Nursing has evolved with time right from the days of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing who saw the role of nursing as having "change of somebody's health" based on the knowledge of "how to put the body in such a state to be free of disease or to recover from disease".
The early twentieth century saw the affiliation of nursing education with Universities and formation of nursing organizations. The early twenty first century saw nursing as a profession with population changes, increased life span, new diseases like cancer and life style changes throwing new challenges on the profession. Thus, today nursing is a profession rather than a vocation (Patricia A Potter, 2005). The profession has extended education avenues, a body of knowledge leading to defined skills, an ability to provide specific service, professional autonomy to make decisions governed by a code of ethics. Autonomy is an element of nursing profession today. Autonomy means that a nurse is independent reasonably and self-governing in making decisions in practice. There are independent measures a nurse can initiate without medical orders. The nurse is a 'client advocate'. She protects the human and legal rights of the patient under her care, based on his/her cultural and religious affiliations. The nurse is a 'Care Giver' helping the patient regain health through the process of healing. Healing is not just curing of the illness, but a process that addresses the holistic health care needs of the patient including emotional, spiritual and social well being. The nurse is the pivot of all communications in the health care delivery system.
Communication includes documentary communication for legal safe guards and also communication with patients and their families. The process of communication is vital to give effective care, take decisions, co-ordinate manage patient care, assist in rehabilitation and offer comfort. A nurse explains to her patients the concepts and facts of health, demonstrates health care and self care activities so that the patient understands the importance of these aspects of health care. She informally reinforces client behavior by simple conversations. She also instructs formally about medications and the action plan for recovery. As a clinical decision maker, a nurse coordinates the activities of other members of the Health Care team like physiotherapists or nutrionists. The nurse takes these decisions alone or in collaboration with the patient or patient family on care aspects, evaluation of care results and the best approach for the desired result (Patricia A Potter, 2005).
Thus, there is a need for introduction of a research-based curriculum in DNP programs to cater to the neo needs of a professional nurse. Nurses who take their nursing education to the PhD level are nurse Scientists. Roper Logan and Tierney model of nursing (1980) recognizes 12 activities in patient care. This includes, maintaining a safe environment, communication, breathing, eating/drinking, elimination, washing/dressing, thermoregulation, mobility, work/play,