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Australian Nursing History

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Registered nurses (RNs) currently are the principal group of health providers in the world. In Australia, there are over 331,000 registered RNs. Presently, most RNs are female, and even though increasing numbers of men are entering the profession, less than 5 per cent are male. While the largest portion of nurses' time is spent in direct patient care, they also hold many other positions and obligations, including overseeing other nursing personnel (Bureau of Health Professions, 2006). Large numbers of women in the nursing profession are directly related to its beginnings, Nursing began as a challenging and even objectionable vocation filled with unqualified and untrained inferior class women, as characterized by Charles Dickens' unsavory Sarah…show more content…
Modern nursing is built around comprehension and education, nurses students study a three-year degree which incorporates clinical placements and on-going skills training. Their predecessors have given today's nurses the foundations necessary to build a strong sense of pride and professional presence within society. Margaret McAllister states in her paper "In My Day"" that awareness of nursing history can assist in developing nurses' characteristics of resilience, which includes a strong specialized identity and the capability to think critically" (McAllister, M.2009). It is apparent the nursing code of conduct has derived from such past events. This essay will discuss some core concepts of nursing such as hope, trust, autonomy and professionalism/accountability. These core concepts help build and construct the identity of nurses. This essay will also explore what it means to be a nurse and discuss how this has changed over time including the way we view nurses today in the 20th century. Nursing is an excellent setting to study the process of legitimizing a new professional role distinctiveness because there have been momentous changes over…show more content…
However, these concepts have been developed over time and are reflections of great nurses before that have passed on their knowledge. Hope is the first thing a person may lose when they become sick or in times of grief or fear. Webster dictionary describes hope as "to cherish a desire with anticipation" and archaically defined as "a feeling of trust". Nurses need to provide hope to their patients and ensure the patient does not develop that terrible feeling of hopelessness. Many numbers of modern nursing literature now focus on the concepts of hope. Giving recognition to the importance and possible therapeutic value it may have on a patient's life, recovery and wellbeing (Cutcliffe, J 2002). If assisting a patient or family with a small glimmer of hope would add recovery or encourage them to cope with the current situation, then that should be a core value that nurses uphold in the same light as professionalism or autonomy. Quoting John R Cutcliffe "If hope provides one with a sense that one has a future and also enables one to cope with events in the present, then it is a logical state of being"(Cutcliffe, J 2002). The concept of hope within nursing can be traced back to the 18th-19th century when Florence Nightingale transformed nursing and provided much hope for patients ravaged by war and illness. "Even in the second half of the 20th-century
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