The history of the first nursing school can be traced back to 1859 when Florence Nightingale established her pioneering training facility – St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Prior to this, nurses had received little formal education and were seen more as unskilled labor with no real career prospects.
In her book Notes on Nursing, Nightingale stated that “it is not an art that can be taught by the lecture system; practice must go hand in hand with theory” – emphasizing the importance of hands-on experience when it comes to training nurses. This idea was reflected in her curriculum at St Thomas’ which emphasized practical skills such as feeding and bathing patients alongside theoretical teachings like medical terminology and record keeping.
Nightingale’s efforts soon paid off as graduates from her school went on to become some of the most sought-after healthcare providers of their time due to their superior nursing knowledge. Other schools were inspired by her approach and subsequently developed similar programs, resulting in a professionalization of nursing care throughout Europe.
Today, there are over 2,000 accredited nursing schools across the U.S., offering students a variety of degrees ranging from Associates to Doctorates – all thanks to Nightingale’s efforts! Her legacy continues to live on through these institutions and is remembered every year when new graduates are honored for their outstanding achievement. Indeed, it is clear just how far we have come since the days of the first nursing school!