Nursing in the 1860’s & 1870’s

During this time, many outstanding people volunteered their time to be nurses in the Civil War. In some places, women were still not wanted in the army to be nurses. Dorothea Dix fought hard to get women viewed as great nurses in authority’s eyes. Clara Burton refused to get paid for her services as did many others who volunteered their time. These Civil War nurses put their lives on the line. Annie Etheridge is a fabulous example of this as she went out on the battlefield on her horse with a saddlebag full of medical supplies. She even had her horse shot out from under her two times. These women were courageous as they left their children and lives behind to come and care for the injured and dying soldiers on the war front. They helped build bridges like Helen Gilson did as she went to go treat a troop which was strictly injured black men. They did everything in their power to help those who were most in need. These nurses were outstanding and their work ethic showed it. Nursing is a profession where compassion and determination are essential characteristics. We can look back to the nurses during this time period and always look up to them and their efforts for guidance. 

Nursing from 1830-1859

This week’s time period mainly focused on Florence Nightingale. Her efforts and determination helped women nurses become important in the Crimean War. She was a powerful leader as she sought to have everything run her way in the workplace. Throughout this time period, sanitation in the workplace was brought to light. There was many deaths during the war due to the place where the injured were brought. After the hospital environments were cleaned, the mortality rate was lowered to 2%. It is extremely important to remember to keep a clean work environment. It is also important to be a leader; however, I must also remember to be willing to be open to others as nursing is a team occupation. 

Nursing from 1800-1829

During this time period, there wasn’t any drastic changes to nursing. However, there was diseases that spread which caused the cleanliness of medical environments to be further improved. The War of 1812 and the Napoleonic wars were occurring at this time, so there were war nurses who would help in any way they could. Two known nurses of this time were Mary Ann Cole and Maria Hill.  They led and taught others to help save the wounded. They helped soldiers survive. War is continuously upon us, and women – nurses – like these help save many lives and families. They bring hope. I want to be a light to many as I will help those in need. There is so much, even little things, everyone can do that will make a difference. We can learn that from this time period as everyone’s efforts were shown through smaller gestures like bringing food to those soldiers who could not get it themselves. Individuals working together leads to unity which is extremely important in medical occupations. 

Nursing in the 17th & 18th Centuries

Nursing in the seventeenth and eighteenth century was different in different parts of the world. There were war nurses in America, parish nurses in London, and nurses who were thought of as witches other places. During these two hundred years, midwifery began to be a very important job. Women with experience would be asked to help assist in the birth. I find that extremely important as – even now – we look to those with more experience to help guide and be leaders to the younger, non-experienced workers. It is reassuring to me to know that trusting in others will help me succeed in my career as I learn from others. Another fact that made me feel comforted was the fact that back then, men would tie the blanket up to their neck and just use their hands to help deliver the complicated births. They would do that to show modesty. I find modesty to be an extremely important characteristic to show in the medical field, so the patients feel comfortable. Nurses, and others, should always respect patients. 


Nursing Prior to 1600 A.D.

Nursing before 1600 was not so different as it is now. Nursing used to be stopping the use of things that caused bad symptoms and using herbs and other treatment that improved ill conditions. Women were expected to give most of the care until the time where men became the authoritative figures. Nursing in the past is the same as now as we are always trying to figure out new treatments and find out what works best for individuals. Nursing has been modified throughout the years; however, the foundation has stayed the same. 

Nursing history is vital as that is what has given us the medical information we know now. We can always learn and improve what has been to better influence the future. I think knowing how medical practices have failed in the past will better help me succeed. We know we must have a clean and safe environment for those who are sick. We know what nursing students must be taught before being given the go-ahead to become a qualified nurse. Nurse is an important word to me as it means to nourish. I love helping others, and I think keeping in mind the true meaning of nurse will help me remember what the goal is for what I am willing to give and want to give. My knowledge will help save others’ lives.


About Me:

Hi! My name is Rebecca, and I will be blogging about my experiences as I learn about nursing. I was born and raised for about half of my life in Las Vegas, and then moved to Beaver Dam, Arizona, where there is not a single stop light – what a change! I graduated high school in 2016 with a class size of about 30 kids. I moved up to Provo to attend UVU where I’ve been at for a year, and I am extremely excited to continue learning and studying about nursing as I strive to achieve my goals. I will be posting updates about my feelings and thoughts as I go through my courses. Thanks for reading!