The need to care for the sick has been around since the beginning of time. The practice of nursing has greatly changed in that time. The matriarch of nursing, Florence Nightingale, started her influence during the Crimean War. Nightingale’s three pillars of nursing care: health promotion, disease prevention and risk reduction are still relevant today. (Whitney, 2018) During the 1800s nursing grew in the United States. Jane Delano, during World War One, started the American Red Cross of Nursing. This service utilized over 22,000 nurses at that time in the United States and overseas. During World War Two, and the baby boomer population explosion that followed, a huge need for educated nurses was created.
Nursing education has changed over time. The 3-year diploma programs, that once were so popular have all but disappeared. The associate nursing degree, pioneered by Mildred Montag, in the 1950s, as a response to an increased need for nurses, has also lost its appeal as baccalaureate nurses today are in demand. Because of the IOM recommendation that 80% of the RN workforce by the year 2020 be baccalaureate prepared it has changed the landscape of entry level nursing. (Whitney, 2018)
Advanced practice nurses are widely utilized today. The range of advance practice nurses is great including: nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists. Nurse practitioners can prescribe and treat minor illnesses, nurse midwives provide low risk obstetric and gynecological care and nurse anesthetists administer more than 65% of all anesthetics. (“What is Nursing?” 2012)
Contemporary nursing uniforms have radically changed, thank goodness. After reviewing the required reading for this week, I decided if I had to wear the “get up” from the turn of the century picture of Georgina Pope 1898, I would have picked a different profession. How did these nurses perform their jobs while so ornately adorned? (“Nursing Uniform History,” n.d.)
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