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The History of Nursing Science

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Florence Nightingale’s Environmental Theory While the history of nursing can be traced back to the early first and second centuries, or even earlier, the study of nursing research and theories is a 20th and 21st century phenomena. The act of nursing is rooted in the Greco-Roman tradition of humanista, which core values are respect for the dignity of person, and the right to be free of pain and suffering; and the Judaic – Christian tradition of Caritas, with core values of solidarity with the sick, hungry, homeless, and hopeless (Evers, 2003). Coming from this line of thought it is not surprising that Florence Nightingale as a professed Christian chose to care and advocate for the sick and poor. The study and history of professional nursing science, research, and theories although a late 20th and 21st century phenomena, is said to begin with Florence Nightingale. Her use of mathematical and statistical data to show the relevance of her findings; that environmental factors can, and do influence patient’s rate of recovery was the beginning of nursing research and science as it is known today. One could almost imply that Nightingale knew that outcome measures needed to be “relevant, and address both the constant and variable components in order to determine effectiveness of an outcome” (Blackwood, 2006). Over the past centuries, Nursing as an independent science has emerged as a rich culture of theoretical perspectives and frame-works that have impacted the profession positively. Until the mid-1800s the act of nursing was performed by spiritual leaders, nuns, and lay women. Nursing was not a respectable job, and respectable women unless they were nuns were not supposed or allowed to become nurses, then enters Florence Nightingale. Born in 1820, an English aristocrat, educated in...

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