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To Pledge or not to Pledge - Research Paper Example

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The Nightingale Pledge Introduction Thousands of nursing graduates worldwide recite the Nightingale Pledge as a conscious declaration of loyalty and adherence to traditional nursing standards as initiated by its founder Florence Nightingale, an English nurse…
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To Pledge or not to Pledge
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Download file to see previous pages According to Nelson (2012), the enduring significance of the Nightingale Pledge may be attributed to the legacy of the first nursing icon, Florence Nightingale, in her unwavering dedication to cater the needs of the sick and needy, particularly during difficult times, such as war, famine, disease, and natural calamities (pp. 10-11). Considering the eminent influence of the Nightingale Pledge on a nurse’s life, this paper attempts to uncover the underlying historical significance of the said pledge. Further, this paper also attempts to study the various contexts of the Pledge, especially its functions, purpose, ethical significance, limitations, and criticisms. Historical Role As a profession, nursing is deeply rooted in the society due to its outward protection of the rights of humans, particularly in their rights to life and well-being. In fact, Fagermoen (2005) states that the philosophical foundations of nursing are based on the principles of Humanism wherein nurses, even in their early not standardized practice, aim to protect, serve, and preserve human life (p. 157). Florence Nightingale embodies those humanistic values in her devotion to tend the wounded soldiers of the Crimean War, and, while alleviating the physical conditions of the soldiers, she also attempts to advance the care systems and psychosocial environment of hospitals so as to make those more conducive to a faster healing process (Fagermoen, 2005, p. 157). During her tenure as a military nurse, she wrote a series of nursing books and notes outlining the basic responsibilities and duties of a nurse, which, in later years, became the theoretical and practical foundations of professional nursing (Kim, 2005, p. 1). The life and works of Florence Nightingale gave birth to the nursing profession, a profession that overcomes barriers of time, place, culture, and religion. For instance, although her works influenced the nursing profession, Florence Nightingale was not the one who wrote the Nightingale Pledge; instead, the pledge was authored by Lystra Gretter, an American nurse (“The Nightingale Pledge,” n.d.). The pledge was first professed by the 1893 nursing graduates of Detroit’s Harper’s Hospital. Nightingale’s legacy even reached in Japan during the outbreak of the war in 1945 wherein a head nurse in Hiroshima Army Red Cross initiated the recitation of the Nightingale Pledge to restore calm and order in the panic-stricken hospital due to the defeat and surrender of the Japanese militia. Nursing stories around the world relate to the Nightingale Pledge wherein most, if not all, nurses find self-satisfaction in their work through saving the lives of others. Function and Purpose In analyzing the Nightingale Pledge, one can infer that the pledge functions as an ethical guide for nurses in their professional practice while it also aims to indicate the roles, obligations, and limitations of being a nurse. For instance, although the Nightingale Pledge undergoes several legislative revisions and amendments due to socio-cultural concerns, the revised and amended versions of the pledge still maintains the universal nursing standard of conduct, which includes professionalism (“The Code of Ethics,” 2010, p. xiv). For instance, some of the revisions include the ANA 1950 Code and the 1976 Code; each of which outlines the recommended nurse-patient relationship, which is primarily on a professional level. For instance, the prevailing idea of the revised editions delves on a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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