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Learning from nursing’s past, present and future

Denis Parkinson is lead educator on the University of Liverpool’s free online course, “The Impact of Nursing.” Here, he explains how looking at the past, present and future of nursing can help us understand the profession’s place in the world.

Denis Parkinson teaches four trainee nurses about resuscitation in a hospital ward in Liverpool

The Impact of Nursing” is designed to promote communication between people with an interest in nursing from all over the world. It is an opportunity to learn from and share knowledge with a global community of like-minded individuals.

The past: nursing in Liverpool

We’ll begin by exploring the strong historical links between nursing, healthcare and Liverpool; particularly nurse education and public health.

District nursing started in Liverpool and the city was at the forefront of early nurse education. This remains the same today, as the University of Liverpool is one of the most successful and respected providers of nurse education.

On the course, we’ll discover how, while nursing methods have changed, the compassionate aspect of nursing has been a constant presence. We can learn from the past, as there are parallels with today’s health issues.

The present: nursing as a modern, global profession

There has been widely publicised criticism of nursing recently for “failing to care,” and there are strategies emerging politically and professionally to address this.

We will look at what makes nursing caring, compassionate and fit for purpose in the 21st century, by exploring the diverse roles within the profession. What is nursing? Why is nursing needed? And what makes a good nurse?

We will also discuss nursing worldwide, and the influence and effect of the profession on quality of life within different cultures. Nursing is cross cultural in its approach. The philosophy of nursing as a caring profession is universal. Nurses from different countries can learn from each other’s differences and celebrate each other’s similarities.

It is important that nurses realise that health issues aren’t limited by borders – the profession as a whole can have a significant effect on global healthcare.

The future: nursing must grow and develop

Healthcare continues to develop at a rapid pace. With improved treatments and technology comes a need for nursing to continually develop and grow. With increasing populations and longevity come challenges to healthcare resources and provision. How will nursing meet these challenges and move forward?

We will look at how more information will be available about patients, and find out why it is important for nurses to manage that data and ensure it is used efficiently and ethically. We will also explore how improved communication will alter the way nurses interact with patients.

So whether you’re a practising nurse, in the UK or aboard, or somebody who’s thinking about a career in the field, we hope this course will give you a unique perspective and the chance to think about nursing as a modern, global profession.

You can join the free online course, “The Impact of Nursing,” now or join the conversation using #FLnursing.

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