The State of Nursing: History and Future
You've heard of Florence Nightingale, right? She is known as the Mother of Modern Nursing (and also "The Lady of the Lamp") and was largely responsible for helping nursing be recognized as a profession.
Up until that time, nurses' training was informal. Her most famous contribution to nursing came as result of what she saw during her initial interactions with injured soldiers in the Crimean war who were dying more from disease and poor care than from their wounds.
She developed procedures for cleaning hospital equipment and also for reorganizing patient care. She also wrote a now famous book
Notes on Nursing, What It Is and Is Not, which has is surprisingly relevant even today.
By the way, if you want to lots more about good ol' Flo, check out the website, http://www.florence-nightingale.co.uk/index.php, for the London museum dedicated to her memory.
The first school in the U.S. that was based on Nightingale's principles was started in 1873 at New York's Bellevue Hospital. There are now more than 1,500 nursing programs in the U.S. alone;. all U.S. nursing schools are responsible to their national accrediting body and their state board of nursing. However, all the individual state boards of nursing work together at the national level and all U.S. students in pursuit of their "RN" license, no matter where they get their education, take the same national NCLEX (i.e., licensure) test.