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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nurse cares for a premature baby in Toronto, Ontario (1955).
Florence Nightingale, or "Lady with the Lamp", English pioneer of modern nursing.
A student nurse in the United States (1942).
Empress Alexandra of Russia and her daughters nursing military patients (c.early 20th century).

A nurse is a healthcare professional who, in collaboration with other members of a health care team, is responsible for: treatment, safety, and recovery of acutely or chronically ill individuals; health promotion and maintenance within families, communities and populations; and, treatment of life-threatening emergencies in a wide range of health care settings. Nurses perform a wide range of clinical and non-clinical functions necessary to the delivery of health care, and may also be involved in medical and nursing research.

Both Nursing roles and education were first defined by Florence Nightingale, following her experiences caring for the wounded in the Crimean War.[1] Prior to this, nursing was thought to be a trade with few common practices or documented standards. Nightingale's concepts were used as a guide for establishing nursing schools at the beginning of the twentieth century, which were mostly hospital-based training programs emphasizing the development of a set of clinical skills.[1] The profession's early utilization of a general, hospital-based education is sometimes credited for the wide range of roles nurses have assumed within health care, and this is contrasted with present-day nursing education, which is increasingly specialized and typically offered at post-secondary institutions.[2]

Practice as a nurse is often defined by state, provincial or territorial governments. As an example, the province of Ontario classifies nurses into the roles of Registered Practical Nurse, Registered Nurse (general class), and Registered Nurse (extended class).[3] In this respect, the title "nurse" is protected by law within the province, and regulated by legislative statute.[3] Some regions have legislated different or expanded roles for nurses, generating many potential nurse careers.

Around the world, nurses are often female. However, in Francophone Africa, which includes the countries of Benin, Burkino Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Guinea, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, and Togo, there are more male than female nurses.[4] In Europe, in countries such as Spain, Portugal, Czechoslovakia, and Italy, over 20% of nurses are male.[4]

Currently, a nursing shortage exists within the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and a number of other developed countries.[5] The majority of analysis refers to a shortage of Registered Nurse staff.[5] The Canadian Registered Nurse shortage has been linked to longer wait times for hospital-based procedures, increased adverse events for patients, and more stressful work environments.[6] As the shortage of Registered Nurses increases, it is expected that there will be an increasing move towards utilizing unregulated healthcare workers to meet demands for basic nursing care within hospitals and the community.[7]



The English word nurse also refers to the act of breastfeeding.[8] A wet nurse is considered someone who provides her own breast-milk to infants. In other languages, the word for nurse comes from the same etymology as the word infirmary, such as in French (infirmier), or Italian (infermiere).


Typically, nurses are distinguished from one another by the area they work in (critical care, perioperative, oncology, nephrology, pediatrics, adult acute care, geriatrics, psychiatric, community, occupational health, etc.). Bodies such as the American Nurses Association and the Canadian Nurses Association have both supported a move towards the creation of national specialty certifications, in order to support more specialized nursing roles.[9] As nursing roles and specialties are continually changing, the International Council of Nurses states that nursing education should always include continuing education activities; while educational preparation is expected to vary between countries, all nursing jurisdictions are encouraged to promote continuing education as an important form of professional education.[10]

Nursing education varies widely, and continues to produce an array of options as nursing roles evolve and also expand in scope. Educational preparation as a nurse may include certificate, diploma, associates, bachelors, masters or doctoral preparation.


See also


Nursing around the world


  1. ^ a b Tomey, A. M. and Alligood, M. R. (2006). Nursing Theorists and their Work (6th ed.). Mosby: St. Louis.
  2. ^ Barr, O. and Sines, D. (2009). The development of the generalist nurse within preregistration nurse education in the UK: some points for consideration. Nurse Education Today, 4, 274-277.
  3. ^ a b Government of Ontario, Nursing Act, S.O. C-32 (1991). Retrieved from
  4. ^ a b Men in nursing By Chad E. O'Lynn, Russell E. Tranbarger
  5. ^ a b Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing (2001, July). Facts About the Nursing Shortage. Retrieved from
  6. ^ Canadian Nurses Association (2009, July). Report: Tested Solutions for Eliminating Canada's Registered Nurse Shortage.
  7. ^ Pan-Canadian Planning Committee on Unregulated Health Workers (2009, August). Maximizing Health Human Resources: Valuing Unregulated Health Workers.They now use computer to help their patient. Retrieved from
  8. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition, via Nurse at
  9. ^ [1], [2]
  10. ^ International Council of Nurses (2004). Position Statement: Continuing competence as a professional responsibility and public right.


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Nursing article)

From Wikiquote

Nurse uniform ed.JPG

Nursing is a healthcare profession focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life from birth to the end of life.


  • Bound by paperwork, short on hands, sleep, and energy... nurses are rarely short on caring.
    • Sharon Hudacek, "A Daybook for Nurses"
  • Save one life... and you are a hero. Save one hundred lives... and you are a nurse.
    • Chuck Stepanek, "Nursing the Corn"
  • A hero is someone who happened to be in the right circumstances and took the action of great humanity. A nurse is someone who took the action of great humanity and chose to be in the right circumstances.
    • Chuck Stepanek, "Nursing the Corn"


  • In a world where there is so much to be done, I felt strongly impressed that there must be something for me to do.

External links

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

NURSE (a shortened form of the earlier "nourice," adapted through the French from Lat. nutrix, nutrire, to nourish), primarily a woman who suckles and takes care of an infant, and more generally one who has the general charge of children; also a person, male or female, who attends to the sick, and particularly one who has been trained professionally for that purpose (see Nursing).

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Simple English

Nursing links here. For feeding babies mother's milk, see breastfeeding.

A nurse is a person who is trained to give care (help) to people who are sick or injured. Nurses work with doctors and other health care workers to make patients well (not sick) and to keep them healthy. Nurses also help with end-of-life needs and assist other family members with grieving.

Nursing is a profession, like a doctor, but training for a nurse is different in how long a person must train and what kind of training they need. In some places, nurses may train for three to five years or more before they get a license as a nurse.

Nurses work in many places. Nurses work in hospitals, in doctor's offices, and in the community, and they even visit people at home.

Sometimes people decide to become nurses rather than doctors, because the nurses will be able to help patients directly, by talking to them, doing things they need, carefully watching that nothing goes wrong, and then seeing them as they get better.

Like doctors, nurses can specialize in what work they do. Some nurses train and work to help during surgery. Some nurses train to help people understand health problems like nutrition (what to eat), and disease (what can make people sick). Nurses can do many different jobs to help people.

Nurses are in demand because there are not enough nurses to handle hospital needs. Because of this shortage nurses will sometimes travel to another location to work for a few months in what is called travel nursing

Nursing in Australia

Nursing in Australia is done by Registered Nurses or Enrolled Nurses. Both must complete education past high school. An Enrolled Nurse must complete a course of study between 12 and 18 months. Registered Nurses need to complete a Bachelor Degree.

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