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Legacy of Nursing

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Legacy of Nursing’s History
Amanda Sehdev
Rasmussen College

Author Note This paper is being submitted on January 10, 2016, for Jennifer Cowherd’s NUR2058 Dimensions of Nursing Practice course.

Legacy of Nursing’s History The history of nursing is such a vast subject. There is so much to learn, such as, how nursing first started to how nursing has changed since the beginning. There are so many individual people that have been nurses and contributed a lot to the nursing world. Today I will be presenting a lady by the name of Lillian Wald. Lillian Wald (1867-1940) was raised in Ohio and graduated from New York Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1901(Catalano, Joseph T., 2015). Lillian was only 22 when she moved to New York to attend school, she came from a family of Jewish Professionals, so she actually had a privileged life (Henry Street Settlement, 2011). During this time, Lillian was living on the lower east side and saw a lot of immigrants going through tough times, struggling just to get by, so that’s when she decided that she wanted to help everyone that she could for lower prices that were more reasonable. In order to help and care for others, Lillian Wald decided to open the Henry Street Settlement, which was a storefront health clinic in one of the poorest sections of the city, which organized nurses to make home visits, focusing on sanitary conditions and children’s health (Catalano, Joseph T., 2015). Wald became a dedicated social reformer, and efficient fundraiser, and an eloquent speaker (Catalano, Joseph T., 2015). Even though this was in the era where women didn’t have the right to vote, her political influence was felt nationwide (Catalano, Joseph T., 2015). The Henry Street Settlement was one of Wald’s biggest accomplishments, she eventually had 7 other locations on Henry Street that had a wide variety of patients. Lillian Wald did many other things aside from The Henry Street Settlement. One of her other big accomplishments was helping out others that wanted to become nurses and follow in her footsteps. Wald Pioneered public health nursing by placing nurses in public schools, and by helping found the National Organization for Public Health Nursing and Columbia University’s School of Nursing (The Henry Street Settlement, 2011). After reading what Lillian Wald was able to accomplish on her own, it kind of makes you wonder how things would have been now if her contributions were never made. If it wasn’t for Lillian opening The Henry Street Settlement, who knows how many people would have died from illnesses that they couldn’t afford to get treated, and if those people never made it, then how many of us would be here today. Its amazing how one situation can affect so many other things. Organization for Public Health Nursing as well as Columbia’s Universities School of Nursing, who knows how much longer it would have been before other schools brought in nursing programs. Not only did this open opportunities for those who wanted to become nurses, but it also helped those who couldn’t afford it. Lillian Ward was one amazing, brave, and independent young lady and it’s stories like this that make me want to become a nurse even more.

Catalano, Joseph T., PhD, RN (2015) Nursing Now! Today’s Issues, Tomorrow’s Trends. Retrieved from
Lillian Wald: The Henry Street Settlement. Retrieved January 2016 from…...

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