NUR 3805 Discussion Evolution of The Professional Nurse

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NUR 3805 Discussion Evolution of The Professional Nurse

NUR 3805 Discussion Evolution of The Professional Nurse

This is a reflective posting so no
citations are required

There’s an old saying: If you don’t know
where you’re going, how do you know when you’ve gotten there? This applies to
professional nursing.

This discussion focuses on the evolution of
the professional nurse and the introduction of a theory that helps us identify
where we are, so we know where we are going professionally not just as
individuals, but as a profession ~ but the journey starts with us, as
individuals …


ANSWER the following 2 prompts:

1. Examine Benner’s model from your
reading. Then, determine at which stage you are in your development as a
student and as a nurse. Give your rationale for that placement. If none of the
models or stages fits your experience, create your own model (or stage). Don’t
be shy, embarrased or humble ~ be honest.

2. Write your own mission statement:

a. After reviewing the definitions of
nursing identified in your book and discussed in the learning plan, write your
own professional mission statement.

b. Identify the vision, values, mission,
and philosophy statement of your place of employment (or another healthcare
organization) and expand on how your mission statement lines up. (Just one or
two paragraphs) *Please include the website/URL or name of the company as a

c. Evaluate the effects of the above
organization’s mission, values, and philosophy on nursing leadership, quality
of patient care, patient safety and patient outcomes based on your experience
and your readings this week.

The Evolution of Nursing

Nursing in the Past

Early nursing began in the home. Family members would care for the sick where they lived before hospitals existed.  In around 300 A.D., some of the first hospitals emerged in the Roman Empire.  The first written documents about nursing were also during this era.

The number of hospitals grew during the Middle Ages.  As the Catholic church spread across Europe, it built monasteries along the way.  Many of these buildings contained hospitals, staffed by nurses.

Modern nursing is said to have begun around 1845. Florence Nightingale led several women in treating the sick and injured Crimean War soldiers. Her treatment practices set new standards for nursing care.  Across the Atlantic, American doctor Joseph Warrington wrote a book for society nurses and midwives.  This was the first example of a regulated nursing text.

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The next evolution of nursing was in education. Women started receiving training to become nurses in small to mid-size hospital systems. Their education was observation-based and took two to three years. After graduation, the hospital that owns the education center would bring them on as full-time nurses.

As time went on, hospitals grew larger, and education became more comprehensive. Nurses of all races and backgrounds were accepted into programs and became part of the workforce. Technology began to play a larger role in nursing. Advanced patient beds, stethoscopes and blood pressure devices became the norm.

In the 1960s, specialized nursing began to emerge.  Nurses could be trained for intensive care units or other specialties.  Specialized nurses helped hospitals deliver better, more efficient care to their patients.

The evolution of nursing continued in its education system.  Advances in technology and medicine created the need for more educated nurses. Nursing education moved from hospitals to the classroom.  Certification programs emerged, allowing nurses to perform certain duties.  Degree programs granted access to treat patients in hospitals.

Nursing in the Present

Education and technology represent the largest differences between nursing’s past and present.

A college degree or nursing specialist certification is require for nurses to enter the hospital environment. Education consists of a few years in a classroom setting.  Virtual and in-person labs simulate the working environment. From there, nurses in training are required to work alongside registered nurses to gain experience before graduating.

After graduation, nurses must continue their education. Medicinal advancements, new technology and other factors keep nurses in the classroom long after college. Continued education is a must.  Without it, nurses may find themselves unprepared and limited in the types of nursing they can practice.

Technology has advanced to a point where nurses in training may learn in a virtual space. Once in the field, nurses use advanced technology to monitor their patients’ vital signs, distribute their medicine and measure their weight. Today, clipboards have been replaced with secure computer systems for keeping patient notes.

Modern nurses have also traded in all-white uniforms for multicolored scrubs and rubber shoes. Often, the unit they serve dictates the color of a nurse’s scrubs.

Nursing in the Future

More education and new technology seem to be a guarantee in the future of nursing.  Today, 57% of nurses hold at least a Bachelor of Science degree.  18% of nurses have completed a graduate program. Currently, nursing schools are limited in the number of applicants they can accept.  With increased faculty, more classrooms and higher budgets, these numbers can continue to grow.

Due to technology’s influence on the medical field, many predict future nurses will also have to be proficient in information management. Nurses need to understand how to gather and analyze new data made available by technology. This data is useful to better predict and treat both short-term and long-term illness.

The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health claims a number of barriers will prevent nurses from being able to respond to a changing health care system. One of these barriers is leadership in hospitals. Most are controlled by those unaware of the problems nurses face in the line of duty every day.

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