The History of Nursing Science

1076 Words4 Pages
It is difficult to pinpoint the roots of nursing. The motivations and concerns that underlie the nursing practice care, compassion, the need to ensure the health and happiness of others seem hardwired into our human nature, and have expressed themselves in a multitude of ways throughout human history, from mothers tending to their sick children to soldiers caring for their wounded brothers on the battlefield. But nursing science, the body of knowledge that has both arisen from and informed the nursing profession as we now know it, has a distinct history that can be traced through key periods of development and revolution. By examining this rich history, we can see not only how dynamic and complex nursing science is, but also how much it both influences and is influenced by other disciplines and practices. Margaret Newman (1983) defines "science" as "a process of knowing, a process of challenging, and a continuing revolution." This is true of nursing science, but is complicated by the broad reach and many aims of nursing. Newman isolates four components of nursing science: the act of nursing, the client, the environment, and health. Advancements or revolutions in any of these concepts, even outside of the field of nursing, can have implications for the others as well. Because of these complexities, and because nursing science is so intimately tied to nursing practice, it may be simplest and most appropriate to place the birth of nursing science with the establishment of
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