Nursing has come a long way since the days of old – and what has changed is not just the profession itself but also the way that new nurses are educated. Once, it was common for nurses to have little medical training whatsoever. Now, it’s normal for nurses to have strong science knowledge and be able to assist doctors and other clinical practitioners in all sorts of expert ways. This article will track the history of training in this important profession, and it will also look at why it’s the case that nurses will always be in demand.
The origins of nursing education
The earliest nurses were given radically different tasks from their modern counterparts in many ways. In the olden days, nurses were often expected to run other aspects of the hospital’s functions – such as doing the laundry and cooking the meals. Historically, there was also a strong sense that the nurse was totally subordinate to the doctor, and was expected to do what were, in essence, menial tasks. Nursing colleges, where they existed, would reinforce this message.
How it has changed
These days, the role has specialized into providing more medical care as well as the administration of medications and other important tasks. Nurses are therefore expected to have some science knowledge – and when they go through nursing school, they are often taught complex information about the way that certain drugs and medications work. It’s now close to impossible to become a registered nurse without some sort of degree.
It’s also the case that it’s now easier than ever to actually go through the bureaucracy of enrolling in a college degree. Take the example of Wilkes University, which allows those studying nursing to do so online other than for clinical residencies and the like. Those enrolling on a Wilkes University psych NP can also complete the application process online, with conversations with admissions counsellors taking place over the phone.
Nurses: constant demand
Regardless of how nursing education has fluctuated over the years, it’s also the case that there’s a massive demand for nurses all over the world – and especially here in the US. This is unlikely to ever change, especially given that sickness and illness will always exist. During the coronavirus pandemic, it has been shown even more just how unpredictable widespread ill health can be. And with many regions and areas dealing with demographic ticking time bombs such as aging populations and even just growing population pressures generally, the need for more nurses to cater to more people and more conditions is only going to grow.
Ultimately, nursing education has had to move with the times. From the way that specialization has occurred to the increased focus on reducing bureaucracy for enrollment, this profession has proven itself to be one of the most adaptable. However, one thing’s for certain: whatever the changes shape up to look like in the years to come, nurses will always be in high demand.