Florence Nightingale influenced and advocated for the development of nursing education schools and programs (Nickitas, Middaugh, & Aries, 2016). Because of Nightingale and these programs other hospitals around the country started to notice their value and started to open nursing schools and programs that were similar. Lillian Wald and Lavinia Dock advocated for healthcare reform within the community to protect the public from uneducated nurses and to develop nursing standards (Nickitas, Middaugh, & Aries, 2016). Wald went on to introduce several legislative initiatives that would improve the health of children (Nickitas, Middaugh, & Aries, 2016). Wald advocated for public health nurses to improve the overall well-being of the community. These nursing advocates cared about nursing education. Wald and Dock took it further and advocated for nursing standards. Margaret Sanger advocated for women’s reproductive rights and contraceptives in a time when that was not a popular subject. She picketed, protested, and was arrested fighting for her cause and beliefs (Nickitas, Middaugh, & Aries, 2016). Nurses advocate for their patients each day, but they must also advocate for policy change on health issues. Nurses must remain engaged in the policy changing and making process. In order for this to occur nurses must remain informed about policies and they can influence nursing locally, regionally, and nationally (Polaschek, 2014). The American Nurses Association and the National League for Nursing are organizations that nurses can join to advocate for changes within the profession (Dunn, 2012).
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Dunn, D. J. (2012). What keeps nurses in nursing?. International Journal For Human Caring, 16(3), 34-41.
Nickitas, D.M., Middaugh, D.J., & Aries, N. (2016). Policy and politics for nurses and other health professionals (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Polaschek, N. (2014). Renal nursing at the centre: Changing clinical practice through influencing policy.Renal Society of Australasia Journal, 10(2), 86-88.
Ms. Saunders was a nurse who started something that is near and dear to my heart. She focused on starting palliative medicine and made hospice what it is today. As we all know everyone dies someday and to have these type of services available is not only relieving for the patient but also the families. I have dealt with a lot of hospice patients over time due to working on a renal floor. I have seen patients become at ease towards the end of life receiving these services. Without this movement the comfort provided to these patients might not be possible (Petiprin, 2016).
This individual brought a change to antibiotics and their use today. He was able to identify bacteria in the lining of the stomach and determined how to use antibiotics to treat bacteria. Without this public change people could die from this disease process today. If may not seem like a huge change in today’s world but without this policy put in place people’s lives could be at risk (Admin, 2013).
Florence Nightingale developed a group of female nurses who helped during the Crimean War. Although the doctors were not very welcoming to the female nurses they realized they needed more help and let the nurses stay. Not only did the group of nurses clean up the hospital within 6 months but they also decreased the death rate from cleaning. This is what started public health idea. If Florence Nightingale wouldn’t have stood up for female nurses being able to work in that profession women might not be able to stay in the profession today. By sticking up for female nurses she allowed women a equal opportunity in health care (Reynolds-Finley Historical Library, 2017).
I feel that in the future nurses need to focus on what has already been started historically and build upon it. I feel that many nurses before us have implemented health care policies but they didn’t have the resources we do today to make them as successful as they could have been. If we take the time to learn about policies that started in the past then we might be able to build on them when we become nurse practitioners.
Admin. (2013). THE 25 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN MEDICINE ALIVE TODAY. Retrieved from http://nursingdegree.org/the-25-most-influential-people-in-medicine-alive-today/
Petiprin, A. (2016). How Famous Nurses Have Changed the Nursing Profession. Retrieved from
Reynolds-Finley Historical Library. (2017). The Life of Florence Nightingale. Retrieved from https://www.uab.edu/reynolds/nightingale/life
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