Nursing practices - Past, Present and Future - Essay Example

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Even an experienced nurse of the 70’s or 80’s can attest to the changes that eventually occur from the time she started up to the present nursing times. Indeed Florence Nightingale never would…
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Nursing Job roles: evolution over the years Nursing Job roles: evolution over the years Introduction The nursing profession has travelled way passed the years since its beginning. Even an experienced nurse of the 70’s or 80’s can attest to the changes that eventually occur from the time she started up to the present nursing times. Indeed Florence Nightingale never would have thought that the ways and means that she started would become a well celebrated career path that is very significant in the lives of man. The purpose of this essay is to bring about the changes that have occurred over the years in the job roles of the nurses and why it has happened and whether these changes are relevant and significant not just in the nursing profession itself but as well as in the health care delivery to patients.
Before, nurses are deemed associated with and only secondary to physicians. The role of nurses then were limited to menial delivery of patient care such as changing bandages, changing of bed linens, providing sponge bath and procedures that are deemed around as dirty work (Casciato 2011; Kessler et al., 2012, p. 22). Today, the job role of nurses have made an impact and leaped over the years from a low profile shadowed job by a physician and emerged now as independent profession that has made a major impact in the health care industry. The utilization of nursing job roles in the industry can be seen in the presence of emerging nursing branches such as school nursing, occupational health nursing, travel nursing, home health nursing and community health nursing. This is a proof that the job roles of nurses are not just limited to the traditional hospital bedside care and extends to even broader aspect of health.

Allen cited that the phenomenal changes in the nurses’ job content happened during the 1960’s. First as a result of medical science that have expanded and delegated clinical responsibilities to nurses. Second, was due to the growing numbers of chronically ill patients requiring care. True enough the job role of the nurse has expanded in response to the changing populations and the philosophical shift toward health promotion rather than illness cure (Masters, 2009, p. 176). Education can be pointed as the biggest turning point nurses had in the advancement of the career. Before, nurses are merely educated just trained. Now, nurses are more educated having Bachelor’s, Master’s and even Doctorate degrees. Education and training has made nurses equipped with even greater knowledge that made the nursing profession cope up with the technological advancement and modernization.
Indeed job roles of nurses has emerged from below, from the bedside nurse of yesterday, today nurses jobs roles are more adept to even complicated cases and procedures. Nurses are now handling much wider and complicated array of jobs such as operating advanced medical machinery, assessing and monitoring the patient’s condition, and planning patients’ recovery. Away from the shadows of physicians nurses performs nursing roles and jobs independently according to discretion. A concrete example of the emerged job roles of nurses is the presence of Advance Practice registered Nurses (APRN), wherein nurses are given the professional right in diagnosing patients, determining plan of the treatment and acquiring many responsibilities that were previously held only by physicians. The nursing profession is now held independently as part of the health care team in a collaborative care of patients not anymore as secondary roles to physicians but as the front liners. Though many changes have occurred in the nursing profession there is only one job description of a nurse will never change that no matter how complex job roles can be, nurses will continue being the primary patients’ advocate.
Allen Davina (2001) The Changing Shape of Nursing Practice: The Role of Nurses In the Hospital Division Labour. Routledge Publishing.
Casciato James (2011) As the Health Care Changes, So does Nursing. University of Connecticut Health Center. Available from: [Accessed 19 November 2012].
Kessler Ian, Heron Paul & Dopson Sue (2012) The Modernization of the Nursing Workforce: Valuing the health care assistant. Oxford University press
Masters Kathleen (2009) Role Development in Professional Nursing Practice. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. p. 176-185 Read More
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