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What is Nursing? Essay

What is nursing?

Florence Nightingale once said, “You ask me why I do not write something… I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all be distilled into actions and into actions that bring results” (Woodham-Smith, 1951). I find this quote to be true because sometimes actions are more important than words (especially in the nursing profession). Since the early 1800s nursing has quickly evolved into what we know it as today. Nursing is a unique profession in that there are many different types of nurses, yet they can all experience the beginning of life as well as the end of life. Both nurses as well as community-based nurses can yield special bonds with patients and their families. To me nursing is a very worthwhile profession and to become any type of nurse is an award within itself.


Nurses help people to maintain their best possible health, given their genetic and environmental constraints (Chitty, 2005). According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nursing is one of the fastest growing occupations and there are many good employment opportunities available for nurses (U.S. Department of Labor, 2005). That is a good enough reason why nursing is a great occupation for anyone to get involved in. To be a nurse one must be attentive, caring, and most importantly dedicated. To me a nurse is not only someone who takes care of you physically, but someone who can empathize and connect with you as the patient. Being a nurse is a full time job whether it is in the hospital or taking care of the family at home. A nurse should be able to establish trust with their patients and always be there for them in good and bad times.

Community Nursing

Community nursing is one aspect of nursing that allows for a nurse to be in more intimate surroundings with the patient. According to our textbook, community-based nursing is health care provided outside of acute care settings (Lundy and Janes, 2003). Community nursing is great for people who want to get out of the traditional hospital surroundings and communicate with diverse populations in a certain community. Florence Nightingale is a great example of a community nurse.

Florence Nightingale was known for her sensitivity and compassion towards her patients as well as to the nursing profession. Florence took it upon herself, despite her strict Victorian culture to go out into her community and take care of the sick and poor. Her experiences from the different communities she encountered allowed her to accomplish important tasks that forever changed the nursing profession. Today, the knowledge of community nursing benefits the practice of nursing by allowing nurses to learn about different communities and the diverse populations within them.

How I will Influence Nursing

Nursing has always had a special place in my heart and I don’t quite know why. I have just always looked at nursing as a career that is rewarding and something that I want to be apart of. I want to be able to save lives but also be able to touch lives. Most importantly, I want to make life-long friendships with my patients and their families. The nursing profession will really benefit from me because I will always be a hard worker and dedicated to the well being of my patients.


Nursing is a challenging profession and requires critical thinking and good communication skills. With the baby boomers getting older the need for nurses is more than ever. No matter the setting whether it is in the hospital or in a community, nurses receive the same reward of helping people. Nursing has come a long way since Florence Nightingale and will continue to evolve well beyond into the future.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2004-05 Edition, Registered Nurses, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos083.htm (visited February 03, 2005).

Chitty, Kay Kittrell. (2005). Professional Nursing Concepts & Challenges. St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders.

Lundy, Karen Saucier.,& Janes, Sharyn. (2003). Essentials of Community-Based Nursing. Boston: Jones and Bartlett.

Woodham-Smith, Cecil. (1951). Lonely Crusader: The Life of Florence Nightingale, 1820-1910. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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