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Historical Leaders Impact on Practice Today, Coursework Example

Pages: 1

Words: 980

Coursework

Introduction

Nurse leaders throughout history have emerged as key figures and policymakers in establishing successful nursing practice methods and improved quality of care, using new and emerging technologies and strategic change in advancing their agendas. It is important to recognize past nurse leaders and their contributions to the success of nursing practice and to build upon these experiences to promote higher quality of care in the modern era. From a historical perspective, remarkable accomplishments have been achieved that have supported the continued growth and development of nursing practice for almost two centuries. Therefore, it is necessary to examine some of these key leaders and to identify their primary accomplishments in order to promote the continued growth and advancement of nursing practice. In particular, the contributions of Florence Nightingale and Jean Watson will be examined to better understand the dimensions of nursing practice in the 21st Century.

Analysis

Florence Nightingale serves a primary example of strength and courage in the face of adversity, as she sought to overcome her personal circumstances and to fight for the greater good of patients (Garafalo and Fee, 2010). She sought to establish reform in hospital environments and developed a new model that expanded the level of care and humanity offered to patients (Garafalo and Fee, 2010). Florence Nightingale is often considered as one of the key facilitators of advanced care and treatment for patients, as she recognized the humanistic needs of patients and the importance of providing compassionate care at all times (Garafalo and Fee, 2010). These efforts were essential in supporting new strategies to improve patient care and an understanding of the scope of nursing practice (Garafalo and Fee, 2010).

Florence Nightingale also exemplifies the importance of clinical leadership skills and her contributions to clinical skill development and growth. From this perspective, clinical leadership is an essential requirement that enables nurses to develop their clinical skills and to transition into leadership roles in their own right over time (Stanley and Sherratt, 2010). In addition, these skills are applicable to many different patient populations, including adults and children who face a variety of health challenges (Stanley and Sherratt, 2010). Nightingale address many of the gaps in clinical skills and knowledge that were lacking during her era and sought to be an effective leader in supporting expanded education for nurses working in a clinical capacity (Stanley and Sherratt, 2010). During Nightingale’s time, it was very difficult for nurses to gain respect and to acquire proper training in an environment where nurses had not yet achieved the status that they have today; therefore, it is important to recognize the advancements that Nightingale made in these areas (Stanley and Sherratt, 2010).

Caring has become a critical component of nursing practice through the contributions of Jean Watson, a nurse theorist. Watson’s perspectives represent the different dimensions of caring that support effective patient care and wellbeing for patients as provided by nurses (Chick et.al, 2012). In this capacity, nurses must demonstrate their ability to care for patients in a manner that supports Watson’s original objectives to facilitate positive outcomes for patients by caring for their wellbeing and their entire humanity (Chick et.al, 2012). Caring is now considered a critical component of nursing practice, but this was not always the case and has grown in scope and magnitude with Watson’s theory and practice (Chick et.al, 2012). This perspective has attracted much attention because it conveys the importance of caring accompanied by clinical skills as key drivers of nursing practice and quality of care (Chick et.al, 2012). Watson’s approach to nursing has benefited many generations of nurses and patients and has had a significant influence on nursing practice methods by advancing caring as a science to drive nursing success in all areas of patient care (Chick et.al, 2012).

Finally, nurse leaders throughout history have created theoretical perspectives that are well-respected and supported by significant advancements in nursing practice (Valentine, 2002). The ability to grow into the nursing profession and to demonstrate adequate competency are essential to the success of nurses throughout the world and are driven by theoretical perspectives that drive quality of care and compassion within practice settings (Valentine, 2002). These approaches to nursing have supported leadership opportunities and success stories throughout the history of nursing practice and convey the importance of new challenges that have a generous influence on the type and quality of care that has emerged over time (Valentine, 2002). Nurses now represent the past, present, and future in unique forms and have a significant bearing on how patient care is conducted; as a result, they must continue to look to their current leadership and past leaders in an effort to promote strength, unity, and confidence in the care and treatment provided by all nurses (Valentine, 2002).

Conclusion

Nursing leaders throughout history have been instrumental voices in advancing practice methods and in developing theories that are applied to a variety of nursing settings. Therefore, nursing education and practice settings must incorporate different perspectives in order to achieve high quality patient care and treatment at all times. The work of Florence Nightingale and Jean Watson represent nursing theories and practice methods in a positive manner and also support the primary objectives of modern nursing care to promote patient care in a manner that is consistent with these original theories. Nurses must look to past leaders in order to develop effective methods to achieve optimal quality of care in the modern era.

 References

Chick, K., Negley, K., Sievers, B., and Tammel, K. (2012). Enhancing patient education through clinical nurse specialist collaboration. Clinical Nurse Specialist: The Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice, 26(6), 317-322.

Garafalo, M.E., and Fee, E. (2010). Florence Nightingale (1820-1910): feminism and hospital reform. American Journal of Public Health, 100(9), 1588.

Stanley, D., and Sherratt, A. (2010). Lamp light on leadership: clinical leadership and Florence Nightingale. Journal of Nursing Management, 18, 115-121.

Valentine, S.O.  (2002). Nursing leadership and the new nurse. The University of Arizona College of Nursing, retrieved from http://juns.nursing.arizona.edu/articles/Fall%202002/Valentine.htm

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