Let's start from the beginning, What is nursing?
The challenge to find a simple, workable definition of nursing remains. It’s long history and wide diversity of setting and action are proof that it is a flexible and dynamic activity, therefore complex to define. Castledine elaborated a simple definition based on nurturing back in 1994: "Nursing is nurturing people with their health-related experiences, problems and concerns".
He believed that there is more to the nature of nursing than any definition can encompass.
Other authors like Nancy Roper have used personal experiences to define nursing. She used three nursing procedures to illustrate different points: giving medicines as an example of the dynamic nature of a procedure over time and how it needs to respond to increased knowledge from research; how serving meals, on the recommendation of non-nurse researchers, was designated a non-nursing duty with disastrous results for some patients; and how the many interpretations of the nil by mouth regimen have caused malnutrition in postoperative patients.
She states that beliefs about what constitutes nursing are not static, nursing policy responds to changes in a wide range of interfacing areas but she is convinced that there is a nurse-initiated core that concerns patients’ problems with everyday living activities. She believes that it is the core that enables nurses, even in their diverse practices, to speak with a united voice, particularly to those in power, so that nursing will be adequately financed and resourced to provide an ever-evolving, high quality, cost effective service.
In the table below there are the definitions provided by different official organizations and search engines nowadays:
"The profession or practice of providing care for the sick and infirm."
The next question is: why is nursing important?
-Castledine, G. (1994) A definition of nursing based on nurturing. British Journal of Nursing, 3(3), 134-135.
-Castledine, G. (1994) Nursing can never have a unified theory. British Journal of Nursing, 4(3), 180-181.
-Roper, N. (1994) Definition of nursing: 1. British Journal of Nursing, 3(7), 355-357.
-Roper, N. (1994) Definition of nursing:2. British Journal of Nursing, 3(9), 460-462.