The Leadership and Legacy of Florence Nightingale

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The Leadership and Legacy of Florence Nightingale

Pamela Passmore

Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Roles and Practice/510

01/11/2015

Dolores Diehl

The Leadership and Legacy of Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale is known as the founder of modern nursing. Her contributions and influence not only to the nursing profession, but to the public health care system, is unparalleled. She was instrumental in establishing multiple processes and practices that are still in current practice. She has influenced many nursing theorist and prevailing theories during her career. Many of her changes continue to influence theory development today. Before discussing the effects of Florence's influence, examining the existence of nursing theory before her contributions needs to be discussed. Before Florence's career, there were no standards or regulations for nursing as a practice, and as such, was not recognized as a formal profession. Nursing was seen as the lowest of occupations. "Nurses were expected to be uneducated and untrained" (Nursing History, 2012). Nurses learned through experience, not through formal training. During that period, nurses were generally from the lower classes with social standing little better than prostitutes. Shockingly to our professional standards of today, Horsley, 2010 stated that "Most nurses were alcoholics; they were permitted and were expected to drink alcohol while they worked (p. 4)". He further states, "It was customary for young women of low social class to look to a life of prostitution and nursing, with the consumption of large amounts of alcohol to make the other two occupations seem a little more bearable" (Horsley, 2010, p. 4). Florence Nightingale defined nursing as a reputable profession. With her influence, nursing became a respectable calling. During her career, Florence instituted many…...

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