Nursing in India is the practice of care for medical patients in that nation. Its history indicates that the principles and practices of nursing are ancient. These ancient nursing practices are so clear, intelligent and scientific, that many of them might fit into any of the modern textbook. Prior to the 20th century, Indian nurses were usually young men, with women acting as midwives for assisting with childbirth. The acceptance of nursing as a profession in India was obstructed by the low status of women, the caste system, illiteracy and political unrest. Florence Nightingale was the first woman to have great influence over nursing in India and had a close knowledge of Indian conditions, especially in the army. She was interested in the nursing service for the civilian population, though her first interest was the welfare of the army in India.