This research paper discusses the origin of nursing, the developments of nursing through different generations with a specific comparison between 20th and the 21st century. Nursing has gone substantial developments which have been propelled by economic and technological growth. The research was qualitative hence secondary data was used to reach the conclusions. The research has reviewed literature which clearly indicates that nursing has tremendously changed. The profession is now taught and the roles have changed to fit the circumstances of the time. At a time when nursing is changing new challenges of eroding the ethics are witnessed. The change in nursing has its associated challenges which have been assessed and various conclusions reached. There are specific recommendations which if considered the challenges will be addressed ably.
There is an agreeable position to the effect that nursing has shown its usefulness through preservation of health. In addition, restoration of health has been achieved through different phases in time. With the drastic changes in the nursing profession today it is worth examining the historical origin of nursing. Arguably, the nursing profession is said to have its history pegged on the history of Christianity and specifically the history of Christian church. This notion is grounded in the understanding that Christian values taught taking care of the sick as a virtue. This research mainly seeks to explore the comparison of the nursing during the twentieth century and the twenty first century (Lori, para 4).
It is asserted that the end of 19th century marked a fundamental shift on the perception of health whereby healthcare providers made efforts to improve sanitation. In addition the health of communities was given a leading role. The 20th Century was a period whereby break through in the discovery of antibiotics shaped the health care since different ways of countering infections were established. The main priority of health care changed from the concern being the wellbeing of the community to an individual consideration. The caring of the patient in the community was extensively increased. (Lundy, Karen and Sharyn 532-535).
It is still in the 20th Century whereby technological advancement defined the mode of approaching diseases by health care providers. The insurance part of it made individual concerns well catered for through an insurance cover. On the other hand the increase in health care cost marked a period of ethical issues whereby it had to be determined who to receive health care basing on the individuals social economic status and age. The said consideration has found its way to the 21st century health care sector. (Fags.org Para. 3).
The formation of the International Red Cross In 1864 was a major eye opener the entire world and that instigated massive training of nurses all over the world. At its origin, nursing had been dominated by religious groups in the early 20th Century United States placed proper training on nurses hence changing the trend. Classes of nursing increased through out Canada and United States and nursing instructions were given in classrooms. Hospitals became the source of employment to nurses who graduated from the said colleges. Unlike there before, a nurse became a person well versed with the essentials of treating and taking care of a patient (Lori, para 7).
The research will examine and compare nursing in the 20th century and 21st century.
To examine the similarities of nursing in the 20th and 21st Century
To examine the differences of nursing in the 20th and 21 century.
To explore the role of technological advancement in improving nursing
To examine the effects of improved nursing in 21st century
What are the similarities of nursing in the 20th and 21st Century?
What are the differences of nursing in the 20th and 21 century?
III. What role has technological advancement in improving nursing?
What are the effects of improved nursing in the 21st Century?
This research is qualitative in nature. It reviews the available secondary data on nursing in the twenty and twenty first centuries. Books with such literature are reviewed and the data gathered analysed reaching the relevant conclusions.
A reflection in the past leaves todays nurses with only an imagination of what were the qualifications of nursing during the 19th and the century of its inception. The profession is said to have required higher qualification since it was perceived as a very critical profession. In the religious perspective it was a requirement for a nurse to be a person of humility. When the profession later became open to everyone, another issue of travelling and being able bodied were given the first consideration. Transportation of from one point to the next was unavoidable since means of transport were few (Fags.org Para. 1).
The point of gender at this time could not go unnoticed. A nurse had to be a girl but above all she was supposed to be well formed and displaying some ability of physical resistance. She also had to be tall and physically strong. Her respect in moral attributes and if one had been brought up in countryside, she was not qualified since she was taken to have little or no experience of the world. A country girl was taken not to be qualified to fit in hospital work since it was argued that wards have many people and the interaction required someone easy to adapt to the refractory patients (Lori, para 4).
In the time when the roles of nurses would change from hospital to war zones the qualifications have lost much meaning. Another vital part of nursing was the working hours. In the late 20th century, nurses were literary overworked. The shifts of nurses would range from 12 hours or even more depending on the place of work. In a week a nurse would only enjoy one off. The restriction to social gatherings was evident. To counter the restriction, the Nurses Christian Fellowship was born. It became a substitute to church among nurses (NurseWeek para 6).
