Florence Nightingale is a nurse widely lauded for developing the environmental theory that advocated for sanitary conditions for patient getting care. She is widely regarded as the revolutionist of modern nursing, shaping and developing modern nursing. Nightingale believed that through providing a suitable environment, patients would recover well. This perception resonated well with her environmental theory.
Born to a wealthy family in 1820, Nightingale, Italy, Florence Nightingale acquired home school education till the time of enrolling as a nursing student in the year 1844 at the Lutheran hospital, Germany. A devout Christian, Nightingale hoped to used her God given calling to improve healthcare (Nightingale,2010). Despite her parent’s objections, Nightingale was determined to pursue what she believed to be a divine purpose. In the early 1850’s Nightingale embarked back on a journey to London where she would be posted as a nurse in Middlesex hospital. With great dedication and passion in nursing, Nightingale impressed her seniors who promoted her to the level of superintendent in the first year of hiring (Nightingale,2010). Faced with a cholera outbreak, Nightingale was unfazed in her mission of providing conducive sanitary conditions meant to curb the rapid spread of cholera. It is her ambition to improve hygiene practices that made it possible for a low death rate.
During the Crimean war, the injured soldiers faced neglect due to hospitals being understaffed and also lacking proper sanitary conditions. It is during this period that Nightingale received a letter that sought to have her organize a corps of nurses who would attend to the injured soldiers organized a group of nearly three dozen nurses who sailed to Crimea(Nightingale,2010). The bad conditions that the soldiers were in gave her a motivation to conquer the illnesses facing the soldiers. Her resolution to procure scrub brushes and clean the dirty floor, provide proper diet to the patients as well as providing access to entertainment and intellectual simulation made her a darling of many as the health conditions of many soldiers improved.
Nightingale’s stay at Crimea lasted a year and half upon which she returned to her children home where she was received with a hero’s welcome. She was now known far and wide owing to her health changing roles (Clements & Averill, 2006). The queen awarded her a brooch and a prize money of $250,000 which she used to further her cause. She established the St. Thomas hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. Her excellent performance of duties changed the perceptions of the wealthy upper class who now came to view nursing as a great profession.
Results of Nightingale’s contribution
Nightingales lifetime achievement as a nurse greatly influenced to a bigger scope on how infection prevention should be done (Rafferty, & Wall,2010). During the time of American civil war for instance, Nightingale was often consulted on the best possible ways to manage hospitals in war fields. Her publication of notes on hospitals helped to a greater extent in advocating for public sanitation in India for the military and the civilians. Nightingales ideas of nursing ensured that she got the support of Queen Victoria in the establishment of the Royal Commission of the army’s wealth (Rafferty, & Wall,2010).
This commission employed numerous statisticians who were mandated with analyzing the death rates of the army. It was found out that majority of the deaths were from preventable and treatable diseases. The ability of Nightingale to translate the data into a visual understandable representation set precedence for improved standards for the army and across public health (Clements, & Averill, 2006). Some of the results of Nightingale’s contribution are increased assessments in modern nursing care, postmodern public health advocacy, and therapeutic communication which are still applicable up to date.
Impact of Nightingale on the profession of nursing
Florence Nightingale influenced the nursing profession at a greater scale. First, her book “notes on nursing” was significant in the development of the principles of nursing profession. The book contained a guide on how women would take great care of their families as well as mitigation and management of illnesses (Rafferty, & Wall,2010). In particular, her book advocated for the proper diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Nightingale’s establishment of the nursing school, Nightingale school of nursing was integral in recruitment of many nursing students who could work in hospitals and teach others as well. The legacy of Nightingale continues to be carried on up to date in the nursing profession given the emphasis and benefits of maintaining hygiene holistically.
During Nightingale’s time serving the army at the Crimean War, she improved the nursing profession standards by recommending the enhancement of sanitary improvements at hospitals recommendations are practiced up to date in many hospitals. It is important because mortality rates are decreased in safe and clean environment (Rafferty, & Wall,2010). Nightingale’s insistence on joining the nursing profession was first met with disapproval by her parents but the success that her practicing brought made more students enroll for nursing courses. Now the problem of understaffing was greatly dealt with to a larger extent.
It is worth noting that the nursing practice in the 21st century has been reformed owing to the efforts of Nightingale to make healthcare safer and more hygienic. The nursing ng pillars of dedication and selfness seem to be eroded in the current nursing culture ultimately influencing the quality of the nursing care to patients. The blend of art and science by Nightingale is unimaginable given the hands-on approach she employed during her formative years as a nurse. Nightingale still remains a pioneer in nursing and her contribution to the nursing profession has doubtlessly influenced the nursing profession in the whole world.
Clements, P. T., & Averill, J. B. (2006). Finding patterns of knowing in the work of Florence Nightingale. Nursing outlook, 54(5), 268-274.
Nightingale, F. (2010). Florence Nightingale. Cassandra: an essay. 1979.
Rafferty, A. M., & Wall, R. (2010). Re-reading Nightingale: Notes on hospitals. International journal of nursing studies, 9(47), 1063-1065.