4 Fun Facts about Nursing History | Harris Casel Institute Melbourne FL
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4 Fun Facts about Nursing History

nursing history 4 fun facts nurses aide practical nurse training programsLearn the background of this important career field!

Nursing is an essential job in the healthcare world. From nursing assistants to practical nurses to registered nurses, the field of nursing has many roles that play an important part in patient care. If you’re a compassionate person who enjoys helping others, then a nursing program could be a great option for you. To celebrate nurses and all they do, we’re offering four fun facts about the history of nursing.

1. The first nursing school opened in the year 250 BCE

The earliest recorded history of nursing distinguishes their roles as midwives and wet nurses.  One of the first historically recorded nursing schools was established in India in 250 B.C.E. In that time period, the Buddhist Indian ruler, Ashoka, ordered hospitals to be built along the main travelling routes. These hospitals were supplied with nurses and medicines to help the sick and weary.

2. Nursing caps are designed from nuns’ habits

The original nursing cap is designed after a nun’s habit. Religious organizations often provided training to nuns, who acted as the first groups of organized nurses in medieval Europe. This type of headdress was worn to show that they worked in the service of caring for the sick. The head covering was more like a veil, but it later evolved into the nursing cap in the Victorian era. Now the nursing cap is usually worn only for ceremonial purposes.

3. The first African American nurse

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American nurse to study and work as a professional nurse in the United States. She graduated from nursing school in 1879 and was also an advocate for equal treatment for African American nurses. In 1908, she co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduated Nurses. This organization help to influence and eliminate racial discrimination in the field. Mahoney has received many awards and was inducted into the American Nurses Association Hall in 1976. She has also been included in the National Women’s Hall of Fame since 1993.

4. The founder of modern nursing was known as the “Angel of the Crimea”

Florence Nightingale was the founder of modern nursing. She is best known for organizing the nursing of wounded soldiers during the Crimean War. Her efforts at the British base hospital were estimated to have reduced the death count by two-thirds. In 1860, she founded the world’s first secular nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. She pushed social reforms that improved healthcare for all classes of British society and also expanded the social acceptance of females in the workforce. Today, the Nightingale Pledge is often taken by new nurses. Her name is remembered with the highest international achievement for nurses, the Florence Nightingale Medal. International Nurses Day is also celebrated around her birthday.

The nursing profession has a long and prestigious history of caring for others. Aren’t you glad you know some interesting facts about the history of nursing? If you decide to become a nurse, you will join a long list of hardworking, honorable individuals who have helped shape the nursing industry today. Harris Casel hopes this background info inspired you to consider a career in the nursing world!


Harris Casel offers nursing programs at its campus in Melbourne, FL. Choose from a nursing assistant, home health aide, patient care technician, or practical nursing career path. If you’d like to learn more about our training programs, contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you!