Anna Maxwell's Contributions to the Nursing Profession – Care Example

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"Anna Maxwell's Contributions to the Nursing Profession" is an engrossing example of a paper on care. One would suggest that Anna Caroline Maxwell displayed many leadership qualities in her quest to develop the nursing profession in America. She did this through her determination to ensure that nursing as a profession was recognized and respected not only by the government but also by society. In addition, she displayed her leadership skills in all the positions that she was given, as seen when she worked as a matron in New England and as a superintendent in Massachusetts (Myrick, Yonge, Billay & Luhanga, 2011).

She was a very good organizer who worked hard to ensure that all of her students gained the necessary funding that they needed after she founded a training school for nurses. Her leadership skill was instrumental for the continued patronage of the financier John Stewart Kennedy for the Presbyterian Hospital’ s nursing school over which she was the director. Because of her passion for her job and her need to continue training nurses, Maxwell tended to take many jobs on the field as a means of supporting such institutions as the military. Maxwell made massive contributions to the nursing profession in America and she did this through agitating for and helping to found nursing schools that were instrumental in making nursing an accepted profession not only in the United States but also in the rest of the world.

In order to diversify nursing so that it was not just practiced in hospitals in times of peace, Maxwell requested and was given permission to become an active participant in the treatment of the wounded during the Spanish-American war (Telford, 2014).

It was through her efforts that the Army Nurse Corps was founded and all of the members of this institution were given the rank of officer in the military. In this way, Maxwell ensured that nurses came to be involved in almost every aspect of American life, from times of peace to those of war (D’ Antonio & Lewenson-Faan, 2011). Thus, nurses were allowed to fulfill their patriotic duty through providing their services during wars and this helped to raise their profile as selfless individuals who would put themselves in harm’ s way to protect the lives of people. Maxwell advocated for the need for all people in the society to receive medical attention whenever they needed it and it is for this reason that she worked hard to ensure that a significant number of nurses were trained to cater for them (Schultz, 2012).

Because of her determination to have more nurses in the military, for example, she used her persuasive skills to ensure that nurses were given recognition within this institution and this resulted in their being given the position of the officer as well as the formation of the Nurse Corps (Riley, 2000).

In addition to her efforts in the military, Maxwell worked towards the formation of the Presbyterian Hospital's nursing school and she became its first director, serving in this position for almost three decades. It was through her forceful advocacy as well as determination that she was able to ensure that there was continued training of nurses for the purpose of offering better medical services in hospitals and other healthcare institutions.

Thus, Maxwell can be considered to have been a major advocate for the recognition of nursing as a serious profession in twentieth-century America. Maxwell came to the realization that the conditions in hospitals were less than ideal because, despite the large number of patients who needed care, there were very few nurses who could attend to them efficiently. In order to remedy this situation, she worked towards the development of institutions that would ensure the training of more nurses to satisfy the demand for them by patients (Anderson, 1981). In addition, during her tenure as a field nurse during the Spanish-American War, she found that a large number of soldiers at Fort Thomas suffered from a variety of diseases, such as measles and typhoid, which could only be treated through proper care.

This made Maxwell all the more determined to train nurses who would be able to take care of these soldiers and with this training; the nurses were able to clean the environment around the field hospital so that it was conducive for the treatment and recovery of soldiers who suffered from illnesses.

In this way, Maxwell was able to address the various challenges and obstacles which affected healthcare in a variety of situations. Future generations of nurses will have a lot to thank Maxwell for and this will include many aspects of the nursing profession as it is today. One will find that if not for her efforts, it is possible that the nursing profession would not have received the recognition that it deserved and would have instead have been relegated to the background as an unimportant profession. In addition, nurses have to thank Maxwell for realizing early that there was the need for trained nurses to be available in all types of hospitals because it is this training that determined whether a patient lived or died (Maxwell, 1907, p. 33).

The latter used to be the case in most circumstances before the advent of trained nurses because most of those who conducted nursing were not trained and did not know whether what they were doing was right for the patient or not. Therefore, because of Maxwell’ s efforts, nursing became a prestigious calling with millions of people all over the world aspiring to become a part of this select profession. Maxwell’ s actions based on her advocacy for the need to have trained nurses as well as making nursing more professional has had an immense impact on the way that I perceive my profession.

This is mainly because of the fact that she completely changed the face of nursing so that it developed into an effort by nurses to genuinely help those individuals who were in need of healthcare. Moreover, Maxwell has had a personal impact on my professional life because my admiration for her has made me want to be a better nurse and I do this by attempting to emulate her as much as possible.

Furthermore, her efforts to provide her services even in very dangerous places such as the warzones of the First World War and before that the Spanish-American War has made the nursing profession all the more admirable for me and has made me realize that my chosen profession is one which has a prestigious history with a lot of which to be proud.


Anderson, N.E. (1981). The Historical Development Of American Nursing Education. JNE. Journal of Nursing Education, 20(1), 18-36.

D’Antonio, P. & Lewenson-Faan, S. (2011). Nursing Interventions Through Time: History as Evidence. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Maxwell, A.C. (1907). Practical Nursing. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Myrick, F., Yonge, O., Billay, D. & Luhanga, F. (2011). Preceptorship: Shaping the art of nursing through practical wisdom. Journal of Nursing Education, 50(3), 134-139.

Riley, H.D. (2000). A history of the U.S. army nurse corps. The Journal of Military History, 64(3), 858-859.

Schultz, J. E. (2012). American nursing: A history of knowledge, authority, and the meaning of work. Nursing History Review, 20, 238-240.

Telford, J. C. (2014). Nursing in America: A history of social reform. Nursing History Review, 22, 185-187.

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