of Charity, founded by Mary Aikenhead in 1815 and the Sisters of Mercy founded by Catherine

McAuley in 1827 also had shared the same views and became involved in teaching and nursing methods. (Nursing History, p 4)

In the process of becoming a nurse, Nightingale quickly recognized the poor reputation of nurses

during her era, and sought to reverse these perceptions in important ways by channeling her talents and

strengths in significant ways. (Nursing History, Wendy Madsen, p 3)

Nightingale’s statistics clearly provided evidence that improving sanitary conditions in hospitals,

promoting ventilation, and preventing patient overcrowding, and adequate nurse training would

decrease hospital and civilian morbidity and mortality’ (Nursing History, Wendy Madsen, p 2, p 45). In

this context, it is observed that Nightingale provided a number of key contributions to the field of

nursing before it was even determined what those contributions should be, and this reflects her

understanding of the necessity for reform and for the trends to ultimately recognize the importance and

value of different strategies to improve outcomes for all patients. (Kudzma 2006, p 63) which would

demonstrate to the world that Nightingale was completely committed to developing and advancing her

own philosophy of nursing that was based upon specific principles and outcomes (Denehy 2001, p 1)

Without Nightingale’s vision and articulation, future generations of nurses might not have been

successful in their own efforts to mange nursing tasks and responsibilities in the appropriate manner

(Denehy 2001, p 1)

The nursing profession once were a large proportion of the U.S. and British nurses were considered as

untrained and alcoholic class of people. Little apprehension was accorded to the abysmal conditions in

nursing until Charles Dicken’s novel , Martin Chuzzlewit (1843) featured two nurses Sairy Gamp and

Betsy Prig. The two were sad representive of the general standards of nursing that was available at that

moment (Kalisch, B & Kalisch, PA, 2009)revolutionary in many different ways with Nightingale’s help, by

transforming it into a high quality level of service and guidance also worthy of further consideration.

(Joyce 2008, p 182)

Nightingale’s theories regarding nursing are also integral to her philosophy and contributions to the

profession, as these represent different choices in important and meaningful ways. As a result, it is

evident that Nightingale’s theoretical concepts are highly relevant in a modern context through an

emphasis on new outcomes and perspectives, rather than outdated ones. (Bunker 2008, p 211)

In this manner, Nightingale’s theoretical beliefs shed some light onto her perspectives, while also

Supporting her interest in expanding the nursing profession to support a wide variety of patients facing

many different conditions (Bunkers 2008, p 211)

It is also observed that that Nightingale represents the ability to improve the knowing factor in all areas

of the nursing profession, as noted in the following text: ‘In her many letters and memoirs, Nightingale

articulated some of the earliest examples of the interface of nursing research, theory and practice, and

her legacy included a conceptual frame of reference that continues to be used in contemporary nursing

practice and education. Her approach involved clinical observation and examination of anecdotal case

studies, as well as statistical analyses of pertinent numerical data and subsequent theory generation

linking the various elements. Without doubt, optimal patient care was at the core of her efforts’

(Nursing History, Wendy Madsen, 2nd Edn, p 53 Clements and Averill 2006, p269)

Florence Nightingale also represents a number of interesting perspectives that support a push for

Quality within the nursing profession, a concept that had not been deemed significant in the years prior

to her entrance into the field (Meyer and Bishop 2007, p 240)

In a modern context, ‘ America is in the midst of a health care crisis. The causes are multiple and

Complex. For years the major concern has focused on the containment of health care costs. More

Recently, a study by the Institute of Medicine reporting that between 44,000 and 98,000 people die in

the US hospitals annually as a result of medical errors ( Leape, 2000) called attention to the quality of

health care practices. The situation bears more than a fleeting resemblance to Florence Nightingale’s

world, 150 years ago. ( Meyer and Bishop 2007, p 252) These findings demonstrate that there are many

challenging outcomes to consider in nursing quality, and that Nightingale’s ideas continue to remain

significant in a modern context for a variety of reasons, as healthcare is not only complex, but also

difficult to manage overall (Meyer and Bishop 2007, p 252)

Based upon specific reviews of Nightingales contributions, it is evident that work continues to be highly

influential in the 21st century in many ways. Therefore it is important for nurse researchers and staff

nurses in hospitals and other healthcare facilities to examine Nightingales contributions for their ability

to perform a respectable perspective in the nursing profession and a new portrayal of the nurse began.

Breeding and collective class, rather than academics were accredited to the heroines success in nursing.

Most often, their tenure in the career was temporary as exhibited by the Marcella (1894) which

Associates the story of a well bred young lady with the unclear dreams of working for common justice.

Nursing in the novel was portrayed as a form of sack-cloth and ashes that assist the players to grow in

soul and prepare them for future good works. The media has thus assisted in the transformation of the

Nursing career in general and also the perspective in which people view the profession (Bostridge, 2008)


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