Definition of Nursing

Nursing has a long history as a way to provide help to patients as they work toward health goals. From the earliest nuns who cared for the sick and dying to the modern men and women who work in hospitals, clinics, and homes to help people achieve and maintain health, nursing is a way to get involved in the health care industry and work with patients on a personal level. Though different nursing jobs require different duties and responsibilities, the definition of nursing has not gone through as many changes as the career itself.

The history of nursing

Nursing began, simply enough, as a practice to help people get healthy. Nurses would help physicians care for patients, which included things like helping them eat, tending to their hygiene, and making sure the physician’s orders were followed for the patient. However, there was no formal education for nurses initially, and nursing duties were most often carried out by nuns or people in the military. It wasn’t until Florence Nightingale worked as a nurse that nursing began to resemble what it is today.

Nightingale and modern nursing

Florence Nightingale is considered the mother of modern nursing. After observing men dying in military hospitals during war, Nightingale worked to make changes that improved sanitation and conditions for patients in both military and civilian hospitals. She also founded the first nursing school, which formalized education for nurses. This ensured that certain standards could be followed and specific nursing techniques and procedures taught to nurses, which provided better care for patients. Nursing remained a helping profession within the field of health care, but with the changes made by Nightingale, it became recognized as a professional field rather than charity or opportunity for volunteer work.

Nursing today

Nursing in modern society has stayed close to the definition created by Florence Nightingale. Essentially, nurses provide care for people of all ages, including individuals, families, and communities. Nursing also often includes education; nurses provide information and resources for patients to deal with illnesses or disabilities, or to maintain health. Different nurses provide different types of care. Some provide general care to patients such as administering medication, taking vitals, and helping them dress or bathe, while other nurses have more specialized responsibilities such as performing tests for physicians or monitoring patients undergoing procedures. Nursing has changed as nursing technology and medicine have advanced, but the core of nursing has remained the same, and that is to help people get and stay healthy.

Nursing is a helping profession that can ensure that patients have what they need to get healthy. Whether they provide general care for patients in hospitals or educate communities and families about how to stay healthy at home, nursing is about helping people. Finding your own specialty in the field of nursing will allow you to get involved in a career that has a long history of working with patients toward health, and be a part of the noble helping profession.