Nursing has a long scholarly tradition in Europe. To help the sick has always been something everyone has performed, but nursing as a profession and a discipline has existed for over 150 years in Norway, and even longer elsewhere in Europe.
In the Catholic countries, nurse training goes back to the early 1600s. Nursing has historically been central to public health and individual safety, both in times of peace and during wars and epidemics, but this has not always been stated clearly and presented as significant.
When nursing emerged as a discipline in Northern Europe in the late 1800s, many myths about nursing and nurses' professional practice were established.