Influence of Nightingale’s Legacy
Florence Nightingale played a critical role in the enhancement of the nursing services. She helped to identify social and environmental health determinants that influence human health. Nightingale’s contribution to the nursing field led to the formation of a grassroots-to-global movement that aimed at creating public awareness about the significance of health (Beck, 2010). Her legacy has influenced people’s perception of the millennium development goals (MDGs).
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From Nightingale’s legacy, the millennium development goals can be divided into two groups. The first group comprises development goals that have direct effects on nursing and health. The second group includes “factors that determine the health or lack of health of people” (Beck, 2010, p. 295). One lesson that people can learn from Nightingale’s legacy is that everyone has a role to play in the realization of millennium development goals. One does not have to take a major initiative to facilitate the achievement of MDGs. Participating in community programs can promote the attainment of the MDGs.
Millennium Development Goals
Three MDGs that a nurse can advance include reduction of child mortality, enhancement of maternal health, and the fight against malaria and HIV/AIDS. According to Beck (2010), infant mortality is high, especially in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Combating child mortality is the fourth-millennium development goal (MDG), whose objective is to ensure that children do not die before they celebrate their fifth birthday.
As a nurse, one can advance this goal by teaching parents how to feed the children and observe cleanliness. Maternal health is a major global concern. Every year, “more than 500,000 women and girls die from childbirth and the risks of pregnancy, globally” (Beck, Dossey & Rushton, 2008). Enhancement of maternal health does not only entail averting death but also treating and preventing pregnancy-related diseases. As a nurse, one can advance the objectives of this goal by training midwives who assist women from marginalized areas in life-saving techniques. Additionally, one can initiate an outreach program that provides necessary maternal-newborn health care services to marginalized communities.
The spread of HIV is still high, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Besides, over one million people die of malaria yearly. The sixth MDG aims to fight the spread of HIV, malaria, and other illnesses (Beck et al., 2008). As a nurse, one can advance this goal by educating society on how HIV/AIDS is spread and the measures it can take to prevent new infections. Conversely, one can inform the public on how to keep the environment clean to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes that spread malaria.
Advancement of United Nations’ Goals
A community of nurses can collectively or individually assist in the realization of the United Nations’ goals in different ways. The nurses can establish an online platform to teach the public how to deal with child mortality. Beck, Dossey, and Rushton (2010) maintain that most women do not understand their role in the fight against infant mortality. Therefore, nurses can collectively or individually teach women and the society at large how to promote child health.
Additionally, they can enlighten the public on the significance of vaccinating children. Another way that the nurses can help to advance the UN goals is by establishing a kitty meant to help the disadvantaged in the society. The kitty may facilitate the distribution of food and clean water to areas that experience prolonged drought. Nurses, either collectively or individually, can set aside money to purchase antenatal and prenatal drugs and vitamins for women from poor backgrounds. Lack of access to these medicines and vitamins poses a significant risk to the unborn.
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Beck, D. (2010). Remembering Florence Nightingale’s panorama: 21st century nursing – at a critical crossroads. Journal of Holistic Nursing Practice, 28(4), 291-301.
Beck, D., Dossey, B., & Rushton, C. (2008). Integral nursing and the Nightingale initiative for global health: Florence Nightingale’s integral legacy for the 21st century. Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, 6(4), 71-92.
Beck, D., Dossey, B., & Rushton, C. (2010). The 2010 international year of the nurse: 21st – century Nightingales and global health. Nursing Economics, 28(3), 215-223.