Week 15 Reflections

I read an article about the future of nursing and part of that future is students. The article specifically mentions getting your BSN. I believe that more and more programs will become BSN only and the ASN will phase out. I believe that we will also see employers offering incentive (like paying a percentage of tuition) for nurses to return to school and obtain their BSN. I have heard unconfirmed reports that the hiring trend is driving towards hiring BSN only. I don’t know about that, but I do know that continuing education is a vital part of nursing so that we can always be on the frontier of healthcare as we deliver awesome patient care!

Week 13 Reflections

This week I read about how technology has changed nursing. First of all, there is so many ways that it has and I believe that it has changed it for the better. Look at how IV’s are infused? Vitals can be taken electronically and submitted to our charting source. I don’t even actually have to write down much, BUT I STILL DO. Even though a computer can (and does for the most part) my vitals at work, I still had to learn how to manually take them. I know how to take a blood pressure. Once in awhile I may have to manually take a patient’s BP and record it with a paper and pen. I may be asked to exhibit my skills to an instructor or leader at work. I can’t always rely on the computer! I do carry a pen and a small notebook with me because I don’t completely rely on technology to do EVERYTHING for me. Technology can’t replace skills! However, I am VERY thankful for electronic charting. I could go on and on about how computers, alarms (you’re not supposed to be getting out of bed Mr. Smith! Good thing we have this LOUD alarm to let us know that you are trying to get out of bed without assistance.) I could go on and on about how technology has affected and/or changed nursing. It makes a lot of things easier and more accurate, but it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) replace the face-to-face that is also essential to quality nursing care.

Week 12 Reflections

Week 12 Reflection

Florence S. Wald

I had the opportunity to read about Florence S. Wald this week. It was a diversion from the combat nurses that I have recently read about. The term “hospice” caught my attention and that led to my findings on Florence S. Wald.
I am currently a volunteer for a local hospice organization. I must mention that I became a volunteer because I have had a personal experience with hospice in my home. My dad received a devastating cancer diagnosis on my 18th birthday and it was not too soon after that we had to lean on the resources of a hospice team. We should have had them come sooner, but they were still very much appreciated for the short time that they were there.
I believe that many people feel like hospice should be called right before death, but they should be called much sooner because they have invaluable resources for patients and family. It’s a difficult and uncertain time (most likely in unchartered territory) which can lead to chaos (or all hell breaking loose). Hospice can and does help. They helped my dad, me, and my family. I am forever grateful for the care that he received from them.
Now, back to Florence Wald……
Florence helped the hospice movement in the US after she spent time at Saint Christopher’s Hospice in London. She had an impressive career as a nurse, a scholar, and an author. She was inducted to the ANA in 1996 and the Connecticut Nurses Association has an award in her honor. These are all great accomplishments, but I personally am grateful for Florence Wald’s dedication to hospice because it impacted my dad’s life and my life as well. I will NOT forget Florence’s contribution to nursing.

Week 11 Reflections


Lynda Van Devanter

Lynda Van Devanter was an Army nurse that served in Vietnam. She was young when she was deployed and she saw all sides of the war. When she returned, she wrote the autobiography “Home Before Morning (also the inspiration of the television series “China Beach).” She was met with some criticism because people felt that they she was portraying the care that the military was given may have been in poor taste. However, she didn’t waiver in her personal account. She wanted people to know the physical and mental stress that they endured.
Van Devanter went on to give a voice to servicewomen and make sure that their efforts were not forgotten and not in vain. She founded the “Women’s Project of the Vietnam’s Veteran’s of America.”
Sadly, Van Devanter died at the early age of 55 due to health complications that was thought to be from her exposure to Agent Orange.

I remember watching M*A*S*H and China Beach with my dad. He was very interested in those television shows because he related to them. He was a young man during those times and they were pivotal in his youth and growing up. My mom was beginning her nursing career at this time. She is also a retired USAF nurse, so combat nursing is close to home. I personally experienced what my mom faced during Desert Storm. I can’t help but notice what combat nurses did for nursing today. We can’t forget their contributions. And those are my sentiments for this week…

Week 10 Reflections…


Mary Breckinridge

Mary Breckinridge was a nurse that served in Washington D.C. and Boston towards the end of WWI. She served with the American Red Cross in France. It was in France that she provided care to pregnant/nursing women and children. She then traveled on to England and that is where she decided that she needed to bring the tradition and skill of trained nurse midwives to the US.

She continued education and training in England. Breckinridge also had the opportunity to travel to Scotland where she experienced the positive effects of providing health care services to rural areas. In 1925, Mary came home and established the Frontier Nursing Services in Kentucky. Mary, along with her team, provided ante/postpartum and neonatal care. The maternal and infant mortality rate was greatly reduced by their knowledge, skills, and efforts.

Week 9 Reflections

Lenah Higbee


I have changed a few things on my blog this week.  I will start including the name of the person whom I have researched for the week and the link.https://www.usni.org/magazines/navalhistory/2017-04/lenah-sutcliffe-higbee-navy-nurse-corps-pioneer

I commented, on my team board, that I continue to be astounded at the nurses that we research every week.  Researching, writing, and reading about the history is the core of this course.  I am grateful to learn this history and get to know these people.  Their lives and work cannot be forgotten!

