Bobbie and Monique

#100406579 and #100220136

University of Ontario Institute of Technology

HLSC 1300U

Professor Nancy Slawski, MA

July 16, 2009

Project Manager: Monique
Content Editor: Monique
Multimedia Lead: Bobbie nursing_pic.jpg
Design Lead: Bobbie

Nurses of the earlier years have played a significant role in the growth and developemnet in the profession of nursing as present day nurses continue to do. Once thought of as a job that did not require formal education, nurses are presently respected due to the foundations that were built by previous nurses. The modern day nurse is constanly evolving. There remains a common goal between the past and present day approaches to nursing. Florence Nightingale known as the founder of modern day nursing, was instrumental in the fight for reform in the healthcare industry."Nightingale created systems for obtaining and distributing supplies and caring for patients, and began to implement a holistic approach to patient care" ( Ulrich, 2008). Today, the healthcare industry continues to utilize these ideas and practices developed by Nightingle. (Monique)

Nursing in the 18th century consisted mostly of private care. Nurses took care of the poor and visited the sick. Visiting nurses played a vital role, in how nurses were viewed in the community. With time, the establishment of instittions were nurses could train set. Not only would the nursiing field expand, it would grow beyond.
"Most widely known for providing care to the poor, sick and wounded, nurses have also been the influential leaders in health care reform, political activism, civic mindedness and humanitarian efforts.Since the days of emptying bed pans, caring for hundreds of patients at one time and serving in times of war, nurses have come into their own. Today’s nurse helps to reshape health care delivery and has earned a new respect, not only as caregiver, but also as educator, researcher, critical thinker, inventor and leader" (Rothwell, 2009, para 1). (Monique)

The definition of “nurse” has evolved from a woman who tends to the sick to “One who is a graduate of a school of nursing, one that fosters, nourishes, protects, or promotes” (Dickey, 1986, p 449). Preceding the civil war, nursing was generally another domestic expected duty of a woman which involved child minding, housework, caring for ill family members and to wait on others. In contrast presently a nurse may be male or female and they provide a skilled service that supersedes a nurses historical role from years past. (Miranda, 2003) (Bobbie)

The word nurse has evolved alongside with the history of the nurse. Women in the 1600’s were referred to as wet nurses. Wet nurses was a term that was used for a women who suckled or breastfed other sick, deceased, or unwilling women’s infants. (Miranda, 2003) Over the centuries nurses have cared and protected others around them, and continue to do so today. The history of nursing has seen many changes over the centuries. An interesting collection of historical nursing items and information may be found on The Canadian Museum of Civilization at the Canadian Nursing History Collectio

Presently nurses are educated, licensed, regulated and professional. Nurses have come to not only care for the physical being of a person but to care for that person spiritually, emotionally and to educate. As nursing and its history evolves nurses have become valued for their knowledge and skill. Practice roles, scopes and practice settings have varied and expanded historically, from the wet nurse to the Nurse Practitioner. (Johnson & Johnson, 2006) Historically to be a nurse if you were a woman you fit the criteria. Over the years nurses’ have helped reshape healthcare. Nurses have become respected leaders within their profession. (Bobbie)

Johnson & Johnson. (2006) Nurse Scientists

The history of nursing is being made everyday. Who would have anticipated the present day of nursing and nurses taking on their own patients and prescribing certain medications such as Nurse Practitioners do? From mopping floors, breastfeeding other woman’s children, tending to injured soldiers to being a Clinical Nurse Researcher and the Nursing Professor. Nurses have made great strides through the centuries making them invaluable and an ever evolving profession making history everyday. From past to present nurses continue to play a significant role within growth and development for themselves, communities and the work that they do. (Bobbie)

Potannepot. (2009) History of Nursing

Roberts. (2008) History of Care

Potannepot. (2009) History of Nursing


Dickey, H. N. (Ed.). (1984). Funk and Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary. New York, NY: Funk and Wagnalls

Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Systems Inc (2006) Nurse Scientists. [video]Retrieved from:

Miranda, Cecilia S. "Nursing." Dictionary of American History. The Gale Group Inc. (2003) Retrieved from:

Potannepot. History of Nursing.May 3/2009.[video] Retrieved from:

Roberts, B.History of Care. October 17/2008.[video] Retrieved from:

Rothwell, K. (2009).Celebrating the History of the Nursing Profession.
Nurses Week. [video
] Retrieved from:

Unknown photographer; Nursing History; Tomkins-McCaw Library Special Collections and Archives. Used with permission. Retrieved from: VCU Tompkins-McCaw Library Special Collections & Archives
Ulrich, B. (2008). Florence Nightingale: A Proud Heritage of Carrying the Torch for Nursing and Patient Care. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 35(4), 343. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from:
http://www.ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source.