Nursing as an occupation has always existed; it has and still entails continuous special care for the sick. It has developed to a specialized profession with time. Some of the pioneers who took great strides for the nurses of the present times and of the future are; Hildegard Peplau, Florence Nightingale, Virginia Henderson , Jean Watson and Linda Richards. This article will give a detailed discussion of Hildegard Peplau as one of the pioneers of nursing Hildegard Peplau Born on September 1 1909, Hildegard was the second born daughter of Gustav and Ottylie Peplau.
As she grew up, she witnessed a flu epidemic of 1918 which influenced her understanding of the impact of illness on families and thus the passion for nursing. Hildegard began her career in nursing at the age of 22 years in 1931. She spent her life in the nursing career and later started training people about nursing. During her career she worked as a staff nurse in Pennsylvania and New York, served in the Army Nurse Corps and also worked as a school nurse at Bennington College. Her work focused on extending suvillan’s interpersonal theory in nursing practice.
Dr. Peplau worked to reshape the mental health system in the United States through the passage of the National Mental Health Act of 1944. (http://www. nurses. info/nursing_theory_midrange_theories_hildegard_peplau. htm, Para. 1). Hildegard was known to many as the “Nurse of the Century”. After acquiring doctoral degrees, she was certified in psychoanalysis by the William Allanson White Institute of New York City. She was the only nurse to serve as the Executive Director and later as the president in the American Nurses Association. Dr.
Peplau was also elected to serve on the board of the International Council of Nurses (ICN). She received honor awards from several universities including; Alfred, Duke, Indiana, Ohio State, Rutgers, and the University of Ulster in Ireland. She also received a B. A in interpersonal psychology, an M. A in psychiatric nursing and an Ed. D in curriculum development. In 1997, Dr. Peplau received the world’s highest nursing honor; the Christine Reimann Prize. In 1996, the American Academy of Nursing honored her as a “Living Legend” and in 1998 the American Nurses Association included her in the ANA hall of fame.
She wrote books like ‘Interpersonal Relations in Nursing’, ‘Basic principles of patient counseling’ and ‘Interpersonal relations in nursing: A conceptual framework of reference for psychodynamic nursing’. She also wrote foreign language journal articles/books and identified six nursing roles of a nurse which include counseling role, leadership role, surrogate role, stranger, resource person, and teaching role. Her theoretical and clinical work which led to the development of the distinct field of psychiatric nursing will be remembered.
She believed that nursing will make progression from being an occupation to a profession in the 20th century (Andrist, Nicholas & Wolf, pp 78). Her model helped in developing more advanced therapeutic nursing and hence making nursing a noble profession. Her determination of enabling nursing to transform from being a group of skilled workers, to a full profession is also remembered. Apart from her nursing career, Dr. Peplau participated in other areas like serving as a consultant to the U. S Surgeon General, the U.
S Air force and the National Institute of Mental Health. She also participated in government policy making. Having lived her life as the “mother of psychiatric nursing”, she died at the age of 89 years leaving behind a legacy. Her vigorous advocacy that nurses should become further educated, so that they could provide good therapeutic care to patients rather than the custodial care, was constantly practiced in the mental hospitals of that era and it has continued to produce great changes in the nursing practice (http://www.
nq-anzcmhn. org/papers/Remembering%20Hildegard%20Peplau. htm, para. 1) In conclusion, courageous and determined nurses committed themselves to discovering the nursing skills. They learned them, fought for the rights to use them and clearly outlined them and instilled what they had discovered to other nurses. All nurses have to remember that part of nursing’s past and to keep their own skills in pace with new opportunities and upcoming technology into the next century.
Peplau was one peculiar woman who left us a legacy of practical knowledge to enable the survival and continued development of nursing. Work Cited: Andrist, L. C. , Nicholas, P. K. & Wolf, K. A. History of Nursing Ideas. ISBN 0763722898, 9780763722890, Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2006 Hildegard Peplau. Retrieved on 28th January 2009 from: http://www. nurses. info/nursing_theory_midrange_theories_hildegard_peplau. htm, 2008 Remembering Hildegard Peplau. Retrieved on 28th January from 2009 from: http://www. nq-anzcmhn. org/papers/Remembering%20Hildegard%20Peplau. htm, 1999