Nursing In The Modern Era: History and Progress

The nursing field is probably one of the most comprehensive healthcare sub-filed worldwide, with millions of nurses working in various U.S. states alone. They serve as the lifeline of the healthcare field as a whole, and the work they put in day in and day out inside healthcare facilities is hard to match by any other professional out there. That said, the nursing field has changed from what it was thirty, forty years ago.

Aspiring candidates should know beforehand that a nursing profession is not what it used to be a couple of years ago. With that in mind, let us look at how the nursing profession’s history and how it is poles apart from what it was a few decades ago. You’ll be surprised by the fact you read in this article. So, without waiting any further, some of these facts are listed down below.

Nursing In The Modern Era

Today’s Nurses Are Incredibly Well-Trained In Their Field Of Work

Not too long ago, aspiring nursing candidates, specially women, who wanted to work in the nursing field could easily find a nursing job without obtaining any prior formal training. Instead, nurses who picked up knowledge and skills from on-the-job experience could quickly find employment inside a hospital or a private clinic. What’s more, a nurse was only allowed to deal with a patient’s wife and didn’t have any connection with the patient himself. Not to mention, nursing-related higher education degrees weren’t a reality till after the 1800s.

However, today, nursing candidates must undergo extensive education programs, certification, and training to work as registered nurses. Plus, they also direct care to patients from different backgrounds, genders, ethnicities, and ages. Moreover, candidates can become nurse educators by searching for DNP for nurse educators on the internet. Also, nurses can take on administrative roles by becoming nurse case managers as well.

Today’s Nurses Work According To Changing Work Schedules

Back in the 18th century, a nurse had to follow a strict working schedule which usually consisted of reporting to their healthcare facility at 7 in the morning while clocking out at 8 pm. Moreover, nurses in good standing with upper management, specially veteran nurses, were given a few days off from work a couple of times per week. In the end, nurses worked according to tot their own schedules and in a limited capacity.

Nowadays, a nurse’s work schedule isn’t in their control. While most of them work on repetitive tasks, modern-day nurses have to work 24/7. In addition, these nurses sometimes have to work 32-hour night shifts with little to no breaks in between. However, that totally depends on the patient load and the availability of nursing staff.

The Modern-Day Nursing Work Environment Continues To Evolve

A century ago, nurses typically practiced their craft in two places; on the battlefield or at the patient’s home. In fact, militaries worldwide, more often than not, called up nursing professionals to look after wounded soldiers or care for in-home patients. However, nowadays, nurses practice their profession inside various work environments and settings.

From the ski slopes of Switzerland to music festivals to schools, universities, colleges to businesses, nurses are ever-present whenever a medical emergency occurs. This recognition is down to the fact that the community and society view nursing as a respectable, reputable profession as a whole.

Increasing Patient Numbers Lead To Various New Nursing Specialties

As healthcare facilities and treatment become more accessible to patients due to telehealth efforts, more and more nurses have to step up to the plate to care for a more diverse, aging population. As a result, nurses have to take up various roles in different settings. Due to this, they have to specialize in new nursing subfields to cater to patients’ growing healthcare needs and requirements. For instance, as the population ages, more and more candidates are considering a geriatric and elder-care nursing career.

Moreover, due to various technological advancements, nurses who have a background in global health and technical knowledge are in high demand these days.

That said, there has also been a rise in mental health awareness. Due to this, many healthcare facilities and clinics offer their nursing staff certification and training opportunities to ensure they remain up-to-date and well-versed with the latest nursing best practices and care techniques. In the end, our constantly evolving world is giving birth to various nursing specialties with every passing day.

Anyone Can Take Up The Nursing Profession Nowadays

When the world’s first nurse started to practice, you can rest assured that it was a female instead of a male. After all, the nursing profession is reserved for women, specially Caucasian females. Due to this, aspiring nursing candidates of different ethnicities had to undergo various certifications and nursing courses. Plus, white nurses weren’t allowed to work with colored nurses because racial equality wasn’t a thing back then.

That said, when the 1900s came about, nursing became diverse and started to allow candidates from different genders and ethnic backgrounds to work under one roof and on the same team. In fact, the first male nurse was employed in the 1950s by the military. Nowadays, nurses from different counties, educational backgrounds, cultures, and sexualities work together to bring down barriers that have plagued the nursing profession for far too long.

Technology Is Evolving The Nursing Field

Whether you’re a nurse working for your local township or the army, you would have to care for a particular community in the old days. However, because of Covid-19 and the rise of telemedicine, you’re allowed to register yourself as a nurse on various healthcare groups and online platforms to improve the general population’s access to healthcare. As a result, patients from any country or city globally can receive healthcare advice, medicine prescriptions, test results, and diagnoses through smartphone apps and software.

Aspiring candidates looking to take up a career in the nursing field should know that the future looks bright. In fact, changing work environments, new specialties, more leadership opportunities, and technological advancements make this subfield of healthcare an excellent one for potential nurses. So, consider the history and progress mentioned above to make your decision to pursue a career in the nursing field a lot easier.