Historical Development of Nursing Timeline

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Theory development emerged because those who had nursing leadership found out that theory development was a very important way to develop the nursing profession. This was due to the interests of identifying or making nursing a body of knowledge. Flexner was the first one to define what the characteristics of the profession are. His ideas involved “intellectual operations” and derive their raw material from science and learning” (quoted in Roberts 1961 p, 101). Bixler was the second one to evaluate the nursing profession ( Bixler & Bixler, 1945, 1959) he looked deeply into nursing as it used and expanded a “body of knowledge” for its practice. Therefore Bixler called this nursing science (1945, p, 730).Thus nursing grew from just being the body of knowledge to a profession. (Fitzpatrick& Whell 2006)

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Also the development of theory was encouraged because of it was valuable in nursing. The theories that were developed helped in the organization and making of new and important innovations that was necessary to advance the nursing practice. Theorists like Lydia Hall’s theoretical work created many new interventions of the nursing practice which were applied at the Loeb center for nursing in New York.

Fewnet (1983) also provided some issues which made the theory of nursing to bear fruits. There was a review of the nursing research in 1952 and 1980 whereby Brown, Tanner and Padric (1984), provided a way for the authors to present a “conceptual perspective”. In 1993 Fawcett deeply analyzed and made more evaluations that were related to nursing theories. They also included matters like the process of nursing and caring of people. What is known about the nursing theory and has been put together by Fawcett (2000) and this was not long ago. (Fitzpatrick & Whell 2006)

During the 20th century more nursing theories were developed. These included: the metatheory, grand nursing theories developed from the early 1960s to the 1980s an example is the dynamic nurse-patient relationship that was developed by Orlando, middle range theory and practice theory. Other theorists were: Rogers who developed a holistic perspective on man’s life process in 1970, King developed a multilevel systems model in 1971, Johnson made a model of the client as a behavioral system in 1980, Auger developed behavioral system model in 1976, In 1985 Watson developed human care theory and Lininger developed transcultural care theory in 1985. (Fitzpatrick & Whell 2006)

The relationship between nursing science and profession

Today there is combination of nursing science and professional practice whereby the nursing knowledge is put together with the various theories of nursing and the practice theory. The theories of nursing are understood and given the purposes of the nursing philosophies. The grand theories of science are closely related to the daily activities that take place in the practice of nursing such as nursing education, researches and in clinics. Having the theoretical knowledge helps nurses to discover new ideas and how to apply them in their profession. Scientists also have foundation based on the theories to build knowledge from the information they already have.

The various theories of nursing give direction for the practice, education and research as they are available resources to be used. The researches also get more information from other disciplines like health sciences. The nurses who are scientists and clinicians both develop the knowledge that is holistic by adding the knowledge from other disciplines to their profession. Education enhances the learning and teaching of the specific and necessary skills thereby enables the imparting of knowledge to others who do not know about what is available. This knowledge is very important and should be positively judged by the theorists hence is well developed because they have wisdom. (Walker & Avant 2005).

The Influences that the other disciplines such as philosophy, religion, education, anthropology, social science and psychology have on nursing science.

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Education involves he development of the various knowledge on the nursing science. Researchers have used education to develop the various theories which are important in nursing science hence enables the science to broadly progress. For theories to be used in nursing the researchers are well educated so that they are able to make them be understood in the nursing science.

Psychology has influenced nursing science because the theories that are developed are mostly concerned with people’s psychology example the behavioral theory which involves the understanding of people their behavior and have potential to explain their relationships by observing them. This is where psychologically; patients are prepared by the nurses to face the reality and accept any outcome form their illnesses.

Religion has influenced nursing science because it has provided the strong beliefs that are brought about by the theorists. Hence through believing all these theories they are easily put into practice.

Anthropology is the study of man and his way of life. Thus it has influences nursing science because it has enabled people especially the nurses to study the various theories that are important to make nursing a science. This is because this is the only way they can learn and become knowledgeable in diverse areas. This deals with the bringing up together the aspects of life hence the nursing science derives the laws that produce verifiable experiments. Philosophy has enabled the nurse scientist to hold into their ethical practice since it is based on ethics of practicing their scientific know how.


The social sciences like sociology has led to the understanding of human beings the way they behave hence enabled the nursing science to be understood well and relate to the practice. This is because all the acquired knowledge from the theories enables the scientists to apply it on all the people since they know their behaviors by studying them well. The social sciences always produce the statistical descriptions to the nursing sciences hence they can easily know the figures required at a specific place and time.

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Joyce, F., & Ann, W. (2006). Johnson’s behavioral system model. Prentice Hall Inc. A Pearson Education company

Joyce F.& Ann, W. (2005). Nursing knowledge development relationship to sciences and professional practice, Prentice Hall, Inc. A Pearson education Company

Lorraine, W.& Kay A. (2005). Theory development in context. Prentice Hall, Inc. A Pearson Education Company

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NursingBird. (2022) 'Historical Development of Nursing Timeline'. 12 March.


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1. NursingBird. "Historical Development of Nursing Timeline." March 12, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/historical-development-of-nursing-timeline/.


NursingBird. "Historical Development of Nursing Timeline." March 12, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/historical-development-of-nursing-timeline/.