On the international front
When we think about the history of nursing, one name that immediately pops into our minds is Florence Nightingale. However, nursing goes back even further than that. In fact, during the 18th century a slave named James Derham was able to buy his own freedom from the money he earned as a nurse.
However, there are many important nurses in the development of the nursing profession including Mary Seacole, who also worked as a nurse in the Crimea; Agnes Elizabeth Jones and Linda Richards, who established quality nursing schools in the USA and Japan, and Linda Richards who was officially America's first professionally trained nurse, graduating in 1873 from the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston.
New Zealand was the first country to regulate nurses nationally, with adoption of the Nurses Registration Act on 12 September 1901. It was in New Zealand that Ellen Dougherty became the first registered nurse. North Carolina was the first state in the United States to pass a nursing license law in 1903.
Nursing schools and programmes
Florence Nightingale was one of the pioneers in establishing the idea of nursing schools from her base at St Thomas' Hospital, London in 1860 when she opened the 'Nightingale Training School for Nurses'. The Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing, New York City, founded in 1873, was the first school of nursing in the United States to be founded on the principles of nursing established by Florence Nightingale.
It was in the year 1850 that the first nursing programme was established in London. Japan's first nursing institute was established in 1885 and the first nursing institute for blacks in the United States followed the next year.
In the late 1800s the idea of visiting nursing was established by Lillian Wald and she started a home nursing class. The American Nurses Association held its first meeting and the topics discussed during the meeting further helped nursing education. Nurses began to be regulated on a national basis by New Zealand in 1901 and then other countries around the world began to follow suit.
On the local front
Initially, the health-care services in our part of the world were ill-developed and the rate of employment in health-care jobs in Pakistan was very low. It was in the year 1948 that the Pakistan Nursing Council was established. And since, 1951 Pakistani governments have concentrated on the development and improvement of health care services and one of the major steps is increasing the rate of funding to Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC) Clinics. The PNC has also played a key role to provide world-class health care and nursing council services to the patients. Formally constituted by Acts in 1952 and 1973, PNC certifies nurses, midwives, lady health visitors (LHVs), licensed practical nurses and nursing auxiliaries for practice.
— Compiled by M.J