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History and

of Nursing

Presented By Aswathy Krishnan

MSc Nursing,(2008-2010)
Bombay Hospital College of Nursing
Why study History
 Looking Back gives you a vision
of where you want to go

 Provides an understanding of the

heritage behind Nursing as a

 Highlights the contributions of

eminent and inspirational nurses
towards development of the
nursing profession
Ancient civilizations
& Nursing
 Illness earlier was seen as “magic”, “sin” or

 During 700-600 B.C Sushruta Samhita was

written by the great surgeon Sushruta, who
 "the physician, the patient, the drugs and the nurse
are four feet of `Padas' of the medicine, upon which
the cure depends".

 The first nursing school started in India in

250 B.C. during Charaka's time and only
men were considered pure enough to be

 Other civilisations as Egyptians,

Babylonians, Hebrews, Greeks and Romans
also shows evidences of nursing care.
Ancient civilizations
& Nursing
 The earliest references to women
as nurses is to be found in the Old
testament (500 BC)
 And they journeyed from Bethel; and…
she had hard labour. And it came to pass,
when she was in hard labour, that the
midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shall
have this son . (Genesis 35).

 Hippocrates in the 5th century BC

known as “Father of Medicine”
 Hippocratic oath is from him
 Developed system of assessment,
observation, record keeping
 Developed terms prognosis,
diagnosis, cure
Early Christian Era (AD
 Women began nursing as an expression of
Christianity (acts of mercy)

 Women were recognized as important

members of community

 Phoebe—considered the first Deaconess and

visiting nurse

 Fabiola—was a wealthy Christian in Rome

and founded the first public hospital in Rome

 Paula -was a friend of Fabiola. She devoted

herself for the services of the sick. She built a
hospital for strangers, pilgrims, and travellers
and for the sick. She constructed a monastery
in Bethlehem. They gave good nursing care
for the sick.
Middle Ages(AD 476 –

 Throughout the middle ages, care

was provided primarily by religious
orders to sick and poor. The
monasteries became the places of
education, medical care and

 Knight Hospitaliers of St.

John’s of Jerusalem cared for the
injured on the battle field —their
symbol: a bright, Red Cross.
Knights organized nursing care
 Some of nurses were nuns and
Rennaisance(1500AD –
1850AD) - The dark period
of nursing.

 Rise of Protestantism meant that many

Catholic monasteries offering nursing care
and medicine was closed down.

 Nursing ceased to be valued as an

intellectual endeavour it lost much of its
economic support and social status

 The Protestants viewed the woman's place

as being in the home raising children.
Hence nurses of this period consists of
 Wayward” women of low status who became
“nurses” instead of going to jail
 Women of ill repute
 Poor, single women with no family or hope of

 Pastor Theodur Fliedner opened

the Kaiserwerth Deaconess
Institute—the first REAL nursing

 Its most famous student:

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale
 “Mother of Modern Nursing”

 Went to Kaiserwerth for 3


 On Oct. 21, 1854, left with 38

women for the Crimean War—
British casualties were high;
within 6 months, death rate
cut in half

 Made rounds at night with a

lamp “Lady of the Lamp”
Her accomplishments at Crimea
in two years included
 Death rate decreased drastically

 She established cleanliness and

sanitation rules

 Patients received special diets and plenty

of food

 Improved water supply

 Patients received proper nursing care

 Nightingale established a reputation

which allowed her to improve nursing
standards at home
Florence Nightingale
 Nightingale established nursing school at St.
Thomas’ Hospital, London upon return
 By 1887, Nightingale had her nurses working
in six countries and U.S.
 Nightingale developed basic philosophy re:
the profession of nursing different from other
existing programs
 Nightingale was a nurse, philosopher,
statistician, historian
 Today Nightingale is considered the founder
of modern nursing

 Military nursing was the earliest type of


 Florence Nightingale had a great

influence over nursing in India
especially in the army.

 St Stephens Hospital at Delhi was the

first one to begin training the Indian
girls as nurses in 1867.

 1871, the first School of Nursing was

started in Government General Hospital,

 1897, Dr.B.C.Roy did great work in

raising the standards of nursing and
that of male and female nurses.
 1908, the trained nurses association of
India was formed

 In 1926, Madras State formed the first

registration council

 The first four year basic Bachelor Degree

program were established in 1946 at the
college of nursing in Delhi and Vellore.

 The Indian Nursing Council was passed by

ordinance on December 31st 1947. The
council was constituted in 1949.

 First master’s degree course, a two-year

postgraduate program was begun in 1960
at the College of Nursing, Delhi.

 1963, the School of Nursing in Trivandrum,

instituted the first two years post certificate
Bachelor Degree program.