Historical Development of Nursing Timeline - 75422

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Historical Development of Nursing Timeline


Nursing has evolved greatly as a profession. Nursing has become an independent practice with its own theory practice, models and distinct interventions (George, 2011). Through the years, nursing leaders have developed many nursing theories that guide our practice today. Their research and contributions to the nursing profession has shaped our present-day practices. This paper will delineate the historic development of nursing science, focusing on the most widely known and used theories. This paper will also canvass the influences of these concepts in the development of the nursing profession, and multidisciplinary influences.

Development of Nursing Science

Florence Nightingale (1859)

Florence Nightingale is considered the mother of nursing. In 1859, Nightingale published her book Notes on Nursing that has “directed nursing practice for over 150 years” (George, 2011, p. 9). She believed that the force for healing resides within the human being and that if the environment is appropriately supportive, humans will seek to heal themselves” (George, 2011, p. 25). Her environmental theory is a valuable concept, which is the basis of nursing practice today. It is applied in all the fields of nursing.

1950s Theories

Hildegard Peplau (1952). Hildegard Peplau introduced her interpersonal theory. Her theory focused on the relationship of the nurse and the patient. She believed that there is growth for each individual- the nurse and the patient- during their interaction. “The three phases of this relationship are orientation, working, and termination” (George, 2011, p. 25).

Virginia Henderson (1956). “Henderson's Need Theory emphasizes the importance of addressing the patients’ needs. She developed 14 components as a guide to address a patient’s self-care need to help the patient become as independent as possible” (“Virginia Henderson – Nursing Theorist”, 2013).

1960’s Theories

Faye Abdella (1960). Developed the 21 nursing problems. Abdella wanted to focus on the patient rather than the treatment of the disease (“Faye Abdella - Nursing Theorist”, 2013).

Ida Jean Orlando (1961). Orlando developed the nursing process, also referred to as the Deliberative Nursing Process.