Timeline of nursing

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This is a timeline of nursing, describing significant events in the development of the field, as well as mentioning notable related organizations around the world.

Big picture

Time period Development summary
< 19th century Palliative care, a related field to nursing, has its origins well before the 19th century. Despite the fact that, as early as the fourth and fifth centuries, men have worked as nurses, the history of nursing is almost exclusively represented by women.[1] In Europe, nurses during the Middle Ages are mostly untrained women helping with delivery of babies or serving as wet nurses. Other formal “nurses” are often nuns who are called to care for the sick and the poor.[2]
19th century Modern nursing begins with the pioneering work of English nurse Florence Nightingale. In the second half of the century, nurses begin wearing uniforms. At the end of the century, the idea of higher education for nurses emerges, and nurse anesthetists begin practicing.[3]
20th century Nursing evolves toward a scientific, research-based defined body of knowledge and practice. Affiliation of nursing education with universities consolidates. Expanded and advanced practice roles emmerge.[4] A larger and more expanded role for nurses develops along the century, with a number of distinct areas introduced in which nurses could specialize in, including such specialty care as orthopedics, trauma, critical care, pediatrics and neonatal nursing. Throughout the years, nursing would also see a shift away from the typical description of a doctors assistant to performing many of these duties themselves, including everything from performing procedures to prescribing medication. Today, nurses can choose to receive training in over 200 unique healthcare specialties.[5]

