Nursing is both a science and an art. Nursing knowledge and the procedural aspects of skills is the scientific part while the foundation of a caring and positive relationship with the client as well as the client’s family through the application of knowledge, skills and attitudes in nursing is the art. It is a healthcare profession that is inclined on goal- and detail-oriented care of humans as an individual, a group such as the basic unit of society- the family, community or locality in accomplishing, preserving and improving the optimal well-being and purpose of life. It is the duty of the nurse to assess, plan, implement and evaluate the care of patients/clients individually independent and apart from any medical staff such as doctors; and gives fundamental triage care to aid in severe cases of trauma and surgery.
A nurse has many roles. He or she can be a researcher, a practitioner, an administrator, and a teacher; a nurse can also work in different settings such as in the home of clients, in a community, in hospitals, in nursing homes, in long-term care facilities, clinics, in industrial companies, as a clinical instructor in the classroom as well as in hotel and restaurant establishments just to name a few. It is in the scope of nursing to provide optimum care for humans in all stages of life and in all states of well-being whether normal or abnormal.
Before the existence of a nursing foundation, nursing-like services were being offered by nuns and the military. These roots are still very evident in how we address modern nursing today, for example in Britain the Senior Nurses are still called “sisters”. Florence Nightingale was the founder of nursing. She was responsible for the significant development in the recognition of nursing during the time of war, known as the Crimean War. It was her duty to better the conditions of the wounded soldiers. She was known as the Lady with the Lamp. It was on October 21, 1854 when she and 38 other volunteer nurses were sent to foresee the health conditions of the wounded soldiers at the main camp of Britain. She noticed the grave condition of the place with overworked medical staffs, shortages of medication supplies, neglect of the hygiene of patients and the spread of a mass infection which increased even in their aid. Nightingale observed that the lack of ventilation and the poor condition of the sewage system were two of the main contributors of the illness. She ordered the windows to be opened to allow enough ventilation and the sewage system to be flushed. Improvements were immediately observed in the health of the soldiers as well as in the sanitation of the camp. These were all accounted for in the book “Notes on Nursing”.
The country to first conform to nursing nationally was New Zealand through the adoption of the Nurses’ Registration Act on September 12, 1901. The first registered nurse was Ellen Dougherty. The Nursing Licensure Law was passed in the year 1903 by the state of North Carolina.
It is the target of nursing to maintain and improve the standards and competencies worldwide. The professional study of nursing involves extensive study of the theories and the practices as well as the training of skills in the various clinical and community areas nationwide and worldwide. A nurse needs to hold one or more credentials to work in the nursing profession depending on their chosen scope and type of practice and education. LPNs or Licensed Practical Nurse also known as Licensed Vocational Nurse, Registered Practical Nurse, Enrolled Nurse or State Enrolled Nurse is working under Registered Nurses. Registered Nurses are responsible in providing scientific, psychological, and hi-tech skills and knowledge in the care of individuals and their families in the health care settings.
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