Nursing was initially considered more of an art than a science. Nurses were seen as care providers and were not involved in clinical decision-making. The nursing profession has gradually evolved. In the beginning, the work of nurses was an extension of the caregiving roles played by women in their homes.
The key leaders in nursing include Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton, and Virginia Avenel Henderson. Florence Nightingale developed the Polar Area Diagram that contributed to the sanitation practices used in clinical settings today. She also promoted the role of nurses in patient care and in determining the needs of the patients (Glembocki 373-374). Clara Barton abandoned her career as an educationalist and joined nursing during the American Civil War. She played the role of delivering medical supplies and founded the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross continues to provide a venue for nurses to offer their services during disasters or emergencies. Virginia Avenel Henderson promoted nursing by introducing professional caregiving education and research (Kearney-Nunnery). She is one of the recognized nurses of the 20th century, and her work is used in nursing training programs today.
The collaboration between the Institute of Medicine Committee and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation created the Future of Nursing initiative, which has promoted advances in nursing education and encouraged more nurses to pursue higher education (Institute of Medicine, Committee on The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 86-88). The recommendations created through this initiative have also redesigned nursing education to ensure nurses can meet current and future healthcare demands and promoted specialization among nurses.
Various nursing programs exist today.Nurses were initially taught basic care procedures, however, the advances in nursing incorporate diagnosis, prescription, and other treatment practices. Nursing practice has also advanced to include clinical and community settings. The extensive clinical training offered to nurses has diversified the nursing profession.
Eisler, Riane and Teddie M. Potter. Transforming Interprofessional Partnerships: A New Framework for Nursing and Partnership-Based Health Care, 2014 AJN Award Recipient. Sigma Theta, 2014.
Glembocki, Margaret M. Advacing Professional Nursing Practice: Relationship-Based Care and The ANA Standards of Professional Nursing Practice. Creative Health Care Management, 2013.
Institute of Medicine, Committee on The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. National Academies Press, 2011.
Kearney-Nunnery, Rose. Advancing Your Career Concepts in Professional Nursing. F.A. Davis, 2015.
Rosa, William. Nurses as Leaders: Evolutionary Visions of Leadership. Springer Publishing Company, 2016.