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Historical Development

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Introduction
When one thinks about the historical developments in nursing research and research utilization, the statement is indeed true… that nursing has evolutionalized. This brief journey into historical research has been described by LoBiondo – Wood and Haber (1998) as ‘the systematic compilation of data, resulting from evaluation and interpretation of facts regarding people, events and occurrences of the past’ History is where we come from, who we are, and where we are going. History may not always repeat itself exactly, but knowledge of history can serve as a guide to avoiding pitfalls or mistakes similar to those in the past (Rees and Howell, 1999) Developments covered will include the work of Florence Nightingale, the development of the Nursing Science Journal and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the identification and development of the first nursing diagnosis conference and the development of the Healthy People 2010.
Florence Nightingale is best known as the person who founded modern nursing. She chose nursing despite the disapproval of her family. Her choice to rebel against the traditional woman’s role as a wife and mother helped her as she started her initial research role by focusing on the patient’s physical and mental wellbeing and promoting a healthy environment. She is noted for her collection and analysis of soldier morbidity and mortality data during the Crimean War. The research enabled her to change the attitudes of the military and society towards the sick (Burns & Grove, 2007). More significantly, she sought to improve sanitary conditions in the medical facilities. Nightingale proved her case, through statistical analysis, using what she called ‘cox combs’, now known as “polar bear diagrams” (Polvac, B. 2005) She has used her research knowledge to make significant changes in the society, such as testing public water,…...

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