University of Phoenix
September 21, 2014
There have been many nursing theorists throughout history; however there is one who set the foundation for nursing theory as it exists today. Florence Nightingale played an instrumental role in the development of nursing theory. Nightingale believed that “person” was the whole person who included physical, social, psychological, and spiritual. Health was “to be well” but also have control of any power we possess. Both of these concepts as well as environment and nursing are part of her defined paradigm and are elaborated on in her theory. Nightingale’s (1859/1992) Notes on Nursing presents the first nursing theory that focuses on the manipulation of the environment for the benefit of the patient (George, 2011). After ...view middle of the document...
Nightingale’s hope was that nurses would place patients in ideal situations that would promote a positive healing process.
Another major contribution that Florence Nightingale made to the world of nursing was the emphasis of education. She believed that nurses were required to have specific training along with education. The Nightingale training school was established in St. Thomas Hospital in 1860. Future nurses were educated through lecture and work experience. Once these nurses completed the requirements, they would have the ability to train others while also encouraging the work of Florence Nightingale. Nightingale’s theory would continue to live on through future nurses.
Florence Nightingale’s contributions continue to impact our nursing world today. It is because of her continued influence that so many theories were created. She set the foundation for nursing to be seen as a profession. Nurses were more than just caretakers. They were an important part of the patient’s path to health. Although in her time, the theory was not testable like theories are today, Nightingale still made a statement. Her statement remains prevalent today. Nurses must care for their patients by using whatever means necessary to guide the patient’s healing process. As nurses, we can only appreciate what Nightingale contributed to our profession. She gave nurses the ability to have a voice in their patient’s care much like we have today. One word comes to mind when discussing Florence Nightingale. She was the greatest advocate for patients. Because of her work, nurses have become advocates for all patients as it should be.
George, J. B. (2011). Nursing theories: The base for professional nursing practice (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Johnson, B. M., & Webber, P. B. (2005). An introduction to theory and reasoning in nursing (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott William & Wilkins.