Nursing is one of the oldest known professions, where even the earliest nurses were acknowledged and compensated for their expert knowledge and skill. Today, nurses make up approximately 80% of health care team worldwide, consistently, continually, and diligently working together to set and maintain high standards for safe and effective patient care.
In celebration of Nurses Week…
… let’s look at some of the first major achievements in nursing:
- In 1645, Jeanne Mance established the first hospital in North America, the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal.
- In 1860, Florence Nightingale established professional nursing with the rise of her nursing school at the Saint Thomas’ Hospital in London. It was the first secular nursing school in the world.
- In 1873, Florence Nightingale provided results from her own research, showing that enhanced sanitation practices decreased mortality rates among soldiers in India by nearly 75%. These findings led to the implementation of improved sanitation practices and aseptic techniques where healthcare was provided.
- In 1873, the first nursing school in the United States was opened at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, where Florence Nightingale’s principles of nursing was used to create the nursing curriculum.
- In 1879, Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American woman to graduate as a professional nurse.
- In 1886, the first American nursing journal, The Nightingale was published.
- In 1896, the American Nurses Association was founded.
- In 1899, the International Council of Nurses was formed.
- In 1909, the American Red Cross Nursing service was established.
- In 1923, the Nursing Act of 1919 became effective, where the registration of nurses becomes standard practice in health care, creating the title of Registered Nurse.