Nursing and nursing education are relatively new development in the world’s society. This profession has grown tremendously once it was introduced with the responsibility of the nurses ranging from basic care to specialized treatment. Due to the increasing demand, the nursing industry has developed in order to keep pace with its growth. Traditionally, nursing education was passed from generation to generation through informal means. The nursing services were basically provided by women and even the manuals that were available were basically made for women nurses.
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The early nursing education was done by practicing nurse who would teach and mentor their students through direct experience in the hospitals. This type of learning left a lot of information not taught as the students would learn only what they get to experience in the hospitals they were practicing in. This gap in education led to the development of the formal nursing education. The first book on nursing was published by Florence Nightingale in 1859; it was intended to give directions on nursing. Earlier in 1853, British Institute of Nursing was established by Theodore Fliedner. Florence Nightingale later established Nightingale Training School for Nurses where she trained nurses to provide professional services.
In the United States, the first nursing school was Bellevue Hospital Nursing School of Nursing which was established in 1873 in New York City. It used the principles established by Florence Nightingale. Johns Hopkins School of Nursing was later founded in 1889 and the first university nursing program was established in the University of Colombia.
The history of education dates back to the beginning of human existence it was passed through informal means. The development of writing system led to the modern means of education. The earliest alphabets were developed in Egypt in 2000 BC. During the middle ages the Catholic Church Monasteries become centers of education. Medieva universities were run as Christian schools and monks and nuns taught in them. Many university institution established in medieval ages were in England, Italy and France and they taught law, art, theology and medicine.
Apart from the Christian education, other doctrines also developed there languages in the medieval ages. The Islamic world developed it education system in the 6th and 7th AD with the establishment of the Academy of Gundishapur which eventually evolved to become a great institution of learning that offered training in philosophy, medicine, science and theology. Other civilization that had introduced elaborate education system includes China, India, and the Central American civilizations.
Philosophy of nursing may be defined as the outcome of the intellectual and effective efforts of professional nurses to understand the relationship between humans, health, and environment in the effort to approach nursing discipline in scientific terms. This tries to integrate values into this practice and helps to appreciate the esthetic elements of nursing that develop the health and well being of the people as well as articulating the personal beliefs about the people, health, environment and nursing.
Using humanistic approach in the implementation of therapeutic interventions is the goal of nursing. The nurses assist families, individuals, and communities in attaining maximum health potential. The nursing community aims at providing it professionals with quality skills that will ensure quality healthcare for all, good credentials and code of ethics. The nurses acquire their skills through different educational paths that ensure that a professional nurse is studies the nursing theory and also gets practical training in clinical expertise.
This approach and acquisition of knowledge and use of the same by nurses is not different for the nurse educator as in the past the educator were practicing nurses who gave mentorsship services to nursing students. Therefore a nurse educator should also be a practicing nurse who has undergone the same process of knowledge acquisition.
My personal philosophy of nursing is informed by the core values of nursing, that is, integrity, caring, excellence and diversity. Nursing, as I consider it, is the art of caring for a person’s needs and treating them with respect and dignity. The close connection in a patient-nurse relation provides an opportunity to apply and explore personal values. The primary role of nursing is to promote, maintain and help people gain health and healing for both the patients and their families.
Nursing should provide the sick, children as well as the dying with a comfortable environment where they feel worthy and valued. They should promote the advocacy for the best treatment for the sick as well as ensure that their rights are not tempered with when they cannot speak out for themselves. I believe that in taking such a course in nursing I will be able to give my best service to the most deserving in the world and I will be able to provide quality healthcare to the old, children, and the sick.
In conclusion, the paper has discussed in length the history of nursing and the nursing education giving the first instances when the nursing was recognized as a profession by scholars of education. This paper has also shown the work of Florence Nightingale who, debatably, may be considered as the originator of modern nursing. The paper has also indicated the development of the field with emphasis on the development of the institutions of learning.
The history of education has also been evaluated as well as the nursing education. The approach of nurses to education and the role of nurse educator have also been briefly explained. Finally, the paper gives a brief description of my personal nursing philosophy giving my beliefs and convictions about nursing; it also indicates my expectation of the program.