Hippocrates first theorized the practice of health care in the fifth century B.C. During the Middle Ages Catholic monks practiced early forms of nursing through caring for the sick and ill of Europe. During the 17th century nursing developed and increasingly became associated with the downtrodden members of society, such as prostitutes. Nurses during this period gained a poor reputation and were generally regarded as unreliable. It wasn’t until Florence Nightingale in the 19th century that nursing began to take on the shape of its contemporary form. This essay considers the historical development of nursing from the time of Florence Nightingale, and examines various elements related to the nursing profession.
In the early 19th century the perception of nursing shifted dramatically as Florence Nightingale accepted a position as a nurse. While nurses had previously been associated with lower class individuals, Nightingale was a well-educated woman with a solid background. Her contributions to the nursing profession were substantial in shifting it to respectable levels. In 1853 Theodore Fliedner made further advancements. Fliedner established hospitals wherein there were stringent requirements for nursing professionals. This improved the reputation of nurses and led to the establishment of the British Institute of Nursing Sisters. ...Show more