The History of Nursing and the Educational Preparation of Nurses - Research Paper Example

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The research explores a nursing history, the educational preparation of nurses, the scope of differentiated practice competencies, the collaborative learning community and the presentation of the nursing models. The impact of the IOM report on nursing education, practice and primary care also is explored…
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Evidence Based Proposal


This is a three page APA citation style evidence based proposal with three works cited. This research paper will explore nursing history, the educational preparation of nurses, the scope and practice of differentiated practice competencies, the collaborative learning community and the presentation of the nursing conceptual models. The impact of the IOM report on nursing education, practice and primary care will also be explored. This evidence based proposal will also explore the role of nurses as leaders.

Right after the inception of the Continental Army on June 14, 1775, General George Washington received a report from Major General Horatio Gates which stated that 'the sick suffered much for want of a good nurse'. This statement prompted General George Washington to request from the Continental Congress for the supply of 'a matron to supervise the bedding' and “the supply of one nurse for every ten patients. General Washington also requested that ' a matron be allotted to every hundred sick or wounded' (Army, 2011).

Many women volunteered to serve as nurses during the Civil War. Women served as nurses in both the Union and Confederate Armies. During the Civil war, Dorothea Lynde Dix was named Superintendent of Nurses for the Union forces. In the outbreak of the Spanish American War, Dr. Anita Newcombe McGee was named Supervisor in Charge of selecting the new female graduates to serve in the Armed Forces. These nurse were known as contract nurses. The Army Nurse Corps was formed on February 2, 1901 as a permanent unit in the US Army Medical department. These nursing opportunities called for a high level of health care competency. In WWI, Bessie Smith was appointed to General John J. Pershing to oversee the nursing activities in the Army Medical Department. Bessie S. Smith formed the Army School of Nursing, which became an important relief resource during the Influenza pandemic of 1918 (Army, 2011).

In 1916, a standard uniform was recommended for American nurses. This recommendation came from the American Nursing Association. These nursing uniforms became symbolic of American nurses. As the twentieth century continued, many nurse came to be identified by the blue uniform. Many American women were only able to find gainful employment as nurses in the beginning of the twentieth century (DeChesnay & Anderson, 2007). Many nurses were trained in university settings. These institutions of higher learning enabled many of the nursing program graduates with academic practice which became a forerunner of evidence based practice (DeChesnay & Anderson, 2007). The analysis of PICO became widespread in the United States by members of the nursing profession. One of the concepts that was first recognized is the vulnerability of certain populations. These populations were at greater risk of communicating disease (DeChesnay & Anderson, 2007).

One of the entities responsible for developing the scope of nursing is the Robert Woods Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI). This entity is responsible for designing safety programs in the intensive care programs at health care providing establishments. This entity supports nurses education in quality improvement programs, such as those which reduce bloodstream infections and medication dosage errors. INQRI also requests a higher number of registered nurses per patient and has increased the quality of professional relationships between doctors and registered nurses (IOM, 2011: 90).

Over the past 40 years, nursing candidates have been able to enter the nursing profession through three separate educational venues. The nursing educational venues are the Bachelor of Arts in the science of nursing, the Associates degree in Nursing and the diploma in nursing. In the past few years, an accelerated Bachelors of Arts degree in nursing for those who have already attained a Bachelors degree in other disciplines has been a viable option for nursing candidates. The variety of educational venues for registered nurses has created a confusion for the health care patients, the general public and medical professionals about the expected outcomes of these educational venues. There is also the option of LPN (licensed practical nurse). The LPNs are essential in their contributions to the well being of patients in long term health care facilities and nursing homes. The most common educational venue for the attainment of an ADN (Associates degree in Nursing) is attendance at an accredited community college. The next most frequent educational venue for nursing candidates is the attainment of a Bachelors of Arts degree at a four year institution of higher learning. The least pursued educational venue is a diploma program. These diplomas are offered at hospital based educational institutions. The duration of the diploma programs is three years. As the twentieth century progressed, the number of hospital based educational programs for nursing candidates has decreased, with the exceptions of the states of New Jersey and Ohio. All registered nurses are required to successfully complete the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NVLEX-RN). This examination is given by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The successful completion of this examination results in a license which registered nurses may use to practice nursing (IOM, 2011: 166).

The primary motivation of the authors in compiling this book is to recommend plans of action for changes in health care policy at the national, state and local perspective. The author's recommendations are designed to help optimize the possibilities for professional nursing development and the position of nurses in planning and putting into action a more efficacious health care system. The author's intention is to modify the perception of nursing science in order to enable the proper education and training of nurses. This intention by the authors of this book is in order to meet the changing needs of the health care system and the patients (IOM, 2011: 269).

In order to properly implement these recommendations, strong leadership on behalf of the nurses will be needed. The public perception of the nursing profession must be adapted, with respect to the role of nurses as leaders. Nurses will need to develop the leadership traits and skills in order to become better facilitators in the health care process. Evidence based practice is an integral part of the development of the leadership traits and skills of nurses. The leaders in the nursing profession need to implement the findings of evidence based practice in order to assume these leadership roles (IOM, 2011: 222).

Works Cited
De Chesnay M & Anderson, B. Caring for the Vulnerable: Perspectives in Nursing Theory Practice and Research. Second Edition, 2007. Jones and Bartlett Learning: Sudbury MA
. The Future of Nursing: Advancing Health. IOM, 2011. Web. National Academies Press. October 1, 2011.

US Army Women Nurses. Women in the US Army. The Army Nurse Corps. US Army. Web,. October 1 2011. Read More
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