It may surprise you that modern nursing is less than 200 years old. Prior to the quality of care many of us expect today, people preferred to forgo a formalized health care setting, considering nurses and hospitals to be far riskier than tending to illness or injury at home. Before the end of the 19th century, most nurses didn't have any formal training and were not highly educated.
However, this week we celebrate the great strides the nursing industry has made by championing National Nurses Week
. May 12th
concludes the celebration, which is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. In honor of the celebration, we’d like to thank:
Mary Ezra Mahoney who was the first African American woman to complete nursing training and become a registered nurse. She advocated for the rights of all black nurses and went on to co-found the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) in 1908.
Lillian Wald taught a class about at-home nursing and good hygiene to immigrant women on Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 1890s. She also helped establish the National Organization of Public Health Nursing, the National Women's Trade Union League to advocate for working women, and the Children's Bureau to help end child labor.
And last, but not least, Florence Nightingale, who laid the groundwork for modern nursing and established the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas' Hospital in 1860. Her experience in containing infectious disease in the Crimean War gave her the insight to establish this revolutionary institution.
Amid the celebration, it’s important to remember there’s still a shortage of nurses in the United States. A forecast in the American Journal of Medical Quality predicts a shortage of registered nurses
in many states, for a total shortage of 918,232 registered nurses by 2030.
In line with our mission
to change the way the world ages, we want to thank all of the nurses who have tirelessly dedicated themselves to improving the lives of others!