19th Century Nursing EventsExamples of Early Nursing Research
Rhonda Anderson--Kendria Gouty--Laarni Herbert---Abimbola Maurice
The historical events of the 19th century laid a foundation for nursing research. In some cases, the research was formulated into nursing theory written by individuals whose theories are studied and used in modern day. Despite the rudimentary ways of experimental study and research methods, many hypothesis were born in their simplest forms during those times. Nursing theory was formulated based on taking care of the sick during epidemic illness, war, and social service. When conducting a study of this century, Florence Nightingale is coined as the first nurse who conducted nursing research. Prior to Nightingale, many religious institutions such as churches and monasteries, provided free care to the sick and homeless. The religious involvement during the early 1800s still contributed to the formation of nursing theory by use of human interaction and discovery of the human condition. The early nurses were Catholic Nuns, religious sisters, and missionaries providing care based on what they experience first hand and adapting to improve their practice. The historical events caused a rise in the need for a professional nurse and to continue taking care of the sick and needy based on reliable research practice.

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1832Asiatic Cholera in Ireland
Sister Catherine McAuley formed the Religious Sisters of Mercy. Her community service included physical care and emotional consolation. She coined the term "careful nursing" suggesting that it was important to "...relieve the distress first and to endeavor by every practical means to promote the cleanliness, ease, and comfort of the patient. The nurse should speak in an easy, soothing, impressive manner so as not to embarrass or fatigue the poor patient." Sister McAuley educated the patients on proper self-care and nurturing the person in his entirety; mind, body, and soul. She felt that when careful nursing techniques were used, it increased the overall well-being of the patient and impacted positively on community health. When Asiatic cholera in Ireland was rampant, using her techniques, many patients survived. The death rate where McAuley worked and supervised the nursing staff, was only 30%, lower than any other hospitals (Meehan, 2003).
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1836German Lutheran Deaconess Motherhouse Founded
Daughters of elite were trained to be missionaries (nurses) to provide spiritual support, aid in social services, and give physical care to the indigent communities. Theodor Fliedner, a Protestent Pastor, helped form several mother houses. The programs allowed women to leave the home and participate in training. Fliedner, after working with the poor and sick, hypothesized that "material and spiritual impoverishment were closely related". Previously, Fliedner was concerned about the conditions of the German prisons. He requested to be incarcerated in order to improve the health conditions of the inmates. His request was denied but he was able to expose himself to the brutal and dirty environments of the prisons. Because of his field work, he opened a women's prison and provided the prisoner with a sanitary place to live (Christianity, 2007).

1841Dorothea DixSocial Reformer
Dorothea Dix started the campaign to improve conditions for the mentally ill. Dorothea Dix was a teacher. She pitied the female prisoners and helped them by volunteering to teach Sunday school for twenty local female inmates. She visited a jail and saw how poorly the inmates were treated. The prisoners suffered horribly with conditions such as poor sleeping conditions, lack of heat, filthy or no clothing provided, and daily beatings. The first campaign she fought was to have inmates fully clothed and to incorporate stoves in each prison cell. Dorothea Dix traveled across the country to study and gathered evidence to improve conditions for women inmates. She lobbied to pass the bill, which supported the improvement of inmate living and also assistance for the mentally ill. The first state mental hospital was built in New Jersey. Dorothea Dix continued her crusade through the British Isles, France, Greece, Russia, Canada, Japan, and in the United States where many hospitals were built in these countries. Dorothea Dix formed the Army Nursing Corps. Women volunteered for the nursing corps under the influence of Dorothea Dix in an effort to raise money for medical supplies and continued inspections for a clean environment ("Dorothea Dix Biography", 2010).

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1842Educational Institution of Evangelical Nurses FoundedKaiserwerth, Germany
Friederike Fliedner founded the Educational Institution of Evangelical Nurses. Her nursing research with the community encouraged her to write a textbook which discusses nursing thought still practiced in modern day such as strict hygiene. With the help of her husband, Theodor Fliedner, who was well-known for his assistance in the conditions of prisons during that time, they both developed an educational institution, mentoring "deaconesses" who essentially were women being trained to care for the sick and needy. The work of the Fliedners left an impact in Germany to this day with many institutions for the mentally ill, homeless assistance shelters, and academic environments who have named their facilities after Friederike and Theodor (LVR, 2010).
Florence Nightingale
1854Crimean War
Florence Nightingale arrived in Constantinople and became director of a small British Hospital. Nightingale discovered deplorable conditions of the solders that were wounded. The soldiers were viewed as lower class that did not deserve proper medical treatment. Faced with obstacles, Nightingale eventually changed their attitudes and through a fund with the London Times raised enough funds to purchase proper medical supplies. Nightingale’s prior observation and research led this effort as she knew if the wounds were not properly treated, soldiers’ conditions would deteriorate with the possibility of death. After this act of compassion, Nightingale was known as “The Lady with the Lamp" ("A Celebration of Women Writers", n.d.). hyperlink

