Historical Development of Nursing Timeline

Historical Development of Nursing Timeline

Historical Development of Nursing Timeline Caleb Dizon NUR 513 Feburary 21, 2015 Lita Tsai Historical Development of Nursing Timeline The science of nursing has come a long way since the days of when the art of nursing was passed on to other nurses through education of skills and tasks. Through the development of nursing theories, the science of nursing has changed and grown. Nursing theories were developed to help standardize care and to help create a base of knowledge so that nursing would be recognized as a profession.

There have been many theorists who have played an integral part in the growth of the profession of nursing, which include, Florence Nightingale, Hildegard Peplau, Virginia Henderson, Dorothea Orem, and Jean Watson to name a few. As theories developed, it helped to shape nursing as a profession as well. As the profession continued to evolve and grow, it received many influences from other disciplines as well, such as philosophy, social science, religion, education, and anthropology.

The history of nursing began with Florence Nightingale and the way she viewed nursing and nurses. She was a pioneer for nursing theories. According to George (2011), Nightingale created the first theory, which was created in 1859 by her book Notes on Nursing, by understanding how the environment of the patient and their health were affected by that environment. She believed that the environment was important for people to heal, and that manipulation of that environment was important. George (2011), states that Nightingale focused on peoples nutrition, the proper way to dispose of sewage, and how the lighting and ventilation would help people. This was just the beginning of how theories began.

For many decades, Nightingale’s theory guided nursing practice. Not until the 1950s at the Columbia University, where the students there were developing nursing theories, was there a shift in nursing theories. Some of the theorists during this time were Peplau, Henderson, Hall, and Abdellah. According to George (2011), many of the theories of this time were based on the biomedical model, and were focused on what the nurse and what they do. This sparked the need to have nurses more highly educated. This also led to the next wave of nursing education. Alligood (2014) states that towards the 1950s the diploma nurse began to phase out and that more nursing programs were opening in colleges and universities, which had more research and curriculum focus. By having higher educated nurses, it showed that research became the way to increase nursing knowledge.

The 1960s continued to demonstrate how nursing theories were changing. According to George (2011), the nurse and patient relationship became more the focus of theoretical thinking as opposed to the problem and need of the patient way of thinking. George (2011) also states that the same theorists from the 1950s that were developing theories went to Yale school to become staff there. This decade also showed a change in the education of nursing. George (2011) continues on to state that the American Nurses Association recommended that there be two levels of education, the baccalaureate level, and the associate level nurses. During this decade the theorists to note were, Henderson, Orlando, and Wiedenbach.

According to George (2011), Henderson defined nursing as doing for others what they lack the strength, will, or knowledge to do for themselves (p. 25). This shows how nursing began, and continues today. Walker and Avant (2011) state that Orlando and Widenbachs theories focused on the nurse-patient relationship. In the next decade, according to George (2011), is when many nursing theories were presented and revised, and that this is when the National League for Nursing first implemented the requirement for nursing schools to have conceptual framework to be even accredited. Alligood (2014) states that this decade is when doctoral degrees for…


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