NR 393 Week 2 Discussion: Nightingale Information New to You

NR 393 Week 2 Discussion: Nightingale Information New to You

NR 393 Week 2 Discussion: Nightingale Information New to You

After reading about Florence Nightingale, I have to admit that I did not know the extensive contributions she made to nursing, such as with being a researcher, statistician, teacher, opening a school, paving the way for women to be recognized in a profession, an advocate, initiating nursing practices, and professing the attributes that a nurse should possess.

One of Florence Nightingale’s areas of leadership that I did not expect to read about, is in being a statistician.  I read about her being from an upper-class family, and that she was good in math in writing, so maybe I should not be so surprised, as she did receive an education.  Being the first nurse to accomplish many firsts, Nightingale collected data and statistically analyzed it.  This way she could vindicate treatment and policy changes to improve the outcome of patients.  (Judd & Sitzman, 2014).  There were no nursing rules and procedures to follow before Florence Nightingale’s time, so with Nightingale’s statistical analysis expertise, she was paving the way for effective patient care.  Today, with the nursing process, we implement and evaluate treatment, in hopes of improving patient outcomes with evidence-based practices.  Although Florence Nightingale did not know it, she was using a form of evidence-based practices with her medical statistical analyses.   

Nightingale also used statistical analysis with the building of her hospital, modernization of nursing, sanitary improvements, surgical operations, and in advising governments on Army health reform.  (Aravind & Chung, 2010).  With the building of her hospital, illnesses, ages, and the set up of wards were analyzed, to name some.  Florence Nightingale was always concerned with cleanliness and sanitation, and her statistical analysis justified the importance.  In surgical operations, Nightingale was looking at outcomes and hospital expenditures.  These factors are still important today.  Today, in building a hospital, units are set up and even rooms are designed for ergonomics and efficiency.  Cleanliness and sanitation are still priorities that are provided in patient care.  Hospital expenditures are always under scrutiny.  And of course, positive surgical outcomes are always a goal.

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I never knew of all the contributions that Florence Nightingale contributed to the nursing profession.  I have respect for all that she did in paving the way for nurses then and today.  Nightingale proved her dedication to nursing with being involved in all aspects of nursing.  I am glad she investigated patient data and used statistics to evaluate what improves patient’s outcomes (what we now call today, evidence-based practices).  Using statistical analyses proves that she was a forward thinker.    Florence Nightingale made sure that she covered everything involved with nursing, such as in providing nursing care, improving patient outcomes, and making nursing a respectable profession. 


Aravind, M., & Chung, K. C. (2010). Evidence-based medicine and hospital reform: tracing origins back to Florence Nightingale. Plastic and reconstructive surgery125(1), 403–409. to an external site.

Judd, D., & Sitzman, K.  (2014).  A history of American nursing.  Trends and eras.  Second Edition. 

One big thing that is focused heavily on at my SNF’s is the prevention of bedsores, as well as prevention of constipation. As the nursing supervisor, one of the things that I have to get out to all my nurses is a list of residents who haven’t had a bowel movement in 2-3 days, and the nurses are responsible to turn into me, by the end of their shift, what they did or didn’t do, the rationale, and if the resident had a bowel movement during their shift. While I thought, why is this so critically important to my daily tasks, we have had residents pass away from preventable disease process from not having bowel movements! It is something that is easily missed, and residents can go 5-6, even more, days without having an adequate bowel movement. This is truly important as many residents are on g-tube feedings, and any back up in the intestines can lead to pressure on the stomach, regurgitation of formula or food, aspiration, and complications such as bowel obstruction and bowel rupture. We have seen huge improvements in general wellbeing, appetites, as well as ensuring our residents are having bowel movements since we started this process. Being able to evaluate the charts before and after starting this task for the nursing supervisor, we have seen huge improvements with many factors in our residents. Honestly, if I have to take a few moments in my first 30 minutes of being at work to get this paperwork to my nurses, but am seeing less illness, less hospital trips and stays, as well as overall wellbeing for my residents, it’s well worth my time! 

I thought it was interesting to read your post regarding preventative measures because I feel like that was what Florence was all about in her time! Not what the future was like but what they could do in the current situation to make the outcome positive. Something so simple as tracking bowel movements can prevent a possible negative outcome such as washing dressings also could prevent a negative outcome in her day. Even despite all of her data collection and research it still took many years for her practice to be widely accepted and her studies to be considered into research. “Many physicians opposed this school and training, believing that nurses were little more than housemaids” (CCN, 2020). It took years of research and dedication for her practices to be understood and for nurses to have a solid foundation to build a profession which is why it is so important to constantly be observant because without our hard work and attention to detail, our patients would suffer from preventable conditions.



Chamberlain College of Nursing. (2020). Week 2 lesson. Retrieved from:

Thank you for your sharing your post.  I also was not aware of Florence Nightingale being a statistician.   I always often wondered before why statistics was required for nursing.  I now see the for using it in our evidence-based practice when performing metrics and quality improvements.  There is so much involved in nursing and Florence Nightingale’s contributions truly set a foundation for us and the future nurses.   I believe people choose nursing as a calling and to me it is not a job, but a part of who I am.  This must have been how Nightingale felt which is seen in her life’s works.  “Nightingale became the first member of the Statistical Society of London and because of her systematical collection and documentation of health and illness data, has provided the basis for improvements of public health.”  (Judd, D.; 2013) We can learn from her examples by producing supporting evidence in our clinical practice today when we would like to institute a change instead of just complaining about an issue. 



Judd, D.; 2013. A History of American Nursing, 2nd edition; Jones & Bartlett Learning. to an external site.