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Clara Barton1861American Red Cross Formation
Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1861. She was a pioneer and humanitarian. She risked her life at the age of 40 to bring supplies and support to soldiers in the filed during the Civil War. During the war, Clara Barton provided clothing, food, and supplies to the sick and wounded soldiers through organizations like the United States Sanitary Commission. She was never affiliated with any agency or group. These soldiers were known to her as "her boys". The soldiers were men she had grown up with and even taught some of them during their years in school. She dedicated her life to not only provide treatment but also provide personal support to the men in hopes to keep their spirits alive. The soldiers appreciated her "mothering" ways and did things for them such as write letters, encourage prayer, provide emotional support, and read stories. Her courage provided medical treatment, comfort, and sustenance for the wounded in the face of danger. Clara Barton expanded the Red Cross mission internationally. She designed the red cross symbol that is recognized today. In 1881, The Red Cross flag was flown for the first time ("Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross", 2011).

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1879Diversity History of Black Nursing and Mary Mahoney, the first African American Professional Nurse
The term "Black Nightingales" is often synonymous with the African American females who contributed to nursing history and science in the 1800s. Black women created an impact in the nursing profession by assisting the country through slavery, war, and peace. Not only did these women provide care for their families but also to their slave owners and fellow slaves. "Nurse" was not a term used to describe these women; however, the services that were provided by them were described as such. Prior to the Civil War, several males and females were already practicing the art of nursing. A black male nurse from New Orleans made his impact into the medical profession by buying his freedom as a slave, continuing his education by enrolling in medical school, and becoming the first black physician in the United States. His name was Dr. James Derham. The women during those times were entering a social movement to becoming educated, acquiring acceptance as a professional, and dispelling any racial prejudice. The contribution of black females in nursing continued throughout the course of history. Mary Eliza Mahoney worked at a local hospital where she cooked, cleaned, and washed. After several years, the hospital recognized her ability as a hard worker and allowed her to assist nurses as an aide despite the lack of formal training. The hospital had a nursing school where Mahoney was accepted and graduated in 1879. She became the first black nurse to graduate from an American school of nursing. She paved the way for African American women to enter into a professional field and earn a degree in nursing. Her diligence and persistence for her personal professional allowed for the integration of black females into predominantly white nursing societies and associations. By 1891, at Providence Hospital in Chicago, pioneer black surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams founded the first hospital school of nursing. Today, black nurses work at all professional levels: researchers, elected congressional officials, appointed military and government positions, academic presidents, hospital executives. Nursing continues to grow and support black females in the field with the formation of groups such as the NACGN (National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses) (East Carolina University, 2011).hyperlink


1886Development of District Nursing Society
This society was developed by a group of women in Philadelphia as they saw a need to care for the sick in their homes. The society was later renamed, Visiting Nurse Society of Philadelphia, by Mrs. William Furness Jenks founder in 1887. She developed this voluntary organization to provide care for the chronically ill patients who were turned away from hospitals or other clinics. Church and relief organizations helped fund food, clothing, and bed linen for the sick. Tuberculosis during the 19th century was considered the white plague and was the leading cause of death. The nurses developed ways to isolate the patients and taught the family members methods to reduce contamination. The nurses also performed other duties that involved keeping the area of the sick clean and removing unnecessary clutter. These duties were performed as a way of promoting cleanliness and order to impress those who would visit the sick and to promote health (Visiting Nurse Association Philadelphia, n.d.).

1896American Nurses Association
In 1896 The Nurses Association of Associated Alumnae of the United States held its first convention with a handful of members. By 1911, the nurses' association became the American Nurses Association (ANA) as we know it today. Historically, the members were not licensed professionals because of the lack of nursing regulation and law during the 19th century. Over a hundred years later, the ANA membership has grossly multiplied into an organization deeply rooted in professionalism and quality research and education. Many well-known nurses have published articles, written books, established regulations for nurses to practice under, formulated curriculum for nursing credentialing and study, and mainly became a voice for the nursing profession in legislation. The ANA believes in nurse advocacy and is accepting of all who share the vision of nurses locally and worldwide (American Nurse Association, 2011).


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American Association for the history of Nursing, Inc. (2011).Retrieved from http://www.aahn.org/gravesites/richards.html

American Journal of Nursing. The leading voice of nursing since 1900. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.lww.com/American-Journal-of-Nursing
American Nurses Association. Nursing World. (2011). Retrieved fromhttp://nursingworld.org/FunctionalMenuCategories/AboutANA/History
Christianity.com. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.christianity.com/ChurchHistory/11630440/
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Meehan, T. (2003). Careful nursing: a model for contemporary nursing practice. Journal Of Advanced Nursing,44(1), 99-107.
Visiting Nurse Society Philadelphia. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nursing.upenn.edu/history/Documents/Visiting%20Nurse%20Society%20of%20Philadelphia.pdf