The Historical Development and Current Status of Nursing in Turkey

Article excerpt

Abstract

This article tells the story of the historical development and current status of nursing in Turkey. It presents a historical review of the development of modern Turkish nursing and describes the continuing development and current status of nursing education, nursing regulation, and nursing practice in Turkey. The article also explains how the voice of nursing in Turkey is heard through the professional associations.

Key Words: Turkish nursing development, nursing in Turkish, nursing education in Turkey

Citation: Dal, U., Kitis, Y., (March 31, 2008) "The Historical Development and Current Status of Nursing in Turkey" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Vol. 13, No. 2. Available www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/vol132008/No2May08/ArticlePreviousTopic/NursinginTurkey.aspx

Standing astride both Asia and Europe, Turkey is like a bridge that connects the two continents. Neighboring countries to Turkey include: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Greece, and Bulgaria. The Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 on the 814,578 square kilometers that remained within the Ottoman Empire following the World War I Turkish (Geographical Society, 2007). The Turkish population in 2006 was 74.5 million (The Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry State Planning Organization, 2007). Turkey, which is divided into seven regions based on geography and climate, consists of a central government and 81 provinces. The three cities with the densest population are Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir respectively (DIE: T.C. State Institute of Statistics, 2005).

This article will tell the story of the historical development and current status of nursing in Turkey. First it will present a historical review of the developments of modern Turkish nursing and describe the current status and continuing development of nursing education in Turkey. The article will then describe nursing regulation and nursing practice in Turkey, and conclude by explaining how the voice of nursing in Turkey is heard through the professional associations.

Historical Development of Nursing in Turkey

Although the nation of Turkey was the site for the birth of modern nursing, modern nursing itself did not begin in Turkey until 1912. Nightingale's work in Turkey is often cited as the beginning of modern nursing. Although the nation of Turkey was the site for the birth of modern nursing, modern nursing itself did not begin in Turkey until 1912. At this time nurses began to provide care to wounded soldiers in the Balkan War I, during which time the Ottoman Empire and Balkan League countries sought fuller protection for the Christian majority and the status quo (Wikipedia, 2007a) and during the Tripolitan War, when Italy seized some Ottoman provinces which became known as Libya, the Isle of Rhodes, and the Greek-speaking Dodecanese archipelago near Anatolia (Wikipedia, 2007b). The Balkan War I brought a large number of immigrants and wounded to Istanbul; and soon a cholera epidemic broke out on the front line and in Istanbul itself, resulting in significant healthcare needs (See Figure 1). Although most of the governmental and official buildings were turned into hospitals where healthcare services were provided, there were still insufficient facilities to meet this challenge. The ladies of Istanbul nobility, influenced by the organized efforts of Florence Nightingale, who had recently decreased the death rate caused by wounds from 42 % to 2% and demonstrated an affectionate and warm attitude toward patients (Bayik, Erefe, & Altug Özsoy, 2002), participated voluntarily in the provision of healthcare services.

Soon charity organizations, set up by the Turkish women provided financial and material support to the soldiers at the front and coordinated voluntary nursing activities (Akçiçek 1983; Akgün & Ulugtekin, 2000; Bayik et al., 2002; Caka, 1948; Sehsuvaroglu & Demirhan, 1984). …