What Is Nursing? Essay

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Nursing is universal in the sense that nurses can be found almost in all countries around the world (Henderson, 1978). They are in the hospitals, in school clinics, in the community centres, residential homes and even play major roles in some of the popular soap operas in television. There are even television shows that mainly revolve around nurses and which chronicles what they do at work - both the positive and the negative. It is one of the most visible and easily identifiable occupations as compared for example to other occupations such as engineers, managers or even pharmacists, medical technologists and other health related occupations. This is partly because of what nurses do and most especially how nurses look - with some still…show more content…
The salient point in Henderson’s definition is describing the duty of a nurse as one that cares or assists an individual whether sick or well in obtaining a state of health in order to live an independent lifestyle (paraphrased). Henderson also described the independent and dependent role of nurses and the importance of a collaborative work with the other members of the multi-disciplinary health care team especially the doctors (Henderson, 1966). The Royal College of Nursing, on the other hand, described nursing as the utilization of clinical judgement in extending the care necessary for the people to maintain and achieve an optimum state of life throughout their lifetime (RCN, 2003). Other significant definitions of nursing were those given by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Nurses Association (ANA). The roles and functions of nurses have a very fascinating history and have evolved since the 19th century. Landale (1895), in her letter to the editor of the Nursing Record and Hospital World gave us a glimpse of what a nurse should be during that period. Referring to a nurse as a woman in uniform, it gave us an idea that nursing was a female dominated vocation and not to be treated as an economical occupation for financial gain. Landale (1895) placed an emphasis on the characteristic of being a servant and being devoted to service in order to be a nurse who was worthy of the uniform. The

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