Historical Development of Nursing Science Term Paper

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Historical Development Of Nursing Science

Timeline: History of nursing

Florence Nightingale publishes her Notes on Nursing, which includes her thirteen canons of nursing. This book was the first book to establish nursing as a unique profession that required specific skills and attributes. Nightingale drew upon her experiences as a nurse during the Crimean War and called for more intensive education of future nurses (Theory of Florence Nightingale, 2012, Nursing Theories).

The American Civil War was a bloody, prolonged conflict. Nurses such as Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, Clara Barton, and Dorothea Dix distinguished themselves serving on the battlefield. As a result of the Battle of Bull Run, Barton and Dix created a nursing corps to deal with the need to treat the fallen in a systematized fashion. There were few hospitals in existence at the time. Also, at the time the profession was largely made up of men (Stein 1999).

1873: Florence Nightingale opened her first nursing school, based upon her principles (Theory of Florence Nightingale, 2012, Nursing Theories).

1881: Clara Barton became the president of the first American chapter of the International Red Cross (Stein 1999).

1886: The first nursing journal, named after Florence Nightingale (The Nightingale) was published (Theory of Florence Nightingale, 2012, Nursing Theories)

1897: New York City begins to inspect children for the first signs of contagious disease. To reduce absenteeism due to ill health, the NYC school system employed Linda Rogers, the first target='_blank' href='https://www.paperdue.com/topic/school-nurse-essays'>school nurse to oversee the health of children in four separate schools. "Within six months, absenteeism fell by 90%, and the school board agreed to supply funds for 27 nurses. By 1914, there were close to 400 nurses in the schools of New York City. Other towns followed quickly; Los Angeles hired its first in 1904" (Hannik 2013).

1953: Development of the first formal theory of nursing since Florence Nightingale's, Hildegard E. Peplau's theory of interpersonal relations. "Peplau's theory explains the phases of interpersonal process, roles in nursing situations and methods for studying nursing as an interpersonal process" (Hildegard E. Peplau, 2012, Nursing Theories). Pepalu defined what was to become the core components of all nursing theory (nursing, patient, environment, health), the roles of the nurse and the specific step-by-step process of treatment. Pepalu was instrumental in demonstrating that nurses were not simply the helpers of doctors.

1955: Virginia Henderson's 14 basic needs developed. Henderson has been called "the Modern-Day Mother of Nursing" and the "20th century Florence Nightingale" (Virginia Henderson theory of nursing, 2012, Nursing Theories). Henderson developed one of the first highly scientific definitions of nursing, suggesting that it was to compensate for the inability of the patient to care for him or herself. "The unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to peaceful death) that he would perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge. And to do this in…

Sources Used in Documents:


Betty Neuman. (2012). Theories of Nursing. Retrieved:


Development of nursing theories. (2012). Nursing Theories. Retrieved:


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