Nursing Profession And Label Nurses

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Nursing has a long history of debate over defining the definition of nursing. Much of this debate has been centered on political views that often scrutinize the nursing profession and label nurses as subordinates. Definitions of nursing reflect society’s values and influence and subjected the profession to many misinterpretations. One common misconception was that a nurse was inferior to a physician because they followed orders. It was imperative for nurses to define their image and profession to ensure respect, value, identity and scope of practice. Historically, the nurse’s sole responsibility was to provide care and comfort for the sick. As nursing continued to evolve over centuries, advances in knowledge, health promotion, and prevention expanded the need for nurses to create a more diverse definition as it relates to modern day time to meet the needs of each client holistically. In 2010 the ANA developed the following definition of nursing: “Nursing is the protection, promotion and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (ANA, 2010, p. 10). Florence Nightingale is considered the first of all nursing theorists. Nightingale defined nursing as “the act of utilizing the environment of the patient to assist him in his recovery.” (Nightingale, 1859/1992). This definition was expanded by
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