Academic journal article Creative Nursing

Notes on Nursing: The Caring Remains

Academic journal article Creative Nursing

Notes on Nursing: The Caring Remains

Article excerpt

Notes on Nursing, the book for which Florence Nightingale is best known, was first published in 1859. In her introduction to a 1974 edition of the book, Joan Quixley states, "The book . . . appeared at a time when the simple rules of health were only beginning to be known, when its topics were of vital importance not only for the well-being and recovery of patients, when hospitals were riddled with infection, when nurses were still mainly regarded as ignorant, uneducated persons." (Nightingale, 1859/1974).

The editor of a 2006 edition of the book quotes Nightingale's biographer, Sir Edward Cook, as stating that the book ". . . was instantly recognized by the leaders in medical and sanitary science as a work of first-rate importance. . . ." "It can never," he adds, "be out of date, and no one who has ever read it has found it dull." This wise editor of the 2006 edition goes on to say:

Here and there an obiter dictum of Miss Nightingale's has been left behind by modern science. We should now be careful not to imply a belief in the spontaneous generation of disease, or in its arising somehow from "dirt." . . . But Miss Nightingale never pretended to be an authority on the science of medicine, still less to be a prophet, and antiquated passages of this sort in no way affect the value of her teaching in her own sphere. …

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