About a century ago, Miss.Florence Nightingale wrote 'Nursing has been limited to signify little more than the administration of medicines and application of poultices. It ought to signify the proper use of fresh air, light, warmth, cleanliness, quiet, the proper selection of diet.....
The nursing profession is changing rapidly. It owes much to the influence of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), a women with a vision. Emerging in an age, when nursing was regarded with contempt. Miss Florence Nightingale crusaded to change the world's view of a nurse. Her contribution in the education of women, her development of theories of nursing practices and hygienic techniques, the emphasis on the preparation of nurses for the care of the sick, protection and promotion of health of the individual and society are important fact of nursing spectrum today.
The word nursing comes from the same root word 'nutricius' means to nourish, to cherish, to protect, to support, to sustain, etc. It means to train, to educate, to supply with the essentials of growth. Our work today as a nurse is a continuation of the work done by our parents, since the beginning of the time.
Nursing in its simpler form existed from the beginning of the human life and is essential for the maintenance of life. The first mother was the first nurse. From the time of the first mother down to the present day, we have found women protecting their children, and taking care of the elderly and sick members of the family. They also rendered their services to the neighbours during illness. Simple procedures for the sick were adopted, eg application of pressure over a bleeding injury. Individuals who possessed special gift and aptitudes for caring healing gradually collected a lot of healing knowledge through trial and error, and passed on from generation to generation.
In the ancient times, care and healing was considered to be the special responsibility of the priesthood or the other religious groups. In the middle ages,care of the sick was mainly the responsibility of military an religious orders. In the nineteenth century, Miss Nightingale provided some very definite rules for the preparation of nurses. She was able to give them necessary training in the training schools. The Nightingale school at St.Thomas Hospital in London was started after her triumphant return from crimea. Towards the end of the nineteenth century 'Nightingale Nurse' provided leadership and set a pattern which was the basis of nursing education today.