Week 2 Discussion: Nightingale Information New to You (Graded)

Roma and classmates,

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.

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. 

I remember my first day in nursing school, the first 2 hours were used in discussing nursing and its history. What I learned and will never forget from that lecture is learning that Nursing at one point was a profession looked down upon & that Florence Nightingale was a pioneer in nursing education and all she did for the nursing profession during her days.

This week’s lesson piqued my interest as soon as I saw the topic. The name Florence Nightingale is not an uncommon one especially among nurses as she is known as the founder of modern nursing who changed the image of nursing in the 1800s (Judd and Sitzman, 2014). Some of her legacies emerged particularly during the Crimean War while working hands-on 15-20 hours every day from simple tasks such as making bandages and scrubbing floors to tending to the injured and sick soldiers where she also earned a name as the “lady with the Lamp” (Foster, 2010).

One of the things that struck me the most was her actions in the Crimean War where she emphasized the importance of sanitation and proper good hygiene. She worked day and night, along with the nurses and the soldiers’ wives, to improve the condition of the hospital in terms of cleanliness by washing clothes and linens, cleaning bedpans and toilets, scrubbing pretty much everything and anything that can be cleaned, which greatly reduced the mortality rate (Stevenson, 2010). During the first semester of the nursing program, the importance of hand hygiene was heavily emphasized and continued to be given importance even to this day as the effect of COVID 19 on the world. I am just pleased to learn that Nightingale realized it back then and took an action and reformed the way hospitals and such were run. She changed the way of nursing and made a huge contribution not just in our career but to the overall healthcare system and patient outcome. In my own practice, we already implement good hand hygiene which is very important hygiene in our present-day because of the pandemic going on and this does not apply to nurses alone, it applies to everybody, importance of hand hygiene and sanitation which helps a lot in preventing the spread of infection and most importantly the deadly virus raving the world presently, but learning of Nightingale’s contributions encourages me, even more, to continue to strive in providing excellent holistic quality care to my patients and their families.

Professor and Class,
When it comes to Florence Nightingale, I feel like we hear her name so much, but we do not always appreciate how much she has done for our profession. She was the reason that nursing is the respectable profession that it is today instead of a scummy job that anyone could do. From reading the lessons this week it is apparent that Florence not only shaped the future of nursing, but also that she had an intelligent and calculated plan of doing so. Prior to this week’s lesson I had thought that she was only part of the war processes and making changes to promote positive outcomes in soldiers. I now know that she funded the first nursing school that was created to teach nurses how to do their job as well as giving them real life experience in the hospitals. I also did not know that her educational models were so successful that it was copied by other schools when her original idea of a nursing school was mocked and faced a lot of push back from the medical world. I also found that it was interesting that she essentially is the founder of evidence-based nursing because of her efforts in the war and how she recorded data to prove that her interventions were successful in improving patient/solider outcomes (CCN, 2020). As we know, evidence-based learning comes from data supporting evidence. Florence Nightingale was an avid mathematician who analyzed many things during her studies. 
Every time we chart, we are essentially documenting data so that we can see what interventions we can do to improve patient outcomes just as Florence did during the Crimean war. “From patient observations, time and dose of medication, to falls and antimicrobial resistance, nurses collect data all the time” (Florence Nightingale’s life and legacy, 2020). Without Florence and her revolutionary idea to make a credible profession of nursing we would not have the revolutionary healthcare system that we have today. Before it was treat how we have been treating and she was the one who made us question if that was enough. She was the person who discovered that more people were dying of things that could have been prevented than should have been and then was the pioneer for change. Without her revolutionary approaches to the nursing profession including founding a school and continuing to push for nursing reform, we would not have the amazing profession of nursing that we do today. 

Chamberlain College of Nursing. (2020). Week 2 lesson. Retrieved from: https://chamberlain.instructure.com/courses/71197/pages/week-2-lesson-the-nightingale-years?module_item_id=10094031
Florence nightingale’s life and legacy in objects: 200 years on from her birth, we look at Florence Nightingale’s life and how her approaches to nursing have translated to today’s profession. (2020) Nursing Standard (2014+).