Florence Nightingale played an important role in the historical development of nursing. She was born in 1820 and spent the vast part of her life serving communities and individuals who were in need of care. Her first significant nursing experience occurred during the Crimean War, when she provided care to injured soldiers along with other nurses. Shortly after the war, she developed her own nursing theory and opened the Nightingale Training School for Nurses.
Nightingale’s experience in the Crimean War helped her to understand the effect of external condition on patients’ health and the recovery process. Thus, the Environmental Theory focuses on the external factors influencing health. There are two main assumptions adopted by Nightingale. First, she assumed that ideal health could only be achieved in excellent external conditions. Secondly, she believed that the role of nurses is to provide an appropriate environment for healing.
Application to Nursing Practice
Due to the strong emphasis on patient safety, Nightingale’s Environmental Theory is especially useful in acute care settings. However, if considered more broadly, it can also be used in preventive care, primary care, and other care settings. As a whole, the Environmental Theory is useful as it helps to establish priorities in health care, thus providing a structured approach for nurses to use.
Personal Philosophy of Nursing
My personal philosophy of nurses is focused on a patient-centered approach to care. I believe that the nurse should recognize and respond to the patient’s needs while providing holistic care. There are similarities and differences between my personal philosophy of nursing and Nightingale’s theory. For example, I recognize the importance of external factors in the recovery process and believe that an appropriate environment is crucial to promoting patient health.
Besides, we both view health as a complex concept that has to be approached from a holistic perspective. However, I still view the nursing process as healing and providing for patient’s needs rather than simply improving the environment and enhancing patient safety. Overall, I believe that Nightingale’s theory can be useful in promoting patient outcomes, although it might be useful to take into account the whole variety of factors affecting health to provide holistic care.
Alligood, M. R. (2018). Nursing theorists and their work (9th ed.). Oxford, UK: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Medeiros, A. B. D. A., Enders, B. C., & Lira, A. L. B. D. C. (2015). The Florence Nightingale’s Environmental Theory: A critical analysis. Escola Anna Nery, 19(3), 518-524.
Norman, I. (2013). The nursing practice environment. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 50(2), 1577-1579.