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The Historical Development of Nursing Science

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Historical development of Nursing began in the middle Ages. Before the late 19th

century and into the early 20th century, religious organizations were the primary care providers.

Nurses before were considered domestic servants, with the same lowly social status, caring for

the sick in their homes or in charity hospitals. Because of Nightingale's great contribution on

health care, she tremendously changed the way the world looked at nursing. (Craven, 2003).This

paper will discuss the historical development of Nursing Science from Florence Nightingale's

time to the present, theorist with their theories and major events in the history of Nursing. The

relationship between Nursing Science to nursing as a profession will be explained and their

influence in religion.

Historical Development

Florence Nightingale is recognized as the first nurse theorist, her works were first

revised in the 50's. She said that adjusting the environment improves one's health. Her

foundational work is what nursing theorists expanded upon. On that decade, Columbia

University's Teachers College developed a graduate education program where the first

theoretical conceptualizations of nursing science came about (George, 2011).

In the 60's , Travelbee presented her Human-to-Human Relationship theory in her book

Interpersonal Aspects of Nursing (1966).She emphasized caring, empathy, sympathy, and the

emotional aspects of nursing (George,2011). Also, in that decade when the American Nurses Association

required nursing education to have a baccalaureate degree for professionals and associate degree for

technical nurses (George, 2011).

In the 70's, many nursing theories were formed. Watson, a significant theorist said that

caring can be effectively demonstrated and practiced through interpersonal relationship. He said

that caring for a person not only with their present condition but with what they may become.

(Watson, 2012). The significant event that happened on that decade is when the

National League for Nursing (NLN) required the school of Nursing to implement a conceptual

framework for the curricula as an accreditation standard (George, 2011).

In 1980's many theories were revised based on research findings. Leininger's theory

(1985) was one of the few that were added to the body of nursing theories. His theory

Transcultural Care Diversity and Universality's purpose is to provide a cultural equality, safe

and meaningful care to clients of diverse or similar culture (Leininger, 2002).

In the 90's, the middle range theories that deals with a portion of nursing's total

concern but not the totality of the discipline, were used to guide nursing practice. The milestone

of this decade is the internationalization of the nursing theory movement, evidence by

international conferences and theoretical publication (George, 2011). Among the numerous

theorist at this time were Juliet Corbin and Anselm Strauss



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