Healthcare delivery and management especially hospital care has changed dramatically over the years. In the past, the scope of Healthcare included physicians who diagnosed and treated disease. This scope left nurses and other providers out of place while they struggle to define their roles. This in fact, raises many questions. Is nursing dependent on what physicians wanted? Also, does nursing require other specialized knowledge and skill that is different from other healthcare providers? (Manson, Iscaacs, & Colby, 2011). These questions became difficult to answer especially when nursing is define without embracing the physical, emotional, psychological, and social needs which are critical to delivering supportive care.
The objective of this paper is to generally discuss nursing as perceived by some pioneers and specifically, it seeks to take the view that nursing is critical to effective healthcare delivery, and nursing is not just any profession.
What is Nursing?
Nursing has been viewed from different perspectives both from pre-historic and contemporary times. To clearly understand this concept, it is important to look at the perspectives of champions of the profession.
Florence Nightingale as quoted by Gasalberti, (2013) suggests Nightingale in her article “Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not” noted that “nursing is creating the conditions for nature to take its course in healing a person”. Gasalberti, (2013) explained that the issue of creating the needed conditions for nature to take its course in healing a person include, healthy environment with good ventilation, good nutrition, warmth, fresh air, and emotional support. Perry & Potter (2013) supported that, these conditions became the guiding principles of nursing. With these principles Nightingale was able to reduce the mortality rate of the soldiers under her care during the Crimean war (Donahue, 2011).
Hildegard Peplau, a former member of the Army Nurse Corps had a different view of nursing. To her, nursing is based on interpersonal relationship between the nursing practitioner and the patient. She believed that nurse –patient communication was key to all nursing duties. She explained that establishing an environment of trust while working on a patient is significant of a therapeutic nurse-patient relationship. To date, this principle has become a critical component of the nursing delivery system Gasalberti (2013).
According to Perry & Potter, (2013), “nursing is a combination of knowledge from physical sciences, humanities, and social sciences, along with clinical competencies needed for safe, quality patient-centered care”. In the past, nursing was seen as a symbol of motherhood and was linked to caring, comforting, touching and other maternal types of behavior. This was so because nursing was seen as work which is mainly meant for women. This shortsighted stereotype makes it difficult to understand the duties of nursing and the needed passion to care for others....