It will be grossly inappropriate to list some of the most famous nurses in history without mentioning Florence Nightingale.
She is often regarded as the most famous nurse in history and as the pioneer of modern nursing.
Heavily involved in the sanitation improvements during the Cimmerian war, which saw a great increase in the training of nurses and doctors, her contributions paved the way for the formation of the Army Medical College and Nightingale School and Home for Nurses.
Born in 1821, Clara Barton changed the world as a nurse when she founded the American Red Cross in 1881.
She earned the nickname “Angel of the battlefield” during the Civil War.
She had the courage of going into the battlefield to treat soldiers where they lay even though there was a lack of medical supply.
She is regarded by some as the greatest nurse in history.
Edith Cavell was an English nurse who aided the escape of over 200 soldiers during World War I.
This led to her arrest and execution. She is seen as an epitome of courage and bravery by nurses all over the world.
Margaret Sanger was fed up with witnessing so many deaths relating to failed abortions while working as a nurse in New York City.
In 1916, defying authorities, she opened a birth control clinic in Brooklyn.
She founded the American Birth Control League in 1962 and helped develop the first oral contraceptive known as “the pill”.
Mary Breckinridge is famous for being the first person to found family care centres.
She also contributed to the development of rural healthcare.
In 1925, she founded the Frontier Nursing Service, which provided prenatal and postnatal nurse-midwifery care in Kentucky, the United States.
Soon, she spread her centres across the country, giving medical care to women in remote areas.
She was the first African-American to be registered as a professional nurse in 1879.
She co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses in 1908, which later became the American Nurses Association.
Between 1910 to 1930, the number of colored nurses had doubled in America; all thanks to her contributions.
She earned the nickname “foremost nurse of the 20th century” deservedly.
Virginia Avenel Henderson graduated from the Army School of Nursing and bagged her M.A in nursing education at Columbia University.
She was most famous for developing the theory in nursing which states: “the function of a nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or recovery that he would carry out without help if he had the required strength, will or knowledge.”
Dorothea Dix was one woman who didn’t allow her rough upbringing mar her future.
She was victimized in her early years by her abusive father who was an alcoholic.
At age 12, she taught poor children in England after fleeing home.
She became the founder of the first public mental hospital in America.
She also became the superintendent of the Union Army of Nurses in 1861.
These selfless individuals had changed the world regardless of how hard, challenging, or difficult it was.
No matter how many years passed, they deserve the highest respect, and should be recognized, appreciated, and extolled.
Today, nursing is a very sought-after career.
Although there are more women than men in the profession, more men are going for a nursing course, which are offered by several nursing colleges in Malaysia.
To find out more about the nursing program in Malaysia, visit: https://www.ramsaysimedarbycollege.edu.my