Why Should Nurses Be Interested in the History and Philosophy of Nursing Science?


Vincent White

Nursing is a profession that has evolved over time, and its history and philosophy are crucial for understanding its current state. As a nurse, you may wonder why it’s essential to know the history and philosophy of nursing science. This article will explore why nurses should be interested in the history and philosophy of nursing science.

History of Nursing Science

The history of nursing science dates back to ancient times when people used plants and other natural remedies to treat illnesses. In the 18th century, nursing became more formalized with the establishment of hospitals. The first nursing school was established in 1860 by Florence Nightingale, who is considered the founder of modern nursing.

Understanding the history of nursing science helps nurses appreciate how far their profession has come. It also allows them to understand how social, cultural, and political factors have influenced the development of their profession.

Philosophy of Nursing Science

The philosophy of nursing science refers to the beliefs, values, and principles that underpin the practice of nursing. It encompasses ideas about health, illness, patient care, and how these concepts relate to society as a whole.

Nurses who understand the philosophy behind their practice can better articulate their roles as healthcare providers. They can also critically evaluate their actions in light of ethical standards and societal expectations. This knowledge can help them make informed decisions about patient care while upholding professional standards.

Improved Patient Care

Understanding the history and philosophy of nursing science can lead to improved patient care. Nurses who have this knowledge are better equipped to provide individualized care that addresses patients’ unique needs.

For example, knowing about Florence Nightingale’s contributions to modern nursing can inspire nurses to incorporate environmental factors into patient care. Similarly, understanding philosophical concepts such as empathy can help nurses develop better communication skills with patients.

Professional Development

Finally, understanding the history and philosophy of nursing science can contribute to professional development. Nurses who have this knowledge are better equipped to engage in discussions about the future of their profession. They can also participate in research and contribute to the development of new nursing theories.


In conclusion, the history and philosophy of nursing science are essential for nurses to understand. It allows them to appreciate their profession’s evolution, understand its core principles, improve patient care, and contribute to professional development. As a nurse, taking the time to learn about these concepts can help you provide better care for your patients while advancing your career.