Now on to Lenah……

We are asked not to use profanity, or explicit lyrics (hahaha), but just about every week I could use the term “Bad A.” And I don’t mean “A” as in “apple.”  Lenah Higbee was one of the first official 20 members of the Naval Nurse Corps that was known as the “Sacred Twenty.”  She served in WWI.  She recommended that nurses be stationed on US Naval ships and she helped develop one of the first operational nurse training schools at Vassar Training Camp.  She had a warship named after her.  She received post-war recognition that was unheard of (for women) at the time.  

Lenah Higbee contributed greatly to the NNC, nursing, the military, and our country.  Take the time to read about this awesome Naval nurse!!!

Week 8 Reflections

I had the opportunity to read about Isabel Robb this week.  She was a driven young woman who accomplished many things in her short life.  She founded the American Nurses Association and started the nursing program at Johns Hopkins.  She married and had two sons.  She was tragically killed in a street accident at the age of 49.

I must note that it is very interesting to read about these historical figures every week.  The pioneers that forged the way so that we may improve upon and carry on the legacy of nursing.

Week 7 Reflections

I had the opportunity to read about Sally Tompkins and Walt Whitman this week.  Both nurses in the Civil War.  I know who Walt Whitman was, but I had never heard of Sally Tompkins…

Sally Tompkins was born in Virginia and she was a small, but mighty woman.   She founded the Robertson hospital in Richmond, Virginia.  The hospital was named after a good family friend by the name of Judge John Robertson. She was known to carry medical supplies around her waist and always carried her Bible on her rounds.  She worked tirelessly to help wounded soldiers.  In fact, she enlisted her mother and many other women to work in the hospital when it wasn’t socially acceptable to expose women to the grim experiences of war.

She was instrumental in the direct correlation of infection control and cleanliness.  She was very meticulous about cleanliness in her hospital and that kept the mortality rate low.  This was before it was scientifically discovered that bacteria caused infection.  Um, wow!  Way to go Sally on keeping up on the sanitation before sanitation was really a “thing.”

I would also like to note that Miss Sally was made an officer in the military and THAT was a huge deal at the time.  Remember what I wrote above?  Society thought that women, in general, shouldn’t be around the casualties of war.  Miss Sally (a civilian AND female) comes along to be made a captain.   Small, but mighty!

I am still thinking about Walt Whitman and I can’t help but to feel sad about his Civil War experiences as a nurse.  He went to look for his brother and became a nurse to aid in the nursing efforts during the war.  He, like many civilians and military alike, saw many awful things.  He experienced death and treated terrible wounds.  He wrote about his experiences, but according the article I read, he never recovered from his combat experience.  He suffered mentally and physically for the remainder of his life.  

I can’t help but think that different people process things differently.  My resilience isn’t going to be the same as the next person.  Everyone has different coping mechanisms.  I know that I am going to face difficult experiences, people, and places as a nurse.  However, I know that my patients will be counting on me to care for them to the best of my ability.  Fortunately we have many available resources that help with coping with difficult experiences.  There is always going to be the good with the bad and I am prepared to do both.

Week 6 Reflections

Nursing in the 1830’s,1840’s, and 1850’s…..
What can be said about this timeline? I honestly didn’t know what I would find when I began researching this period, but I was happy to discover history (relating to nursing) that occurred in the United States of America. Historical relevance, people! That is what comes to my mind this week.
I am not saying that medical/health professional history that took place in other countries is not relevant (it is!), but I love American history and I love to read about historical figures that helped shape this great nation, but also the profession of nursing.
With that being said, an article about Dorthea Dix caught my eye. It was actually a small paragraph about her efforts to help the mentally ill be treated and cared for in a humane way. In a time where not much was known about mental illness and how to care for people suffering from it, I thought that she had to be a champion…of some sort.
That little blip fueled my search for more information on Dorthea and it led me to an article, from the Smithsonian, where I read more about her. It may have been her early home life that ignited her desire to help the mentally ill. Her mother and father suffered from depression and she cared for her family starting at a very young age. She taught school and she volunteered during the Civil War to be a nurse (and was made the Superintendent of Nurses for the Army).
This is where the historical relevance comes in! She lead the nurses in the Civil War the the war is a huge part of American history! This makes her a historical figure in American history too. She freely gave of her time and resources to execute her duties as a patriot and a nurse. With no formal training. It is hard to comprehend how she did it…
I can’t wait to read more about American history of Nursing!

Week 5 Reflections

This week we have been reading and researching nursing from 1800-1829. If you conducted your own search, you would find little information on the history of nursing timeline. However, you WILL find a very important name in nursing and it is (drum roll, please) Florence Nightingale! Have you heard that name before? I am guessing that you have…
If you haven’t (and you are a pre-nursing or nursing student…you may have missed a key figure that is accredited to being the “founder of modern nursing).
I watched a documentary on Florence and it was interesting. I knew very little about her before this week and I have to give her credit for what she did to lay the groundwork for those that came after her. She was instrumental in figuring out how sanitation and proper conditions can be directly attributed to patient care and health (and mortality!). She devoted her life to nursing. She was a pioneer for the profession!
There is so much I could write about Florence, but honestly I think that I have a personal duty to carry on the dignity of modern nursing with compassion, skill, and advocacy. If Florence can make a difference in the early 19th century (with the limited resources that she had), then I can definitely make a difference in the 21st century!