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The World Health Organisation in its publication Health for All Nursing Series: Mission and Functions of the Nurse (1991) states:

The mission of nursing in society is to help individuals, families and groups to determine and achieve physical, mental and social potential, and to do so within the challenging context of the environment in which they live and work. This requires nurses to develop and perform functions that relate to the promotion and maintenance of health as well as to the prevention of ill health. Nursing also includes the planning and implementation of care during illness and rehabilitation, and encompasses the physical, mental and social aspects of life as they affect health, illness, disability and dying.

Nursing is the provision of care for individuals, families and groups throughout the entire life span - from conception to death.

Nursing is both an art and a science that requires the understanding and application of the knowledge and skills specific to the discipline. It also draws on knowledge and techniques derived from the humanities and the physical, social, medical and biological sciences.

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