Historical Figure in Nursing Essay

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Dear Casey,

I hope all is well with you and your family. It's been a while since I've written; forgive me as I've been busy with school, work and life in general. Over the past few weeks, I've become quite interested in the life and triumphs of Clara Barton, a 19th century nurse, teacher and pioneer who was by my account, a woman way ahead of her time. Clara Barton is a true hero, this letter is to give you a glimpse of her life and successes and how she contributed to nursing as we know it today. During Ms. Bartons' era women were largely shut out of working in certain professions or if they were allowed to work at all -- they were not allowed to climb the ladder to be promoted to other positions. There also lacked an institution that provided aid to those affected by disaster. It's difficult for me to imagine what we would have done without FEMA or The Red Cross when Katrina hit and other disasters in recent history. Clara Barton recognized the need for these institutions U.S., and worked until it came to fruition. She actually founded the American Red Cross! Being the history buff you are I'm sure you will appreciate my insights on Ms. Barton and her many accomplishments.

After a successful but frustrating start in New Jersey as a teacher (and school founder), Clara Barton relocated to Washington, around the start of the Civil War. Ms. Barton noticed a need for nurses on the battlefield to tend to the wounded warriors. Both local and military officials refused her assistance -- not because it
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wasn't needed, but because Ms. Barton was a woman, and never before was a woman allowed in military camps, on the battlefield or in hospitals. Undeterred, Ms. Barton continued to champion her cause and was eventually allowed to assist wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Ms. Barton earned respect far and wide for her efforts. Suffice it to say, Ms. Barton was clearly a woman ahead of her time, no longer restricting herself to conventional roles and deciding to force the institutions who uphold "men only" rules to rethink their policies. Ms. Barton was quoted as saying" "It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I go for anything new that might improve the past." From this statement, I am certain Ms. Barton was not going to allow sexism impede her from doing what she thought right. Certainly, when it comes to war as much help as one can get is always a good thing, I can't imagine how asinine Ms. Barton must have thought it was for her voluntarily assistance be refused because she was a female. But because of her persistence, I positive she saved hundreds of lives and at the least provided comfort to soldiers in need.

After learning about Ms. Barton's pioneering role and bravery on the battlefield, I wasn't shocked to learn this next fact. Clara Barton was responsible for founding the American Red Cross. After travelling overseas and witnessing first-hand how much good the Red Cross was doing in areas torn apart by war. She saw the value of having such an organization in the U.S. And since the U.S. did not sign the Geneva Convention which advocated for the establishment of the Red Cross, America was left without this…

Sources Used in Documents:


Ardalan, C. (2010). Clara Barton's 1898 Battles in Cuba: A Reexamination of Her Nursing Contributions. Florida Atlantic Comparative Studies Journal, 12, 1-20.

Maikell-Thomas, B. "Discovered Historical Documents Uncover The First Official Missing Persons Investigator, Clara Barton" National Association of Investigative Specialists. http://www.pimall.com/nais/n.barton.html

Tooker, J. (2007). Antietam: Aspects of Medicine, Nursing and the Civil War. Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, 118, 215-223.

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