NRS 415 Topic 1 DQ 2

NRS 415 Topic 1 DQ 2

Assessment Description

How has nursing practice evolved over time? Explain the significance of evidence-based practice and critical thinking in modern nursing. Identify one key nursing leader and summarize one historical event that has shaped contemporary nursing practice, the advancement of nursing as a profession, and the development of nursing roles. Select a leader and a historical event different from those identified by your classmates.

Initial discussion question posts should be a minimum of 200 words and include at least two references cited using APA format. Responses to peers or faculty should be 100-150 words and include one reference. Refer to “RN-BSN Discussion Question Rubric” and “RN-BSN Participation Rubric,” located in Class Resources, to understand the expectations for initial discussion question posts and participation posts, respectively.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education

This assignment aligns to AACN Core Competencies 1.1, 9.5. 

Nursing practice has undergone significant evolution over time, shaped by various factors such as societal changes, technological advancements, and a growing body of scientific knowledge. One crucial development in modern nursing is the emphasis on evidence-based practice (EBP) and critical thinking.

Evidence-based practice involves integrating the best available evidence with clinical expertise and patient values to make informed decisions about patient care. This approach ensures that nursing interventions are based on sound scientific evidence, enhancing the quality and effectiveness of patient care. Critical thinking, on the other hand, is the ability to analyze and evaluate information, allowing nurses to make reasoned judgments and solve complex problems in diverse clinical settings. (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2018).

In the historical context, one influential nursing leader is Florence Nightingale. Nightingale’s pioneering work during the Crimean War in the 19th century laid the foundation for modern nursing practice. She emphasized the importance of sanitation, hygiene, and evidence-based interventions, demonstrating the significance of a scientific approach to nursing care.

A historical event that has shaped contemporary nursing practice is the establishment of the American Nurses Association (ANA) in 1896. This event marked the formalization of nursing as a profession and set standards for nursing education and practice. The ANA has played a crucial role in advocating for the rights and professional development of nurses, contributing to the recognition of nursing as a distinct and respected profession. (American Nurses Association, 2020).

In conclusion, evidence-based practice and critical thinking are essential components of modern nursing, ensuring that care is based on the best available evidence and delivered with a thoughtful, analytical approach. Florence Nightingale’s influence and the establishment of the American Nurses Association are significant historical milestones that have shaped the current landscape of nursing practice and the nursing profession.


Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2018). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice. Wolters Kluwer.

American Nurses Association. (2020). About ANA. Retrieved from

The domain in “The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education” I am interested in learning more about would be quality and safety. “For quality health care to exist, care must be safe, effective, timely, efficient, equitable, and person-centered” (AACN, 2021). What’s interesting about this is the fact that quality and safety are actually intertwined, where they mutually coexist and support one another where if one is lacking, then the other would be lacking as well. Nurses are a contributor towards safety, but they collaborate with other healthcare personnel in order to maximize quality care and safety typically, whether it is food and nutrition, environmental services, patient care assistants, or engineering. Furthermore, it is not only the physical safety aspect, but also creating a culture of patient safety where one works within an inter-professional team that builds one another up to prevent errors and near misses in patient care (AACN, 2021).

Characteristics of a successful student would be studying effectively, avoiding distractions, reviewing work ahead of time, practicing, and giving oneself enough time and being realistic with time management and organizing accordingly to be able to complete work in a timely manner (Murphy, 2015). I personally need to work on not procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to complete my work, but rather organizing my schedule ahead of time to be able to space out my work and not be overwhelmed at the last minute. 

A role model I could use to support my professional growth would be my brother, who is disciplined in the sense that when he has to get work done he puts his phone away and stored away so it will not be a distraction. Another thing is that his mindset and discipline allows him to study and have a longer attention span towards doing work because he has set goals on what he wants to achieve and get done during the day. I strive to be the same. 


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2021, April 6). The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education. 

Murphy, P. (2015, October 13). 7 Habits of Highly Effective Nursing Students – Minority nurse. Minority Nurse – Diversity in Nursing.

Evolution of Nursing Practice Over Time:

Nursing practice has evolved significantly from its early beginnings, where it was largely an informal practice, often associated with religious orders and military needs, to a highly professional field, grounded in science and research (Alligood, 2013). The introduction of formal nursing education and standards, notably by Florence Nightingale, marked a pivotal shift towards modern nursing. This evolution has seen nursing expand from basic care provision to a complex, multidisciplinary profession.

Significance of Evidence-Based Practice and Critical Thinking:

In contemporary nursing, evidence-based practice (EBP) and critical thinking are foundational. EBP combines clinical expertise with the best available clinical evidence from systematic research and patient preferences, leading to improved patient outcomes and optimized healthcare delivery (Alligood, 2013). Critical thinking in nursing involves a thoughtful and systematic approach to patient care, encouraging nurses to question and reflect on their practice to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Key Nursing Leader – Lillian Wald:

Lillian Wald, a pioneer in nursing, played a critical role in establishing public health nursing. Her establishment of the Henry Street Settlement in 1893 revolutionized healthcare delivery to marginalized communities (Fee & Bu, 2010). Wald’s work emphasized holistic care, integrating environmental and social determinants of health into nursing practice, broadening the scope of nursing beyond acute care settings to community and public health roles.

Historical Event – Establishment of Public Health Nursing:

The establishment of public health nursing by Wald marked a historical shift in nursing practice (Fee & Bu, 2010). This development underscored the importance of preventive care and health education, influencing the expansion of nursing roles into public and community health sectors. Wald’s advocacy for school nursing and her emphasis on social health determinants were instrumental in shaping contemporary nursing practice.

The evolution of nursing from a rudimentary care practice to a sophisticated, evidence-based profession underscores the dynamic nature of this field. The integration of evidence-based practice and critical thinking, along with the pioneering contributions of leaders like Lillian Wald, have been instrumental in advancing nursing as a profession and expanding the roles and scope of nursing practice (Alligood, 2013;Fee & Bu, 2010).


Alligood, M. R. (2013). Nursing Theorists and Their Work (8th ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences.

Fee, E., & Bu, L. (2010). The origins of public health nursing: the Henry Street Visiting Nurse Service. American journal of public health, 100(7), 1206–1207.