Although it is difficult to trace the history of nursing to the beginning, it is theorized that people have nursed each other to some extent since the beginning of mankind. This primitive nursing was mainly the care of others within families and communities. Nursing as we know today, the care of complete strangers began with Christian nurses who through the following of Christ’s teachings, would care for the disadvantaged. Christianity and the teachings of Jesus Christ were the foundation of these nurses. His messages resonated of human dignity, putting others before oneself, love and charity. In John 13:34-35 and 15:12-13, Jesus teaches of loving one’s neighbor and instructs “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: That as I have loved you, you also love one another” (as cited in Dolan, 1968, p. 66).
These Christian nurses would help bury the dead, feed the hungry, and comfort the ill. The care of the ill in a more structured f...
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MacQueen, J. S. (2007). Florence Nightingale's nursing practice. Nursing History Review: Official Journal of the American Association for the History of Nursing, 15, 29-49.
McDonald, L. (Ed.) (2002a). Florence Nightingale’s spiritual journey: Vol. 2: Biblical annotations, sermons and journal notes. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
McDonald, L. (Ed.) (2002b). Florence Nightingale’s theology: Vol. 3: Essays, letters and journal notes. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
Nightingale, F. (1915). Florence Nightingale to her nurses. London: Macmillan and Co., Limited.
Nightingale, F. (1969). Notes on nursing: What it is and what it is not. New York: Dover. (Original work published 1860)
O'Brien, M. E. (2011). Spirituality in nursing: Standing on holy ground (4th ed.). Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Pub.
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