Full timeline

Year Event type Details Location
1113 Field development The Knights of Malta begin an “Order of the Hospital” on the island of Malta, as a work of hospice. The order is sanctioned by Pope Paschal II.[2] Malta
1247 Field development Bethlem Royal Hospital opens in London as an institution to care for those with mental illness. The hospital would remain open for over 750 years.[2] Unitd Kingdom
1264 Field development In The Rule and Statues of the Teutonic Knights, Book of the Order, the Knights enter into their rules that women are to do the nursing because service to livestock and sick persons is better performed by women.[1]
1550 Field development The Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God opens in Granada, Spain to care for the poor and needy.[2] Spain
1645 Field development The Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal is established by Jeanne Mance, a French nurse settles in the Canadian New France. It is the first hospital in North America and later would see several milestones; including the first nephrectomy and the first femur transplant.[2]
1837 Field development A short nurse training program is introduced in Guangdong, China.[6] China
1839 Organization The Nursing Society of Philadelphia is created.[7] United States
1850 Field development Florence Nightingale, from England, begins her training as a nurse at the Institute of St. Vincent de Paul at Alexandria, Egypt. Florence Nightingale is widely considered to be the founder of modern nursing.[8] Women’s association with nursing is reaffirmed when Florence Nightingale firmly establishes it as a women’s occupation. To her, every woman is a nurse, and women who enter nurse training are doing only what comes naturally to them as women.[1] Egypt
1853 Field development Florence Nightingale, along with 38 other nurses, is recruited to serve in the Crimean War. The nurses are employed by Secretary of War, Sidney Herbert, a close ally and confidant of Nightingale.[2]
1859 Literature (book) Florence Nightingale publishes Notes on Nursing, an early instruction manual for nurses.[9]
1860 Organization (nursing school) The Nightingale Training School for nurses opens in England and soon becomes successful. This would lead to a new public image of nurses as professionals.[9][2] United Kingdom
1861 Field development Nurses begin wearing uniforms consisting of floor-length outfits with starched aprons, sleeve cuffs and collars.[2]
1873 Organization (nursing school) The Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing is founded in New York City. It is the first nursing school in the United States to be founded on the principles set forth by Florence Nightingale.[9] United States
1885 Organization (nursing school) The first nurse-training institute in Japan is established.[10] Japan
1893 Field development The World’s fair in Chicago introduces the idea of higher education for nurses.[11] United States
1899 Organization The International Council of Nurses is founded. The group is formed between the United States, Britain and Germany as an organization to advance the profession of nursing.[2]
1899 Organization The Danish Nurses' Organization is founded.[12] Denmark
1900 Literature (journal) The first edition of the American Journal of Nursing is published. It would become a forum for research activities and updates within the nursing profession.[2] United States
1908 Organization The United States Naval Nursing Corps is established by the United States Congress.[2] United States
1908 Organization The Canadian Nurses Association is established.[13] Canada
1909 Organization The American Red Cross Nursing Service is established.[14] United States
1909 Organization (nursing school) TheUniversity of Minnesota School of Nursing is established, creating the first university-based nurse training program, and awarding a baccalaureate degree to students that complete a three-year program.[9] United States
1909 Organization The New Zealand Trained Nurses’ Association is founded.[15] New Zeland
1916 Organization (nursing school) The Royal College of Nursing is founded in London. The organization supports and protects nurses while promoting the academic and professional advancement within the nursing profession.[2][16] United Kingdom
1920 Field development The first baccalaureate nursing program opens at Peking Union Medical College.[6] China
1922 Organization The Philippine Nurses Association is founded.[17] Philippines
1922 Field development A national diploma in nursing is offered in France.[5] France
1922 Organization The Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing is founded.[18] United States
1923 Field development Study known as the Goldman Report concludes that nurses should ideally should be trained at Universities, according to academic standards.[9]
1923 Organization (nursing school) The Yale University School of Nursing is founded as the first independent nursing school, based on a University system. All other schools up until this time would associated with hospitals.[2] United States
1923 Field development Ethel Gordon Fenwick becomes the first Registered Nurse in the United Kingdom.[2] United Kingdom
1924 Organization The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation is founded.[19] Australia
1929 Organization The Japanese Association of Nurses is established.[10] Japan
1929 Organization The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is established. [20] Ireland
1931 Organization The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists is founded.[21] United States
1937 Organization The Society of Registered Male Nurses is founded in England, with the purpose to promote the professionalism of men in nursing and to act against men's exclusion from the field (around the time, men are relegated to asylum nursing, where their superior strength is required to restrain violent patients).[1] United Kingdom
1946 Organization The Japanese Nursing Association is founded.[22] Japan
1948 Organization The Finnish Union of Practical Nurses is established.[23] Finland
1948 Study The Carnegie Foundation publishes study titled Nursing for the Future, (known as Brown Report), recommending that nursing schools be placed in academic settings rather than hospitals.[24] United States
1952 Field development The first four-year university course on nursing is introduced in Japan.[10] Japan
1952 Field development A Columbia University project introduces the concept of two-year, associate degree nursing programs as a research-based plan to test this new education model. The curriculum is composed of half nursing classes and half general-education classes, with clinical experiences gained in the community.[9] United States
1952 Literature (book) Hildegarde Peplau publishes Interpersonal Relations in Nursing, which introduces the first systematic theoretic framework for psychiatric nursing and focuses in the nurse-patient relationship.[25]
1953 Field development V. Fry introduces the term nursing diagnosis to describe a step necessary in developing a nursing care plan.[26]
1955 Organization The American College of Nurse-Midwives is established. It represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs).[27] United States
