Historical Developments in Nursing Research and Utilization
Historical Developments in Nursing research and Utilization
Nursing has been struggling to become a research based profession since the times of Florence Nightingale. While this goal has long been widely recognized, nurses still strive to make the vision a reality. In the early years, nursing research was conducted mainly to improve patient care, and legitimize the profession to other academics (D'Antonio, 1997). Almost 100 years later, nursing research and utilization are increasingly being seen as a standard in nursing care.
We have learned significant lessons over the past 100 years, accepting the value and responsibility of nursing to actively participate in research activities that in turn drive healthcare quality for patients (D'Antonio, 1997). For this reason, it is important to look at where nursing research has come from. The purpose of this paper is to review five significant events that have had an impact on nursing research and utilization.
Nursing research first began with Florence Nightingale; she developed a series of hospital forms, to provide uniform and consistent medical information about patients. Nightingale's belief was that proper analysis of statistical data could identify the best treatments for certain illnesses, the number of days for treatment, and quantify mortality rates from various causes (Cohen, 1984).
During the Crimean War (1854 - 1856), Nightingale collected data and organized a record keeping system that calculated mortality rates. By February 1855 the mortality rate had dropped from 60% to 42.7% and then soon dropped to 2.2%. If this rate had continued, disease alone could have killed the entire British army in the Crimea (Cohen, 1984).
Florence Nightingale paved the road to an evolution in the nursing profession by establishing nursing research in the mid to late 1800's and by developing formal nursing education programs in the 1930's and 1940's (Burns...