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. ...Show more