Most people say it is a career about caring. Others say it is a job about professional administration of medications and cure to patients. Some say it is the duty to work out predicaments by using critical thinking skills.
In whatever way you want to call it, nursing is, indeed, a conglomeration of all these beliefs and the faculty of many other skills. Nursing merges all the elements of professional treatment, compassion, and medical attention into one vigorous and feasible occupation. Nurses demonstrate all the remarkable characteristics of a person knowledgeable in patient care.
For this reason, many people all over the world continues to pursue a career in nursing. So for those who want to establish a successful career in this in-demand and exciting job, there are ten things you need to know first.
1. The nursing profession started out primarily during the early Christian era where members of the church provided nursing care to the sick. Though not professionally systematic at first, most of the activities of early nurses were focused on proper hygiene and comfort needs which are still being practiced up to the present.
2. It was in the year 1860 when Nightingale School at St. Thomas Hospital in London, the first training school for nurses, was built. Florence Nightingale was the one responsible in this momentous event. No wonder she was then acclaimed “The Founder of Modern Nursing.”
3. Linda Richards was the first trained nurse in the United States. In 1873, she graduated from New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston. Being one of the proponents of nursing, she opened the first training school for nurses in Japan and started a nurse training school at the Methodist Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia.
4. Historically, more women have preferred nursing as a career. In fact, nursing was known to be a career for women until today where things changed. There have been statistical reports showing gradual increase of registered nurses composed of men. This just implies that men can also be passionate and caring contrary to what the society have labeled them as strong and formidable human beings.
5. In the United States, 88% of the employed registered nurses are white or Caucasians. The remaining 12% are from non-Caucasians backgrounds; most of them came from non-Hispanic or African-American/Black race.
6. In the age demographics of the United States alone, most of the registered nurses are under the age of 40. Statistical reports in the year 2000 showed a relative increase in the median age thereby indicating an older nursing population and fewer young nurses entering the registered nurse population. Consequently, most people believe that 15 years from now, almost half of the registered nurse population will be retiring sooner or later leaving a smaller staff of younger registered nurses.
7. While most students pursue a career in nursing, the statistics show that most hospitals, particularly in the United States, are having problems in nursing shortage. This alarming condition is manifested by a growing number of retired nurses while the health care arena is continuously multiplying due to an excessive population growth in most areas. Nursing shortage is, in fact, a worldwide phenomenon. Countries like Canada, Philippines, Australia, Western Europe, Africa, and South America have reported significant nursing shortages.
8. Nowadays, most hospitals are more and more becoming large intensive care units with cardiac monitoring, respiratory assistance and intensive treatments are notably part of the typical patient’s therapy. And so, escalated demands in skilled and specialized nurses are in the offing.
9. Nursing shortages can be a frightening cause of higher morbidity rate. According to a 1998 research, hospitals with more registered nurses on staff and with higher ratios of nurses to patients had smaller number of deaths compared to those that do not have larger staff of registered nurses. With this, nursing shortages must be resolved as soon as possible to curb a boost in morbidity.
10. Despite the alarming condition of nursing shortages these days, it was found out, through a nationwide opinion focus group poll conducted by the American Hospital Association in 1997, that the nurses were the ultimate vital indicator that the people referred to as the assessment of excellent hospital care.
With these facts, there is no doubt nursing is not merely a profession with greater demands in terms of workforce and responsibilities but more of a humanitarian skill dealing with more compassion than technicalities. Thus, the ten facts about nursing mentioned are not plain issues about the said profession; it is more about life itself and how nurses are deeply valued.