Quarterly scientific journal

A critical assessment of the Nightingale pattern influence in Nursing education in England, Greece and USA

Alexandra Dimitriadou-Panteka , Maria Lavdaniti


Nightingale’s personality, her values, the vision, organizational skills and successes laid the foundations of nursing as a profession. The philosophy maintained for Nursing, the organizational framework and the education system chosen were key elements that characterized the Nursing Education for almost a century. Purpose: The purpose of the present paper was to critically review the literature related to the impact of Nightingale in nursing education and its relation with the University curriculum in England, Greece and USA. Material and Methods: This literature review utilized the pubmed database and the google scholar searching machine, using the keywords: “Nightingale”, “education”, “England”, “Greece”, “USA”. The research was conducted between 1970 and 2008. Results: According the Nightingale’s perception, the goal of nursing education was the Christian moral and spiritual development of the nurse character and the development of technical proficiency. Three factors led to the success of the venture: the recruitment of female students, the philosophy of the education and the education system. The education system that Nightingale’s nursing school adopted, set the standard for most schools around the world, and included some theoretical courses and mostly clinical practice. The training philosophy that dominated was the apprenticeship. Conclusions: Nightingale’s paradigm in nursing training in Europe, applied for over a hundred years. Although the system evolved, many aspects of the old system of education still coexist. More research is required in the Greek and international nursing educational context.

Keywords: Nursing education, Nightingale, Greece, England, USA

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