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Nightingale's Nursing Theory - Essay Example

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Nightingale's Nursing Theory

Her work and contribution to the nursing profession and medical care started thereof.
As a reformist and a nurse, she became active in reforming the laws for the poor and was adamant in changing the conditions of the abysmal infirmaries or hospitals of that time. Among her most famous contribution was at the Crimean War. Ford (n.d.) discloses that Nightingale together with a group of nurses headed on to Turkey to help in the terrible conditions of the wounded British soldiers. With Nightingale's leadership, the nurses worked relentlessly to improve the living conditions of the wounded soldiers. It was in that same time that she was famously dubbed as "The Lady with the Lamp" by the British soldiers as she worked day in and day out to help them. She was also the first person to use statistics in the medical studies such as the high child mortality of those times.
Nursing theories are the concepts and theories behind the nursing practice. Technically, Florence Nightingale never constructed a nursing theory, but her works and journals during her lifetime were treated by her predecessors as such. Her contemplations and deliberations on the apt standards of nursing were exquisitely described in her work entitled "Notes on Nursing: What it is and what it is not."
Here, Nightingale's (1860) theory on nursing evolves around the concept that the patient's recovery is highly related to the conditions of his environment. The environment of a patient has a direct effect on his recovery or his deterioration. According to Nightingale, "Nature alone cures." With that she stresses on the healing properties of the physical environment of the patient; fresh air, light, warmth, cleanliness and a suitable diet. The environment not only refers to the physical aspect but also to the psychological and social environment surrounding the patient.
Healthy communication with the patient and healthy environment keeps the patient's mind active and stimulated. Here Nightingale stresses that communication should be soothing and a form of therapeutic aid to the patient's suffering. How the nurses interact with the patient, may it be verbally or non-verbally also plays a role in the patient's recovery. They were to give comfort and ease the patient's suffering. She adds that there is a need for social awareness or social education on the disease of the patient, his family or the immediate people of that environment.
The primary purpose of Florence Nightingale's nursing theory is to give nursing professionals indications on how to be effective in their chosen career. That is, nurses are there to control the environment and give the patients their basic needs to aid patients in their healing process and achieving their former strength. Nurses are not only to be focused on controlling the environment for the patient, but also in disseminating helpful information about the important aspects of the disease to the patient, the family and immediate community.
Within Nightingale's nursing theory are the assumptions that are significant to applying the theory. First and foremost, Nightingale stresses on the need to understand that a disease is a reparative process. An inflicted goes through the natural healing process and those sufferings are indications of the body healing itself. The patient then ...Show more


Florence Nightingale is one the greatest women in history for being the forerunner of the nursing profession. She is a scholar, a theorist, a statistician and a social reformist. Her dedication towards the importance of nursing patients has made her a renowned and respected theorist in the field of medical care.
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Nightingales Nursing Theory essay example
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