The profession of nursing can be traced back to 300 AD when the Roman Empire undertook the task of building hospitals in every town under its sovereignty. This led to increased demand for nurses to assist the doctors and provide patient care before, during and after treatments.
Spain saw the requirement for hospitals and towards the end of 500 AD the first hospital was built in Merida.
By the 10th and 11th century hospitals become a part of religious centers and monasteries. The duties of nurses expanded to include a wide range of healthcare services.
Around this time nurses’ tasks included caring for soldiers in the front lines of war. The conditions were gruesome, hygiene standards were questionable and often led o many fatalities.
Up until 1970, this pledge was recited all cross graduation ceremonies in North America. Recently though the pledge has been greatly modified or even dropped in some cases due to its lines about loyalty to physicians.
The prevailing opinion is that any loyalty should be to the patient and their care even in the face of opposition from the Physicians.
1905 – Association of Nursing Superintendents founded at Lucknow.
1908 – Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI) was established. Their purpose was to uphold the dignity of the profession of nursing and nurturing the professional, economic, educational and general welfare of all nurses.
1910 – The Nursing Journal of India published.
1917 – Trained Nurses Association of India was registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860.
1918 – English nurses Griffith and Graham oversaw the nurses and their training in new training schools at Delhi and Karachi..
1925 – Trained Nurses’ Association of India becomes the amalgamation of Association of Nursing Superintendents and Association of Trained Nurses.
1926 – State Nursing Councils formed in Madras providing standards and guidelines for the education and training of nurses.
1929 – Student Nurses Association established.
1931-1931 – Rockefeller Foundation set up seven health centres in Delhi, Madras, Bangalore, Lucknow, Trivandrum, Calcutta and Pune.
1946 – 4 year Bachelor program for nursing was established in Vellore Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) and in Delhi.
1947 – Indian Nursing Council was established on December 31st. The Act was to “establish a uniform standard of training for nurses, midwives and health visitors”. Hospital services were officially expanded to include auxiliary nurses, midwives and administrators, tutors and supervisors for nursing.
1956 – Nursing adviser to Government of India was appointed.
1960 – Two-year Post Graduate programme for nursing was established in Rajkumari Amrit Kaur College of Nursing, Delhi.
1963 – Two-year post certificate bachelor’s degree for nursing launched at The School of Nursing in Trivandrum.
1974 – TNAI becomes member of Commonwealth Nurses Federation (CNF)
The World Health Organization estimates that the nursing workforce in India is insufficient to meet the growing demand. The FICCI-EY report of 2016 estimates that 2.4 million more nurses would be required to adequately cover tertiary and quaternary care. As of now studies indicate that only 1.7 nurses are available for every thousand patients. This puts India in the 75th position of 133 developing countries with regards to nursing care.
Although the number of institutions providing courses for nursing has increased since early 2000’s their spread does not correspond uniformly to population density.
The zone wise distribution of registered institutions where aspirants can pursue an education for nursing is as follows:
This further challenges nursing aspirants as lack of resources, language barriers employment opportunities etc. may stand in their way of working towards a career in nursing.
Some of the key challenges faced by the nursing community include
For the nursing division of the healthcare sector to take it’s proper place in the medical field short-term and long term strategies would be required to address the challenges that the nursing community faces today. The FCCI summarizes 30 recommendations that will pull up the field of nursing as follows:
Dr. K Aggarwal, the Secretary general of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) acknowledges that a shortage of nurses will have a disastrous impact in the long-term. It will make it extremely challenging to get good healthcare in the future if the interest in nursing sector keeps dropping.
The IMA recommends the following actions to raise the profile of the nursing sector in the healthcare industry –
The Union Ministry on September 20, 2016 has tasked the Chief Secretaries of all States and Union territories to formulate a legislation that will address issues of wage, work hours and medical facilities.
With the involvement of the government, the nursing community is sure to get the reverence due to their profession and service.
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Mother & Baby Care
Mr. Raj Shekhar
Age 32, Chennai
My father had a surgery and required regular healthcare services. Portea has greatly helped him with their in-home healthcare services.
We found Nurse Jeesha to be competent dedicated and with a friendly and adjustable disposition. We would highly recommend her.
Mr. V V Venkatachalam
Good morning Joji. We would like to share extremely positive feedback regarding Abhijit with you. He was phenomenal! Please consider making him a permanent staff with Portea. Respectful, kind, considerate, always with dad, never complained, clean, polite. Thank you for selecting him as a replacement for Bijish for last month. With all our best wishes to you & your team at Portea, Venkatachalam Iyer