Nursing practice started as far back as 250 B.C. Most of the early nursing professionals were men of God. Then they slowly became men associated with the military. During the Crimean War, nursing took a dive for the worst. “Nursing had become a job for the “undesirables” in society — the immoral, the alcoholic, and the illiterate” (Grand Canyon University, n.d.). The income for people within the field, wasn’t sufficient enough to live off of, let alone anything else. After gaining some backing from the military, nursing become a more recognized profession.
Way before our leading lady, Florence Nightingale, stepped into the spotlight, there was the great Dorothea Dix. Dorothea was a pioneer, “she began the movement toward recognizing the role of women in medicine and the development of nursing as a profession” (Grand Canyon University, n.d.). She was an advocate for how our mentally ill patients were being treated and their living conditions. She fought for the people who could not fight for themselves, and she traveled all over to do it.
Another person to shed some light on the nursing profession was not known for his nursing qualities, but his writing. Walt Whitman became a caregiver by accident, by caring for his brother after being wound during the Civil War. “When he went to Washington, DC to care for his brother he saw the plight of many wounded soldiers and decided to stay and care for the sick and wounded” (Grand Canyon University, n.d). After his experiences, he put pen to paper, and did what he did best. He wrote a poem called “The Wound Dresser”. Not only did it explain what he did, but is expressed how badly the men were hurt and how bad the conditions were. The poem is moving and you can almost see all of the men Walt Whitman helped.
Mildred Montag addressed issues within the education for nursing professionals. Mildred “revolutionized nursing education by the creation of the 2 year associate degree in nursing” (Grand Canyon University, n.d). She set up a program that could be achieved in less time than attending a 4 year college. This assisted with the nursing shortage and allowed more nursing to be produced.
All three of these people, changed nursing in some way. History allows us to look back, and remember that this is a profession that is full of compassion and devotion. What an honor it is to be apart of it all.