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Florence Nightingale - Essay Example

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Florence Nightingale

Modern nursing concepts has since then developed from her time. This paper then is an exploration on how Florence Nightingale might view some of the modern nursing concepts of today based on her renowned book.
According to Legal Concepts in Nursing Practice (n.d.), malpractice or professional negligence refers to the legal consequences when a professional nurse does an unreasonable act given a situation or when she fails to do the rightful act given a situation. Nightingale constantly raised the importance of vigilance while nursing patients throughout her book. She is certainly against malpractice and negligence in treating patients and sees these acts as pure carelessness. For Nightingale, nurses should do anything possible to maintain a healthy environment for the patient including unpleasant chores. "If a nurse declines to do these kinds of things for her patient, "because it is not her business," I should say that nursing was not her calling" (Nightingale, 1860, pp. 22)
This statement also gives emphasis on Nightingale's belief that professionalism must be among the basic attributes of a nurse especially since they are dealing with patient's health and lives. While technical skills and knowledge are substantial in the profession, the way they are utilized are just as important.
Another nursing concept is abandonment, where nurses leave their assigned patients without prior notice. Nightingale is adamant that nurses should always be focused on the patient. "A careful nurse will keep a constant watch over her sick, especially weak, protracted and collapsed cases" (Nightingale, 1860, pp.17). Moreover, Nightingale says that if a nurse has to go for health or duty requirements then she must go and tell her patient so. "If you go without his knowing it, and he finds it out, he never will feel secure again that the things which depend upon you will be done when you are away, and in nine cases out of ten he will be right" (Nightingale, 1860, p. 39).
With this not only are the nurses doing their duties responsibly but also with deference to their patients. For Nightingale a nurse's deference or respect to the sick is beneficial to its recovery and it manifests in how nurses deal with their patients. "The official politeness in these things are so grateful to invalids, that many prefer, without knowing why, having none but servants about them." (Nightingale, 1860, pp. 49).
According to Code of Ethics for Nurses (n.d.), the concept of beneficence is the obligation to do well and not harm other people while nonmaleficence is the principle of preventing intentional harm. This coincides with Nightingale's belief that the patient shouldn't be harmed further given his circumstances and that nurses should be careful and observant when dealing with patients to avoid distress or worse, mishaps. According to Nightingale (1860), when nurses talk to their patients, "nurses should stay within the patient's view" so that patients won't have to feel the pain when turning their heads around. It is advisable that nurses be as motionless as they can when talking to them and position themselves in a way that is not wearisome to the patient. Nightingale (1860) also adds that it is not advisable to "meet or overtake a ...Show more


Florence Nightingale is highly acclaimed for her contribution to the nursing profession and public health care. She was responsible for formalizing the nursing education and thus gave birth to the nursing profession. Although Nightingale did not technically write a nursing theory, her numerous works and journals were treated by her predecessors as such.
Author : hermannclare
Florence Nightingale essay example
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