1958 Field development Nursing practise is first described as a four-stage nursing process by Ida Jean Orlando.[28]
1959 Organization The Japan Nursing Federation is established as a political lobbying organization.[10] Japan
1962 Field development NASA announces the Space Nursing Program which requires applicants to have a previous bachelor's degree in nursing. Although no nurse has been to space to date, they do play a large role in monitoring the health of astronauts on the ground.[29] United States
1967 Organization The Japanese Nursing Society is established.[10] Japan
1971 Organization the American Assembly for Men in Nursing is established, in response to problems of sexism preventing men nurses from playing a role in professional nursing organizations.[1] United States
1973 Organization The American Academy of Nursing is formed.[30] United States
1978 Organization The United States National Council of State Boards of Nursing is founded as a nonprofit organization with the goal of ensuring patient safety and quality healthcare in medical facilities within the country.[31] United States
1980 Organization The United States National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses is founded in Missouri.[32] United States
1980 Literature (book) Fundamentals of Nursing, by Sue Delaune, is published. It presents fundamental nursing concepts, and step-by-step clinical procedures.[33]
1981 Organization The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is established.[34] Canada
1982 Organization The North American Nursing Diagnosis Association is established.[35] United States
1984 Organization The United States Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation is established for the development, administration, and evaluation of programs for certification in oncology nursing.[36] United States
1985 Organization The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners is founded.[2][37] United States
1985 Literature (book) Fundamentals of Nursing, by Anne Griffin Perry and Patricia Ann Potter, is published. It provides base for nursing education.[38]
1985 Field development The first nursing minimum data set (NMDS) is developed in the United States, in response to the absence of nursing information in healthcare information databases. NMDS is designed to facilitate the extraction of essential, core minimum data elements to describe nursing practice.[39] United States
1985 Field development The House of Delegates of the American Nurses' Association recommends that “associate nurse” be established as the legal title for the person licensed to practice technical nursing. The educational requirement for such licensure should be an associate degree with a major in nursing awarded by state-chartered institutes of learning, such as community or junior colleges.[27] United States
1985–1989 Field development Several schools in the United States start offering master's level programs in nusing informatics.[40] United States
1986 Organization The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is founded.[41] United States
1986 Literature (book) Nursing Care Plans: Diagnoses, Interventions, and Outcomes, by Meg Gulanick and Judith L. Myers, is published. It compiles care plans specific to patient problems requiring hospitalization.[42]
1987 Organization The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care is founded.[43] United States
1988 Literature (book) Davis's Drug Guide for Nurses, by Judith Hopfer Deglin and April Hazard Vallerand, is published. It delivers information needed to administer medications safely.[44]
1989 Organization The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants is founded.[45] United States
1989 Organization The International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists is established, aimed at developing standards of education, practice, and a code of ethics in the specialty.[46]
1990 Nursing Day is officially declared in Japan, on May 12, coinciding with Florence Nightingale’s birthday.[2] Japan
1991 Organization The U.S. Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses is established.[47] United States
1991 Organization The American Nurses Credentialing Center is incorporated with aims at offering nursing specialty certification.[48] United States
1991 Literature (book) Nursing Care Plans & Documentation, by Lynda Carpenito, is published.[49]
1991 Organization The Space Nursing Society is founded as an international space advocacy organization devoted to space nursing and space exploration by registered nurses.[29]
1993 Literature (book) Nursing Diagnosis Handbook, by Betty J. Ackley, is published.[50]
1995 Organization The American College of Nurse Practitioners is founded.[37] United States
1996 Field development The Nightingale project is launched in Britain to provide curricula in nursing informatics for all levels of nursing education and training. The project would be extended across Europe.[40] United Kingdom
1996 Organization The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa is established.[51] South Africa
1997 Literature The first edition of the Nursing Outcomes Classification is published. NOC is a classification system which describes patient outcomes sensitive to nursing intervention.[52]
1999 Organization Nursing Students Without Borders is established with the goal to provide global community health care to under-served communities.[53] United States
2001 Organization The Academy of Neonatal Nursing is established with the mission to provide quality neonatal education to ensure that providers have the most up-to-date information to improve neonatal care. It serves worldwide.[54] United States
2005 Literature (book) Nursing Diagnosis Manual: Planning, Individualizing, and Documenting Client Care, by Alice C. Geissier-Murr, Marilynn E Doenges, and Mary Moorhouse, is published.[55]
2005 Organization The Professional Association of Nurse Travelers is founded.[56]
2007 Event The International Council of Nurses holds its global conference in Yokohama, seeking to set up networking and educational experiences for professional nurses who work all over the world.[2] Japan
2009 Organization The U.S. National Nurses United is founded. It is the largest organization of registered nurses in the United States.[57][58] United States
2011 Organization The United Nurses Association is established in India.[59] India
2011 Literature (book) The Nurse's Social Media Advantage: How Making Connections and Sharing Ideas Can Enhance Your Nursing Practice, by Robert Fraser, is published. It describes how nurses can use social media to share nursing information with one another.[60]
2012 Literature (book) Nursing Ethics in Everyday Practice, by Connie M. Ulrich, is published. It provides guidelines on current and future ethical challenges in the field.[61]
2013 Organization The American Association of Nurse Practitioners is formed by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American College of Nurse Practitioners.[37] United States

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See also

External links


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