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Foundations and History of Nursing

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Having knowledge of the foundations and history of nursing helps nursing practice today because it shows not only how far we have come in healthcare and nursing but also how important education has been and still is for nurses. Looking back on history and research of practices help us understand why we do some of the things we do today as nurses such as something as simple as washing our hands. It is also amazing how far medical technology has come.

Three trends in nursing practice: 1. The training and education as well as the quality of care was “rudimentary” prior to the 1800’s. whereas today it is quite the opposite. Standards of care, policies and procedures, and regulations is a big part of the nursing field today. We now have many nursing associations in many different areas of nursing as well as required continuing education according the state practiced in and education (ADN, BSN, and/or MSN) and licensure is required. 2. Nursing was a job for the “undesirables” in society, the pay was poor, and there was no social standing. Due to early nursing figures, nursing gained the respect from the military and government. Education became a necessity in nursing, nursing associations developed standards of care and regulations and now nurse licensure is required. Today nursing is a highly respected and one of the well paid careers out there. 3. The nursing uniform has come a long way. From the nursing cap (i.e. handkerchief cap to the muffin cap). Once education became a big part of nursing, nursing pins became a part of graduation ceremonies. Nursing uniforms consisted of primarily white gowns/aprons (scrubs for men) and a white cap until the late 1900’s. Today many nurses are able to wear a variety of nursing scrubs (colors and patterns), some hospitals/clinics do have different healthcare job classes wear “uniform” scrubs. For example all RN’s wear...

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