Fundamentals of Nursing Week One

~Nursing is not for everyone. It takes a very strong, intelligent, and compassionate person to take on the ills of the world with passion and purpose and work to maintain the health and well-being of the planet. No wonder we're exhausted at the end of the day! ~Donna Wilk Cardillo

I love nursing history! Can you imagine what our colleagues have gone through? One thing that I have realized is that we too are contributing each day through our actions or non-actions to contemporary nursing history.

Nursing History:
If someone were to mention Florence Nightingale, everyone would immediately think about nursing.
However, what about the names:

Clara Barton – 1860’s nurse, founder of American Red Cross

Dorothea Dix – 1860’s Civil War nurse

Mary Ann Ball (Mother Bickerdyke) – 1860’s Civil War nurse

Harriet Tubman – 1860’s Underground railway

Mary Mahoney – first African American nurse, leader in cultural care

Lillian Wald – community nursing 1893 – Henry Street settlement

Harriet Brewster – community nursing 1893 – Henry Street settlement

Isabel Hampton Robb – founder of the ANA, author

Mary Adelaide Nutting – worked to integrate nursing into the university setting, professor 1906 at Columbia University Teacher’s College

Mildred Montag – first associate degree nursing program 1952

Nursing organizational History:

The Army Nurse Corps was established in 1901
The Navy Nurse Corps was established in 1908

American Nurses Association (ANA) first began as the Nurses Associated Alumnae of the United States and Canada; it became the ANA in 1911.

Sigma Theta Tau (the nursing honor society) was formed in 1922

National League for Nursing (NLN) 1953

Yale University recognizes nursing as a profession 1960

ANA developed scope of practice and standards of care 1960, updated 2004

NLN requires theory-based curriculum for accreditation

Ethical Code for Nurses by the ANA 1985 revised 2001

My newest Hero!

Nursing is constantly influenced by society, the patients and the health care industry.

Demographic changes include
Rural to urban living
Increased life expectancy
Life with chronic conditions
Women’s health emphasis increasing
Human Right’s Movement
Medically underserved
Threat of bioterrorism

Healthy People 2010
The Joint Commission (TJC)– abbreviations, medication safety, falls, time out, read back
Health and wellness emphasis, prevention, maintenance in the community

Health care industry
Highly regulated
Evidence based care
Biomedical research
Nursing shortage

Nursing is a profession:
Extended education
Theoretical body of knowledge, defined skills
Specific service, care
Autonomy in decision-making
Code of ethics

ANA 6 Standards of practice: The nursing process
Outcome identification

ANA Standards of professional performance include:
Quality of practice/ Professional practice evaluation
Resource utilization

ANA Code of ethics
American Nurses Association - Code of Ethics for Nurses:

Nursing Education
2 or 4 year program
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Baccalaureate Education
National League for Nursing Accreditation Council – NLNAC Interpretive Guidelines
National Council Licensure Examination - NCLEX-RN, same every state
Certification available for practice areas

Graduate – advanced practice nurses
Nurse educator
Nurse administrator
Clinical nurse leader
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
Nurse practitioner – family, pediatric, geriatric
Certified Nurse Midwife

DSN or DNP terminal practice degree
PhD theory and research oriented
Continuing education, inservices

What is a nurse?
Licensed professional who exercises accountability and autonomy

What is Nursing? A review...

Wiggs (2010) quotes Schachter-Shalomi and Miller (1995) as noting:
"Many of us are rich without knowing it, because we have not permitted ourselves to examine and take delight in the successes that we planted in the past. When we harvest our lives, we receive return on our investment in the form of inner riches. We see that our work wasn’t in vain; that our relationships have brought forth rich fruit; that our struggles for meaning and value have been worthwhile; and that even our failures, stumbling, and ill-conceived actions unwittingly have led to unexpected successes and to wisdom that is beyond any price tag." (pp. 53–54)

Links to Nursing Associations:

American Nurses Association

National League for Nursing:

South Carolina Nurses Association

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the Institute of Medicine

Nursing Professionalism


Nursing History:

Nursing Shortage

Perry, A. G. (2009). Nursing Today. In A. Hall & P. A. Stockert (Eds.), Fundamentals of Nursing (7th ed., pp. 1-14). St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby Elsevier.

Potter, P. A., & Perry, A. G. (2009). Fundamentals of Nursing (7th ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby Elsevier.

Process Introduction


Wiggs, C. M. (2010). Creating the self: Exploring the life journey of late-midlife women. Journal of Women & Aging, 22, 218-233. doi:10.1080/08952841.2010.495574

Oldest working RN