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Nursing Theorist Timeline

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Nursing Theorist Timeline

NUR 513

Nursing Theorist Timeline

Since the beginning of humankind, someone has provided comfort, care, and nurturing the sick. These were the first nurses. Today's nurses still provide comfort but care is now accompanied by the use of science, technology, and contemporary thinking (Blais, Kozier, Haynes, and Erb 2006, page 32). Today's nurses must use computers, monitors, and machines. Nurses must understand physiology and anatomy and complex concepts in order to care for patients. Some nurses have felt a need to explain, create, and describe aspects of nursing care (Nursing theory, 2013). This is nursing theory. Nursing theories also help define and provide nursing practice guidelines for clinical decision-making (Nursing theory, 2013).

Nursing theories are a product of a nurses experience and education. However, nursing has also been affected by social conditions and historical events. In the middle ages, the plague created a need for hospitals and for nursing staff. Throughout history, monks and nuns have provided patient care. During the 18th and 19th century, the industrial revolution caused immigration to the cities. The influx of people into cities created the need for public health. Wars have created a need for skilled nurses to provide care for injured soldiers. Nurses have always been needed, and will always be necessary.

Nursing has often been a socially acceptable form of work for women. Nurses have helped define the role of women throughout history.

Florence Nightingale

Nurse Florence Nightingale's upper class family disapproved of her work as a nurse, because it was considered a low class job (Bloy, 2012). Despite her families objection, she became a nursing professor, a nurse researcher, a statistician, and a nurse theorist (Bloy, 2012). She helped transform the nursing role from an unskilled labor into a professional role.

She is most famous for her work, which in 1859, during the Crimean war (Bloy, 2012). She began evaluating treatment conditions for the wounded soldiers. She theorized that changes in the unsanitary hospital environment would improve health conditions of the patients. She believed that it was the nurse's responsibility make the physical and social environment conducive for patient recovery.

She and the staff began providing a cleaner environment in the hospital, including general sanitation, the use of clean water, and the provision of fresh air. Nightingale is credited with reducing the death rate in the hospital from 42% to 2% (Bloy, 2012). Nightingale's observations about sanitation revolutionized the nursing field more than any other theory.

The Nightingale school of nursing was opened in 1860 (Egendes, 2009) where she began educating nurses. She published a book, Notes on nursing: What it is, what it is not. Nightingale helped mold nursing into a profession.

Margaret Sanger

"No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or

will not be a mother" (Sanger, 1922).

Sanger was born in 1879, into a family with 11 children (Nursing theory, 2013). She observed the hardship that her mother experienced by being pregnant and parenting children. This experience affected her thoughts regarding access to contraception.

Sanger believed that women should have access to contraception (Nursing theory, 2013). Sangers activism created anger in the community. She fled the United States in 1914 in order to imprisonment. After living abroad, the legal charges in the United States were dropped, and she returned to the United States.

In 1921, she began an organization, the American birth control league, which was a predecessor for Planned parenthood.

Hildegard Peplau

Nurse Hildegard Peplau was born in 1909 and she died in 1999. She earned her bachelors and masters degrees in nursing and a certification for psychoanalysis (O'toole, 1989). Peplau published a theory of intrapersonal relations theory in 1952, which addresses the relationship between a patient and a nurse (George, 2011). She described nursing care as being therapeutic and helps the patient who is in it need.

Peplau indicated that nurses should be mindful as they help identify patients problems because she believed that patient wellness occurs during interactions with patients. The nurse's goal is to identify the patient's needs and to meet those needs.

Peplau described an interpersonal process that included three steps, an orientation phase, a working phase, and a termination phase (Nursing



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