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[Fr. fr. L. nutrix, nurse]
1. One who provides health care. The extent of participation varies from simple patient care to the most expert professional techniques necessary in acute, life-threatening situations. The ability of a nurse to make self-directed judgments and to act independently will depend on professional background, motivation, and opportunity for professional development. The health care team includes the technical nurse, who is technique-oriented, deals with commonly recurring nursing problems and knows standardized procedures and medically delegated techniques. Also included is the professional nurse, who is prepared to assume responsibility for the care of individuals and groups in collaboration with a physician. The roles of nurses constantly change in response to the growth of biomedical knowledge, changes in patterns of demand for health services, and the evolution of professional relationships among nurses, physicians, and other health care professionals.
2. To feed an infant at the breast.
3. To perform the duties of caring for the sick.
4. To care for a young child.