Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Chapter 1: The Evolution of Nursing

March 28, 2021

Nursing is one of today’s most exciting and challenging careers. Each nurse receives a formal education in an institution with a set curriculum that has been approved by each state’s board of nursing. Degrees and certificates are awarded by the school. Licensure is conferred by the individual state. On completion of the nursing program, individuals are eligible to request permission to sit for the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX®). The nursing profession has not always had such an organized body of knowledge or a regulated process for licensure. To best understand the position of today’s nursing profession and nursing education, a look back at the history of nursing is warranted.

The History of Nursing and Nursing Education

The word nursing can be traced back to the Latin word nutrire, “to nourish.” Throughout the ages, the perception of nursing has evolved as the profession has grown and changed. Many influences have led to changes in nursing and nursing education: how we as a society care for the sick, the way people live, the relationship of people to their environment, the search for knowledge and truth through education, and technologic advances. Nursing evolves as society and health care needs and policies change. The field responds and adapts to these changes, meeting new challenges as they arise.