Nursing Roles Defined Throughout History. Natalie James.

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Nursing Roles Defined Throughout History Natalie James San Diego City College Nursing Roles Defined Throughout History “The trained nurse has become one of the great blessings of humanity, taking a place beside the physician and the priest” (William Osler, MD). The practical role of a ‘nurse’ has dated back to the beginning of time. Although, lacking formal training until the mid-1800’s, the role of ‘care taker ' for the sick and hungry has been filled by many. Formal nursing training has changed the care takers role over many centuries to making a professional level of nursing care and education. Registered nurses (RN) were the first licensed nurses (in 1860). In 1892 the Young Women’s Christian Association in New…show more content…
The role of the LPN became a necessity during the shortage of nurses in both World War 1 and World War 2. The LPN was trained in basic medical care, but has always worked under the supervision of an RN. Nursing licensure began as “permissive licensure.” Permissive licensure did not require that all practitioners have a license to practice nursing, however did require that if certain standards were satisfied, individuals could use the title, Registered Nurse (AAM, 2007). Mandatory nursing licensure began in 1947 and required that all LPN’s and RN’s complete specific education and licensing requirements in order to obtain their titles. No matter the licensure held, the role of the nurse is a serious one with serious consequences if not performed well. The relationship between RN’s and LPN’s has grown over the years to one of necessity. When a nursing shortage arises, the need for LPN’s is often re-born, however the scope of practice and even the education is vastly different. Traditionally, practical nursing programs focus on teaching the “how to” of patient care, while the emphasis in registered nursing education is on the understanding the “why” (Hill and Howlett, 2005). The educational differences between the two include college level science and liberal arts courses, in addition to nursing classes and clinical hours

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