History and Social Context of Nursing

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Because she started compiling comprehensive data on mortality and morbidity while providing care to the injured troops in the British Army Medical System, Florence Nightingale is recognized as the first nurse researcher. The Chicago World's Fair in 1983 popularized the idea that nurses ought to have access to more advanced education and responsibility, and as a result, the nursing field underwent notable advancements. I concur with the idea that the nursing field is inextricably linked to the larger issues of the women's movement because it was founded by women who were fighting against class and gender inequalities. This article not only identified women as the key players in the nursing profession but also presented issues such as gender equality they were promoting, which has created in impression that nursing is a profession dominated and controlled by women hence most men are not willing to subscribe to it.

The Spanish American War influenced the nursing profession by setting stage for the establishment of permanent nurse corps in the American army and navy units. This decision was made when Florence Nightingale and her team of volunteer nurses in the war demonstrated that they play significant roles to the survival of ill and injured soldiers. Likewise, it was during World War I when the congress passed a bill that increased the number of hospitals in the military and provided nurses with ranks. World War II also influenced the nursing profession because it was during that time when nurses in the US Navy and Army were the status of full commissioned officers. Also, both the American Civil War and Crimean War advanced the cause of nursing profession by improving care, which led tangible reforms in the military hospitals. Lastly, the Vietnam War contributed to the development in the nursing professional because the era of clinical specialization and specialty was started during that time.

By integrating the profession of nursing for African American and other minority groups in the USA, the military played a crucial role of abolition the racial segregation that existed in the profession.

When the military established the Army Nurse Corps in 1901, they excluded men from the nursing roles in the units, an action that played significant role in the perpetual discrimination of men in the nursing profession.

Three social factors that have great potential of stimulating interests in nursing profession are the ‘caring’ public image, the gender issue, and the doctor’s shadow. First, nurses are perceived to be caring and loving people who are waiting for opportunity to provide help. This public image has influenced the nursing profession by giving more opportunities to women as opposed to men. The professional can utilize this by offering nurses more care-centered trainings. Secondly, nursing is perceived as a professional for the female gender and that is why most men are reluctant to join it. The profession can combat this issue by establishing new nursing training centers specifically for men. Lastly, nurses are perceived as doctor’s shadow, which has led to the idea that the profession does not require subtle qualification and is of low social status. The professional can combat this social issue by offering nurses advanced training to lift them to the status of doctors.

June 26, 2023

Learning Human Rights

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