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Nursing as a Profession

registered nurse

The nursing profession has been around in some form for as long as people have existed. As medical knowledge and technology has advanced, so has nursing as a profession.

People are trained to care for patients, adding a personal touch to their treatment plans. Nurses also continue to be in high demand at hospitals and medical facilities. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that Registered Nurses will see a 19% job growth between 2012 and 2022.

Nurses are an extension of the care that patients receive at hospitals and clinics. Those in the nursing profession are also actively involved in health care research, management and administration. Physicians and nurses work together to provide patients with care, but nurses are the ones who patients often interact with the most. This is why choosing a career in nursing is such an important step.

A historical look at the nursing profession

According to the National Women’s History Museum, nursing had been a home profession for the first two centuries after the European settlement of the Americas. Hospitals were not originally seen as trustworthy places to go when sick or injured, and people preferred to be treated at home by doctors and nurses that they knew and trusted. Nursing started to become a profession with recognized credentials around the Civil War, when skilled nurses were most needed.

Congress took notice of all the hard work that nurses, most of whom were women at the time, gave to the soldiers in the war. Civil War nurses were given pensions in 1892 as a reward for their service. From there, nursing expanded to include hospitals and schools for nursing began to pop up all over the country.

Nursing as a career

Today, nurses are recognized as vital to the health and care of patients. The medical community has a better understanding of the human body and how germs are spread. As technology advances, nursing as a profession also advances. The need for nurses is at an all-time high, due to things like an aging population and natural disasters.

There will be a shortage of nurses by 2025, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The reasons for this are twofold: retiring RNs and an aging population. Nurses are needed more than ever.