Nursing is one of the oldest professions to exist and has evolved drastically over the years. A few hundred years ago in history, nurses were seen as mere caretakers. There was no formal education to teach relevant skills. All the knowledge was acquired through mothers, relatives, and other women in the same profession. Evidently, only women were eligible to pursue nursing as it wasn’t a very reputable occupation, nor did women receive any respect in ancient societies.
Today, nursing is a lot more than caregiving. There are countless degrees and fields in nursing to opt for, and it’s open to people of all genders. During the 1800s, when Florence Nightingale laid the foundation of “modern nursing,” the training period of nurses consisted of very little medical education. It was more focused on etiquette and treating patients like they were royal guests. Surprisingly, a segment of the training period also taught new nurses regarding what to wear or how to address patients. Thankfully, the nursing of today is way more academically extensive and clinically advanced. Continue reading to find out what trends made this evolution possible.
1. Massive Increase In Online Training
Nurses of today are fortunate enough to have immense opportunities to continue education and obtain advanced degrees and certifications. While on-campus education has been the common way for so long, there’s no denying that students in healthcare faced countless challenges to pursue advanced education with their already difficult jobs. There are countless online programs available for nurses, like a post master’s certificate online program, so they can soar in their careers. Post master’s certifications offer a competitive edge in today’s nursing field. These qualifications are highly beneficial for young nurses to climb the hierarchy faster and earn better salaries.
2. Widening Scope Of Medicine
As discussed earlier, the JD of a nurse did not extend beyond caregiving and pampering patients. In recent years, the job of a nurse has included a lot more and interesting tasks. In some states, nurse practitioners are even allowed to prescribe medicine without the supervision of a doctor. Nurses are required to acquire the relevant qualification for the field they wish to pursue. They can choose to go for mental health, gynecology, gerontology, and many more fields in healthcare.
3. Self-Care For Nurses
Nurses frequently suffer from burnout due to their highly fatiguing jobs, packed schedules, and intense mental constraint. While they care for their patients by investing their sweat and blood, they often forget that they need to care for themselves too. In a profession as sensitive as nursing, fatigue can lead to errors that may cost a patient their life. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly added to the workload in all healthcare professions. Consequently, self-care was pushed to the end of every nurse’s to-do list. Recently, a lot of research has surfaced depicting the mental stress in a nurse’s life and how it affects their performance at work. Keeping this in mind, healthcare administrators are now focusing on promoting self-care for nurses through workshops, seminars, and other means.
4. Normalizing Travel Nurses
The COVID-19 pandemic was an eye-opener in the world of healthcare. It made us realize the importance of travel nurses. Nurses were obligated to shift cities to work in coronavirus hotspot areas. However, travel nursing is still in trend and is expanding as a profession. Nurses who can conveniently adapt to new and shifting environments are making their way into travel nursing as a career. While leaving your home and loved ones behind can be difficult, travel nurses are offered incentives and perks for encouragement. They’re compensated way more than regular nurses, and they also get to see new countries. These incentives may also include traveling costs coverage, free or discounted accommodation, and medical coverage.
5. The Advent Of Telemedicine
Telemedicine made its way into the world later than expected, but we’re all just glad it’s here. The year 2020 has put telemedicine into the limelight of the healthcare sector. It’s cost-effective and profoundly more convenient. Nurses can now access their patients and render care via virtual appointments. This way, they can see more patients than they could have in a hospital setting. Since it’s more convenient for patients to show up this way, they’re always on time. Telemedicine has also drastically increased the influx of people who seek medical help.
6. The Increase In Male Nurses
According to surveys from 10 years ago, only 1 in 10 nurses was male. This was considered a lot at that time. Today, due to the rising demand for nurses in various fields of medicine, the numbers are said to increase. The feminine connotation associated with nursing has always been a discouragement for men to pursue nursing. Luckily (for men), the wage gap exists in nursing too. Therefore, male nurses earn approximately $5000 more than female nurses. This should be an incentive for men to choose nursing as a potential career. Moreover, just like doctors, the world will also always need nurses. Hence, there is infinite job security in nursing.
7. Expanding Entrepreneurship Opportunities
Surprisingly, nurses have been stepping into entrepreneurship a lot lately. They are starting their own practices to offer direct services to patients. Remote areas that don’t have healthcare facilities are great for setting up clinics. Nurses are also operating outside the patient-care field in the domain of entrepreneurship. Some mental health nurses have started their own venture of providing virtual therapy to patients suffering from mental health conditions. However, they are required to earn a license before proceeding with such projects.
Nursing has evolved profoundly over the past 2 or 3 decades. For example, in the 80s, we couldn’t even have imagined having this many men in nursing. The fields to pursue are widening, and thankfully, nurses can now continue their education and earn advanced degrees through online education. Not only is it cost-effective, but it saves you a great deal of time and hassle. Moreover, more nurses are now turning to travel nursing for a career, and they don’t regret it. Travel nursing is way more fun and adventurous. You get to see new countries and meet new people. You also get to learn in a way more diverse environment. Lastly, telemedicine has made everyone’s lives a thousand times easier.