America is a great and famous nation with many sectors working together to make up a powerful and vibrant country full of opportunities for its citizens and visitors as well. Men and women have made giant strides and impacted greatly in various fields and some of these achievements have shaped the course of America’s history or the world at large.
Nursing profession is not devoid of people that has showed exceptional qualities to achieve rare and commendable feats and bravery that have gone into records as a factor that changed the course of history of America as a country.
These achievements started from the ancient times of the nursing profession and as such can be classified and explained explicitly for proper understanding. Nursing profession contributes greatly to medicine because of the day-to-day care and attention nurses provide to patients at hospitals. Nurses are responsible for injections, doling out bedpans and baths and all these contribute to works that many other medical professionals do not want to do.
However, through the responsibilities placed on nurses, they have been able to change the world, gladden hearts, support the weak and dying soul and help the seemingly helpless people. More than all these are works and services provided by nurses in times past that changed, utters and impacts the history of America. Below are list of some of these strides.
1. Making Nursing a Profession
One of the ways to prove that America is a great nation among others is the decision taken by one of the American nurses of the 18th century who changed history of nursing from being just a trade learnt through trial and error to a profession. Florence Nightingale opened the first nursing school in 1860 to start a professional basis for nursing where people are well trained to take care and attend to sick and hospitalised patients. She thought people what she practiced personally during the Crimean war where she was instrumental in saving lives.
2. Nurse as a National Heroine
We belief that not all America national heroes and heroines held political offices or start political movements that changed the course of history but some are professionals like Clara Barton who was a nurse that founded the American Red Cross and saved lives through her works on the battle field being fearless in the face of brutal shootings of the American civil war. She also announced through out the country to identify missing soldiers of war. She was identified as a true American by the then president Lincoln who appointed her as ‘Lady in Charge’ of the Union Hospitals.
3. Nurse as a Freedom Fighter
Checking through the illustrious history of nursing, there was a nurse called Margaret Sanger in the 1900s who challenged the authorities and acted as a freedom fighter for the women folks. She worked as a nurse in New York and witnessed the terrible and avoidable hardships of unwanted pregnancies. She was frustrated by the law and regulations prohibiting use of contraceptives. She worked tirelessly to deduce and reveal facts about child birth through her book called ‘Women Rebel’.
She was jailed and harassed but her work and bravery eventually made contraceptives easily available to women.
4. Coloured Skin Nurses
The belief that America is a place for all with no discrimination of race and colour started perhaps with the nursing profession where we had two nurses with coloured skins. Sussie King Taylor was the first African American nurse while Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American registered nurse. Both are never forgotten in the history of nursing because of their poor background and their achievements that corrected racial inequalities of the profession.
Mahoney was inducted into the nursing hall of fame in 1976 and 1993 and all these signalled how accommodating America is as a land of opportunity for all.