Nursing relation with Christianity is not evident as it was in the 19th and the centuries before. Christianity has positively influenced nursing to a state of it being recognized as a profession. Specifically, the ethics that have been incorporated in the profession today have been borrowed from the Christian origin. There are nursing practices today that have borrowed a lot from the past. The most celebrated trends in nursing today are the continued efforts to have a nursing with spiritual care. (Fags.org Para. 10).
In addition to the spiritual nursing in healthcare, there has been a new concept in nursing called the holism. The philosophy behind the concept is that it amplifies the entire objective of nursing. The term means that a nurse should help a patient in attaining wholeness. It has been said that nursing is reverting back to its original principles of its inception. The fact that the attention is shifting to more intangible concepts of nursing, it is more agreeable that care is the central aspect of nursing (Fags.org Para. 4).
The fact that nursing is putting emphasis on the core principles which triggered its establishment can not be overlooked. The continued efforts to deal with all forms of suffering and not only restricting itself to physical suffering, is a commendable new turn in the 21st Century. It therefore means that nursing has not lost its core principles (NurseWeek para 2).
The development in the technology has made the world much smaller to state that nurses no longer need to be able bodied. The swiftness of the available means of transport has changed the required qualifications. It is also clear that the fact that the world has become relatively small it follows that the increase in transmitting contagious diseases calls for more skilled nurses. The social and economic developments have also shaped the nursing profession in the 21st century (Fags.org Para. 7).
Nursing in 21st Century has improved to a stable profession which takes four years of preparation in higher learning whereby basic skills in nursing are taught. At the same point of teaching, there are ethics which a nurse must reflect in day to day activities. In the practice, it is a requirement for a nurse to have a license and have an affiliation with a professional organization. The training also requires a unique way of language which makes nursing distinct from other professions. In addition, a service orientation is required and a specific clear educational restrictions. Even though the nursing diplomas have been replaced by associate degrees in nursing, it is still clear that education guidelines are a vital requirement (Lori, para 6).
When opportunities continue to open up in peaceful and war torn zones, the nursing profession has continued to increase its expertise so as to deal with the new challenges. Arguably, the 21st century has been a period of modifying the already existing principles of nursing. Nurses are now employed in home health care, school based clinics and community nursing centres. Nurses have risen to executive positions and they have also been very fundamental in teaching in nursing schools (NurseWeek para 8).
Nursing in the 20th Century was popular among women. The profession was restricted to women but in 21st century men have taken nursing roles. Graduate nursing education has become a lucrative business in many parts of the world. Competent nurses are being released to the field every day with clear ethics and practical skills. (Lori, para 1).
Conclusions and Recommendations
The nursing profession has drastically grown in the past years. A comparison of the trend of nursing during the 20th and 21st Century shows that technological advancement has spearheaded its speedy growth. However, it has been noted that the 21st growth in nursing owes a debt to Christianity. It is Christian ethics which have triggered the growth of holism concept in the 21st Century.
There being a principle of strengthening the nursing ethics the profession is bound to flourish every day. In the 21st Century, nursing has become a competent profession with degree restriction and licensing. Men have also taken nursing seriously and their action towards that has been evident in them joining the profession. It has further been witnessed that nursing has not only focused on physical healing but also alleviation of spiritual suffering.
In the recommendation, nursing has greatly advanced in the 21st century due to technological developments. The backbone of nursing is helping the sick. As changes in the profession are witnessed it is important to teach the founding ethics of the institution. The nursing founders had a lot of principles to be borrowed and applied in today’s nursing. Any form of deviation from the basic principles of the predecessors should be avoided. The negative sentiments on some parents when a child chooses nursing need to be equally addressed. It is a known notion that many families still consider nursing a profession with standards below their dignity. Such notions ought to be addressed by sensitizing people about the benefits of nursing. The issue of patient/ nurse relationship has to be dealt with too. With awareness, patients will consider nurses as assistants but not servants. The nursing degree should be well taught so that some will stop viewing nursing as a profession based on manual labour.
Holder Lori, .Nursing Through the Generations.2012. Retrieved on 5 July 2012 from
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