Over the years it was always medical doctor who seemed to be on the cutting edge of healthcare and nurses were seen as a support system, a much needed support system, but merely a support system nonetheless. However, in recent years, nurses have been going on to study degree programs such as those at Bradley University where they will eventually receive a doctorate in nursing practice. As the role of nursing is evolving in our society, so too is our worldview of healthcare. Here are just a few of the ways in which nursing as a profession is helping to change the way we view healthcare and the way it is approached as an industry.
Gender Stereotypes Are a Thing of the Past
One of the ways in which the role of nursing is evolving is in the disintegration of archaic stereotypes. As the profession has become highly specialized with many nurses attaining a doctor in nursing practice degree, it is also more evident that increasing numbers of men are entering the profession as well. Chances are you will be seen by a male nurse at least a few times within your lifetime as greater numbers of male nurses are being employed by hospitals and physicians than ever before. Although the ratio of women to men is still exceedingly high, there are record numbers of males becoming RNs and moving up the ladder to a masters or doctorate degree.
Nurses in Administration
Alongside the greater number of men entering nursing, more and more nurses are taking that DNP online or on campus degree and moving into positions within administration. It was always the mindset of the general public that doctors and business administrators called all the shots but now, more than ever before, nurses are studying for that doctorate you can see here and then moving up to administration where they can begin to effect some real changes that are long overdue.
Specializations Are the New Norm
Also, nursing is becoming increasingly specialized, especially with the advent of technology. Some nurses are becoming nurse anesthetists while others are becoming NICU specialists, ER specialists and so on down the line. From oncology nurses to pediatric nurses, if there is a department, there is a specialty study within the profession of nursing. It is no longer sufficient just to view nurses as merely an assistant to the doctor because they are often the ones recommending a treatment to the doctor and doctors, on the other hand, are beginning to rely more heavily on their nursing staff.
Over the years, nurses have taken on greater roles and so as a consequence, the role of nursing is evolving. From the kind of skills they need to acquire to the role they play in administration and healthcare reform, nurses are no longer viewed as just an adjunct to medical doctors. Nurses are gaining the respect they deserve and are literally changing the face of healthcare in the 21st Century. If you’re alive, you can thank a nurse.
Photo Credit: ThaQeLa