One of the most crucial nursing theorists of all time, Florence Nightingale established effective nursing strategies in the mid 1800’s that are still applied to this day. She founded an environmental theory expressing that nurses should utilize a patients’ surroundings to assist them in their recovery, and furthermore that nurses should also tend to more than just a patient’s physical demands. These tactics were originally performed during the Crimean War by Nightingale and have been vital guidelines within hospitals ever since. Discussed in depth are Florence Nightingale’s background information, components of her theory, and the theory’s application to professional nursing demonstrating the noteworthy success of her innovations.
Florence Nightingale grew up within an exceedingly wealthy family who embraced strong Unitarian beliefs regarding social justice and human appreciation. She was a brilliant student and philosophical thinker, and she quickly developed an urgency to improve the impoverished communities around her. As a result of these families’ circumstances, Nightingale received a calling from God at the age of sixteen to nurture others. Although her parents punitively criticized her aspiration to be a nurse, she enrolled in training and was recruited to care for wounded soldiers during the Crimean War. One of her key observations is “that people were inseparable from their physical environments, either flourishing or deteriorating in relation to their living conditions” and utilized these discoveries to enhance the soldiers’ health (Hegge, 2013). It was during this time that she crossed the battlefields holding up her lantern that she earned the...
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... lady with the lamp.” Nightingale is considered the first practicing epidemiologist, a tremendous achievement in a world where the nursing process was practically nonexistent yet. Although the Crimean War was detrimental to society, an idol emerged from the catastrophe and paved the way for nurses everywhere. Her holistic approach to nursing and proposal that a patient’s atmosphere is imperative to a beneficial recovery are what fundamentally summarizes Nightingale’s environmental nursing theory. After examining her background, each portion of her theory, and the current significance of it, it is unambiguous to why she is such a defining character within the healthcare field. Perhaps another iconic theorist like Florence Nightingale will arise with innovative nursing strategies to further enrich the lives of patients and the professional practice of nursing entirely.
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