8 Reasons to Be Happy You’re a Nurse in This Century

When it comes to the field of nursing, a lot has changed since the days of Florence Nightingale. Let’s take a look at some of the most drastic changes in nursing since the mid-1800s. We think you’ll be thankful that you’re becoming a nurse in this Century.

2 min read

1. Sterilization

It’s hard to fathom that knowledge of the importance of sterilization didn’t exist at one point. The first nurses of the modern movement were expected to clean surgical tools by hand. You can imagine the spread of diseases that resulted from this practice. Thankfully we have strict laws governing sterilization and regulating bodies to make sure that codes are followed.

2. Education

Nurses used to be trained on the job by physicians, and there was no mandated length of time for education.  Can you imagine being responsible for real patients without first building a strong knowledge of health care and disease? With the introduction of formal schooling and disease research, nurses are much more prepared to handle a wider variety of conditions.

3. Specialization

Specialization allows nurses to dig deeper into one subject area, resulting in better patient care. In the past, the opportunity for specialization wasn’t there, so all nurses needed to know as much about every subject as they could.

4. Autonomy

Yesterday’s nurses did not have much, if any, autonomy. Nurses were expected to trust that the physician always knew best. Instead of attending to medical needs, nurses primarily served to assist patients’ with daily living. Today’s nurses have a voice in patient treatment plans. With advanced degrees, nurses can even see patients without a physician’s oversight.

5. Patient simulators

The invention of patient simulators has helped improve nursing education. Nursing programs mandate that students practice in the simulation lab prior to clinical rotations. We’re sure thankful for this requirement!

6. Technology

Technological advances have allowed nurses to spend more time directly caring for patients. Nurses are able to run tests, blood work and x-rays digitally. The simple addition of electronic medical records have saved nurses time that can now be spent on providing care.

7. Uniforms

You’d probably agree that nursing uniforms have not always been the most practical. At one time nurses were required to wear floor-length and pin-straight dresses with heels. We now know that nurses must be able to easily and conveniently move around. Scrubs and slip-on sneakers are much more functional for the job.

8. Job forecast

There has been a general demand for nurses since the 1960s. But, the good news is that the demand is even larger today. The increasing shortage is also continuing to drive up salaries for nurses.

If you’re ready to become a nurse today, check out our nursing school database to find a program that’s right for you.