Nursing began as a “lowly” career. Nurses in the 18th century were often poor and low class, working long hours. During the civil war, there was an increased need for nurses. The career boomed, and 20,000 new nurses began working to help war veterans survive. Nursing became a regulated career in the United States in the early 20th century.

Every published definition of Registered Nursing today shows two main themes:

  1. A Registered Nurse provides essential services to the restoration of health and well-being in patients.
  2. A Registered Nurse must meet a common standard of education to obtain a license.

In practice, an RN develops their own personal definition of nursing every day. As a future RN, you may even begin developing your own personal definition after reading through this guide.