Module 2 DQ 1 How does knowledge of the foundations and history of nursing provide a context in which to understand current practice? Identify at least three trends in nursing practice demonstrated by the interactive timeline. How have these trends influenced your perspective of nursing practice?
Having knowledge of the foundations and history of nursing helps one to understand how nursing evolved and developed as a profession throughout the centuries. Basic knowledge about the history of nursing is necessary to understand what nursing is today. The study of nursing history helps the nurse better to understand the issues of autonomy (being self directed), unity within the profession, supply and demand, salary, and current
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(Lewenson & Truglio-Londrigan Ch2 p.13-14) The other trend in nursing history demonstrated by interactive timeline is education. Because no formal education in the care of sick was available, the earliest nurses learned their art through oral traditions passed from generations to generations, from observations of other caring for the sick, and many times, through a process of trial and error. In England, in the wake of the protestant Reformation, care of the sick fell to “common” women, often those of lower classes who were too old or too ill to find any other type of work. In 1840, Elizabeth Fry, founded the Protestant Sisters of Charity. Members of this sisterhood received only a rudimentary education in nursing. (Egenes, Ch12 pp.2-3) The first school for the education of professional nurses was established at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London by Florence Nightingale – the founder of professional nursing in England. A set of curriculum guided the students’ experiences, so that during their program, they received training in various aspects of nursing care for patients in many of the hospital’s specialty areas. (Egenes, Ch1p.5) The first permanent school of nursing in the United States is reputed to be the nurse training school of Women’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which was established in 1872. In the same year a nursing school was founded in New England, then in