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Nightingale’s Nursing Theory and Global Health


Florence Nightingale was a pioneer in the promotion of modern nursing theory. Her theory of care includes a number of issues and definitions to clarify the biological and physical aspects of diseases (Awalkhan & Muhammad, 2016). In addition, her theory can be used to improve the perception of the Millennium Goals such as universal primary education, child mortality reduction, and maternal health improvement defined by Beck, Dossey, and Rushton (2011). In this paper, several global health issues will be discussed through perspectives identified in Nightingale’s theory.

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Florence Nightingale’s Legacy

After reading the article by Beck et al. (2011) and evaluating the works created by Nightingale, I was able to change my perception of the Millennium Goals. In fact, for a long period of time, I did not believe that one person or even a group of people could be able to deal with such global health problems as poverty or the lack of education. Though it is possible to identify these challenges and think about available options, it is a kind of governmental responsibility to find solutions and improve the world.

However, Nightingale’s theory and her understanding of modern nursing changed my attitude to these problems. Sometimes, it is enough that one or more people believe in the necessity of education or eradication of poverty in order to make this problem recognizable. It is possible to start talking and sharing personal experiences in any convenient way for people. A successful combination of societal and environmental determinants promotes success in achieving millennium goals.

Millennium Goals

As a nurse, I believe that I can advance different goals. My faith is one of the main weapons in my professional nursing growth. The first goal I want to pay attention to is the promotion of universal primary education. Today, many children remain illiterate worldwide (Beck et al., 2011). In her works, Nightingale invokes people to teach each other using any means. I can contribute to this goal by sharing my experience, creating blogs, and answering questions my patients and colleagues can pose. These activities can be used to achieve another goal that is the reduction of child mortality (Beck et al., 2011). When people are educated, they are able to take appropriate precautionary steps and avoid health complications. Educating people about the importance of hygiene, healthy eating, and physical training are appropriate primary steps. The improvement of maternal health is also the goal that can be advanced in my role as a nurse. If Nightingale survived the conditions when water and food contamination was an ordinary thing, modern technologies and progress could be used to support families and promote family health. In addition, nurses can participate in free vaccination and learning campaigns to reduce the number of transmitting diseases between mothers and their children.

Role of Nurses

My community of nurses may help advance the UN Goals by creating foundations for prenatal care and improving emergency care conditions. People who are in need of professional help are not always aware of how to take the first step or how to create a request. Nurses have to support people in their intentions to cooperate with hospitals. Therefore, foundations can be used by people to cover their primary needs, and emergency department services can be improved by nurses to accept as many patients as possible. Communication, support, and explanations are the three main directions in which nurses have to develop their services.


In general, Nightingale’s work contributes to my understanding of the Millennium Goals a lot. I believe that a modern nurse is usually equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to promote global health. The only step that should be taken is to recognize personal abilities and possible impact on nursing care.


Awalkhan, A., & Muhammad, D. (2016). Application o Nightingale nursing theory to the care of patient with colostomy. European Journal of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, 2(6), 97-101.

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Beck, D.M., Dossey, B.M., & Rushton, C.H. (2011). 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.

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