The Future of Nursing

The future of nursing will try to combat the shortage of nurses that we have on our hands. They prefer nurses to continue their education to get a minimum of a BSN. However, this is hard to do as many cannot get into a nursing program due to shortages of teachers, funding, and other means. I relate to this problem as I have not gotten into a nursing program even though I have tried. There will be 1.05 million job openings for nurses in 2022, yet will there be enough nurses educated to fill those spots? Probably not. By 2020, more than 20% of the American population will be over 65 years old. They need enough healthcare workers to support this age group. 525,000 nurses are needed to replace those that are leaving the workforce and what’s better than getting the younger generation trained and ready to help. The average age of a graduating nurse is 32. I am 19. I think one problem they will have in nursing is not having enough nurses to help push forward the advancements they want to make. This is one hurdle I believe they will have to jump in order for the future of nursing to progress and become a more independent profession. 

Nursing Starting 2000 to the Present

Since the 21st century began many new technological advances came into play. With the new equipment, nurses had to learn how to use them. Advanced education continues to grow as more things are learned. There is still a shortage or nurses and nursing educators. Instead of males being the primary nurses, as of 2011, 1 in 10 nurses were males. A nurse’s scope of practice has greatly widened as many nurses continue to specialize in different, specific fields. This is very important. Many people get better care as nurses collaborate and figure out how to care for an individual patient. The organization of nursing continues to increase along with education. It’s crazy to think that with all that is new will soon be old as this is only the beginning of modern nursing! It’s exciting to think of what knew technology will be invented and what information we will learn. Every new step toward advancing will help save at least one life. 

Nursing during the Vietnam War

During the Vietnam War, the nursing population was 79% female and 21% male. The mortality rate dropped from World War II’s 4.5% to 2.6%. Women ditched the caps their usual uniform came with. The uniform changed with the times as society’s styles changed. Nurses were given more leaderships and trust as their nursing profession became a more reliable, independent job. Their improved knowledge pool helped them make wise clinical decisions. This was a time where nursing began to transition into the way it is done today. They used what they had to make equipment to work in the field. These  nurses took what they were given and made the most of it. They used pieces of gastrointestinal tubing to make drinking straws! Their knowledge brought forth great blessings to those they helped. As a future nurse, I want to be able to take the knowledge I have and make wise and right choices for those I help. There will be pressure, yet with my proper willingness to learn the correct way and be resourceful like the nurses were during Vietnam, lives will be saved. 

Nursing from 1940-1969

During this time, World War II had begun. To prepare the nursing population, the National Nursing Council for War was created in 1940. There were guidelines set for who should serve as a war nurse and those who could stay as civilian nurses. As nursing shortages occurred, more bills were passed. This organization helped get enough nurses for the war, yet when it ended, the United States experienced a nursing shortage. Many nurses did not return to their old jobs due to job conditions, PTSD, family, etc. During this period, African Americans were not accepted to work as nurses because of discrimination policies. These policies were amended; however, only 500 African American nurses served in the war as they were not treated equal. Flight nurses became a brand-new title as nurses were trained and qualified to hold that position. 

Women learned their worth during World War II. They knew what they should expect as equals and continued to demand it. It helped step forward nursing as a profession as most nurses are women. This advancement needed to happen, and it is great to see the transition of where it occurred. 

Nursing in the 1920’s & 1930’s

This time period was rolling off of World War 1. Many nursing schools were opened to soon be closed down. The importance of being properly trained was a big issue that was addressed and resolved. However, the Great Depression happened in this period which left nurses without jobs. There was a great need for nursing, yet no one could afford proper nursing services. Private home nursing services went almost extinct as they could no longer be afforded. Many nurses took jobs for extremely low wages as it was some form of pay they could use to support their families during this hard, dark time. Nevertheless, in the late 30’s and early 40’s the registered nurse population grew thousands. This time period shows the importance of nursing. Nursing was very important during the Great Depression Era, and continues to be one of the most important professions today. Everyone needs to be nursed at some point in their lives. No matter if we nurse for a small or a large wage, we are nursing for those in need. 

Nursing in 1900-1920

During this period, World War 1 began. Nurses were asked to help from everywhere. Nurses would work on the front lines or on reserves. Nursing roles included driving ambulances, treating wounds, infections, and mustard gas burns, and working with patients emotions and mental problems. Nurses saw war. World War 1 nursing helped improve nursing even more. Nursing during this time helped improve cleanliness and the use of triage, anesthesia, splints, and blood transfusions. Trench warfare also made nurses learn the art of treating the symptoms that came along with this kind of fighting like rotten feet and “trench fever”. Thousands of nurses came together to help the soldiers. They saved lives just like those fighting. To be that determined, charitable, and compassionate towards others and my work is what I strive for. 

Nursing from 1880-1889

This time period was crucial to the beginning of understanding the importance of having nursing schools. Nursing education rose drastically as many nursing programs were made and attended. The more educated one becomes, the more they can help, and help correctly. Without proper education in nursing, their a much greater likelihood that there will be more deaths. One nursing school founded in 1889 was the University of Maryland School of Nursing. It was founded by Louisa Parsons who served as a nurse in the army. Between 1889 and 1900 there was a fivefold increase of nursing training programs. This number is essential as a degree in nursing is essential to giving patients proper nursing care. We should be proud of graduating with a degree in nursing. 

Nursing in the 1860’s & 1870’s

During this time, many outstanding people volunteered their time to be nurses in the Civil War. In some places, women were still not wanted in the army to be nurses. Dorothea Dix fought hard to get women viewed as great nurses in authority’s eyes. Clara Burton refused to get paid for her services as did many others who volunteered their time. These Civil War nurses put their lives on the line. Annie Etheridge is a fabulous example of this as she went out on the battlefield on her horse with a saddlebag full of medical supplies. She even had her horse shot out from under her two times. These women were courageous as they left their children and lives behind to come and care for the injured and dying soldiers on the war front. They helped build bridges like Helen Gilson did as she went to go treat a troop which was strictly injured black men. They did everything in their power to help those who were most in need. These nurses were outstanding and their work ethic showed it. Nursing is a profession where compassion and determination are essential characteristics. We can look back to the nurses during this time period and always look up to them and their efforts for guidance. 

Nursing from 1830-1859

This week’s time period mainly focused on Florence Nightingale. Her efforts and determination helped women nurses become important in the Crimean War. She was a powerful leader as she sought to have everything run her way in the workplace. Throughout this time period, sanitation in the workplace was brought to light. There was many deaths during the war due to the place where the injured were brought. After the hospital environments were cleaned, the mortality rate was lowered to 2%. It is extremely important to remember to keep a clean work environment. It is also important to be a leader; however, I must also remember to be willing to be open to others as nursing is a team occupation. 

Nursing from 1800-1829

During this time period, there wasn’t any drastic changes to nursing. However, there was diseases that spread which caused the cleanliness of medical environments to be further improved. The War of 1812 and the Napoleonic wars were occurring at this time, so there were war nurses who would help in any way they could. Two known nurses of this time were Mary Ann Cole and Maria Hill.  They led and taught others to help save the wounded. They helped soldiers survive. War is continuously upon us, and women – nurses – like these help save many lives and families. They bring hope. I want to be a light to many as I will help those in need. There is so much, even little things, everyone can do that will make a difference. We can learn that from this time period as everyone’s efforts were shown through smaller gestures like bringing food to those soldiers who could not get it themselves. Individuals working together leads to unity which is extremely important in medical occupations.