Words matter. We exist in a culture where what a person or an organisation says matters. Individuals spend hours poring over texts and documents, seeking both overt and hidden meanings. The new Royal College of Nursing (RCN) definition of nursing may be such a document (RCN, 2023a).
Nursing has changed over the past few decades and therefore it seems reasonable that the definition of what it means to be a nurse would also change. Perhaps it is time to move on from Henderson's oft-cited and memorised description:
‘The unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to peaceful death) that he would perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge and to do this in such a way as to help him gain independence as rapidly as possible.’
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