"Nursing is an art, and if it is to be made an art, requires as exclusive a devotion, as hard a preparation, as any painter's or sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or cold marble, compared with having to do with the living body-the temple of God's spirit?...
...It is one of the Fine Arts; I had almost said, the finest of the Fine Arts" - Florence Nightingale (1868).
Those who can capture the essence of Florence Nightingale's words in these lines will, for sure understand the value of professionalism in nursing. They are a set of rules, work ethics, ideologies, and dedication towards the service of a community, that holistically provides an identity to this job.
What Does it Really Mean?
Undoubtedly and unanimously, Florence Nightingale was the lady whose tremendous efforts in this field bought about revolutionary changes in the way patients were managed and health care systems were established. She pioneered the basics of patient management, hygiene, and other crucial features in health care units.
Her vision would be undermined by restricting her contribution to just a few ways in which her efforts paved success for various types of such jobs. To know more about evolution of this field, you must understand her vision. She wanted nursing to be a profession full of discipline and at the same time, selfless dedication for effective patient care.
Put aptly, covering various dimensions and other features, it can be defined as - 'a set of activities, tasks, and duties carried out by the registered nurses, at any time whenever it is required, keeping the person's health as their first priority.'
The patients must be treated under the supervision of skilled medical practitioners, and the nurse must be equally directed by the expert. The prevention and management of illnesses, injuries, and ailments also forms some of the major tasks that have to be carried out by them.
Politeness in expression, compassion for patients, and proper uniform are also some of the main elements of this vision. If these ethics and standards are followed properly in every health care unit, then excellent service would not be a very distant dream, opposed to what it is today, fragmented and unprofessional in many places.