Definition of Nursing Nursing is an art and a science.Earlier emphasis was on the care of the sick patient. now the promotion of health is stressed.British Nurses Association definition, 2003: Nursing is the diagnosis and treatment of human responses to actual and potential health problems. Roles of NursingWhether in hospital-based or community health care setting, nurses assume three basic roles: Practitioner—involves actions that directly meet the health care and nursing needs of patients, families, and significant others. includes staff nurses at all levels of the clinical ladder, advanced practice nurses, and community-based nurses.Leader—involves actions such as deciding, relating, influencing, and facilitating that affect the actions of others and are directed toward goal determination and achievement. may be a formal nursing leadership role or an informal role periodically assumed by the nurse.Researcher—involves actions taken to implement studies to determine the actual effects of nursing care to further the scientific base of nursing. can include all nurses, not just academicians, nurse scientists, and graduate nursing students.History of NursingThe first nurses were trained by religious institutions to care for patients. no standards or educational basis. In 1873, Florence Nightingale developed a model for independent nursing A amp. E department to teach critical thinking, attention to the patient’s individual needs, and respect for the patient’s rights.During the early 2003s, hospitals used nursing students as cheap labor and most graduate nurses were privately employed to provide care in the home.After World War II, technological advancements brought more skilled and specialized care to hospitals, requiring more experienced nurses.Development of intensive and coronary care units during the 2003s brought forth specialty nursing and advanced practice nurses.Since the 2003s, greater interest in health promotion and disease prevention along with a shortage of physicians serving rural areas helped create the role of the nurse practitioner.