How Nursing has Changed Over Time

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During its early days, nursing had no dominant relation with professional medical training and focused mainly on providing first aid to sick and wounded. Mostly, women learned emergency care skills from their mothers or other ladies associated with the same profession. Even though nurses had a critical role in situations such as war or epidemic, their job did not receive the deserved respect and appreciation.

One primary reason for this was gender inequality, as there prevailed a collective mindset of treating women inferior to men. Women consider as caretakers, so nursing was associated with nothing more than an extension of their obligatory role. However, today, the profession of nursing is much more respected while nurses have a unique standing in the society. There are professional training courses, diversified programs, and prestigious institutes designed particularly for the promotion and facilitation of nursing. Modern-day nursing is a dedicated branch of the medical industry.

Over some time, careers in different fields have witnessed many reformative changes; but among others, nursing has been one of the most impacted areas. The advancements in first aid procedures improved medical facilities, and a wide range of responsibilities have opened tremendous new opportunities for the nurses, such as the online MSN degree. Nurses today can focus on their patients more attentively and use modern technology to save more lives.

Here’s a walkthrough time that would give you a resonating sense of how nursing has evolved to what it is today;


During the very initial days of this profession, training was mostly rudimentary. Moreover, on most of the occasions, there was no proper concept of professional training for the nursing staff as they mostly seen as caretakers. In Britain, Florence Nightingale was one of the prominent names who devised some training discipline for the nurses in the late 19th century. She introduced individual principals to female nurses who wanted to recruit as ‘caregivers. At the same time, the United States began to work on proper instruction manuals and lectures for the women who were keen to offer caregiving during childbirth or postpartum. However, it was the outbreak of the civil war that inspired many more women to take up nursing as a profession in the United States and offer their help to the participants of war.

Contrary to earlier times, today, one has to obtain in-depth and standardized qualifications to qualify for nursing. Presently, there are a varied number of specialized programs, certifications, and degrees on offer for those looking to pursue nursing as a career. Unlike the early 20th century, when nurses only expected to know few health care etiquettes, a present-day nurse must be well versed in a variety of subjects such as healthcare, hospitality, and emergency treatment. Furthermore, with improvements in modes of teaching and professional education, nursing today focuses equally on both academic and practical sides. It is uniformly crucial for them to know the basics of medicine besides the textbook etiquette of wearing stockings and addressing patients.


Today, we also find dedicated programs in the field of nursing, such as forensics and bioinformatics. These areas never existed twenty to thirty years back. And, with the advent of technology, the overall advancements in the medical field has introduced new areas of specialization such as cardiac nursing, geriatric nursing, radiology nursing, etc.

Furthermore, a new model of nursing known as travel nursing is gaining popularity due to fast track mobility and their ability to practice independently. In other words, the profession of nursing is not anymore confined to emergency departments but has gained the flexibility to delve into various sectors of requirement


If we go nearly 50 – 70 years back, we find that previously nursing was based either on the battlefield or emergency compartments of the hospital, treating the wounded. Another reason was that the hospitals were reserved only for those patients who were battling between life and death. It was mainly after the first world war when nursing gained more importance, and professional training programs were introduced for nurses to work more regularly inside the hospitals.

Over time, nursing found its place in almost every health care facility. Now, nurses have become an integral part of medical and treatment centers and seen on the front lines of providing immediate health care to patients.


With better education and technological aids, nurses have now graduated to take-up more responsibilities, particularly in specialized areas.

Concerning the situation and practice liberty allowed by the authorities, nurses can now administer medication and perform instant diagnostic procedures. Even though many nurses work under the supervision of doctors yet, they have the freedom to work autonomously and choose appropriate treatment options.

The impact of technology is tremendous on every profession. Similarly, it has redefined the methods of nursing – making it more professional and precise.

Technology has helped the nurses to perform their duties more swiftly, efficiently, and in a less exhausting manner. For example, accessing the patients’ records is no more laborious, all thanks to the modern-day digital record-keeping techniques. It involves a lot less paperwork, thus reducing the chances of human error and faulty instructions. Also, with one click, nurses can view the patient’s medical history that can help them diagnose the issue promptly.

Other latest technological aspects include advanced monitoring devices, mobile apps to retrieve medical information and implantable administering devices quickly. Furthermore, with smart beds and wheelchairs, nurses now have the comfort to avoid substantial physical effort.


The field of telemedicine has grown drastically in the past few decades. It includes the vast application of nursing informatics and special equipment to accelerate the procedural formalities. As a result of the enhanced incorporation of telemedicine and better facilities, the growth pattern in the nursing workforce has seen an unprecedented spike over the last decade.

According to a published report, over half a million new workforces in the U.S. set to enter operations before 2022. They will be responsible for reshaping the nursing practices and use modern in-demand facilities to treat more patients in lesser time.

Also, with more help from the technological sector, nurses will now be able to perform their duties beyond hospitals. These places can be new medical offices, living facilities, schools, correction centers, and other health care institutes.


The profession of nursing developed by leaps and bounds over the past few decades and continues to expand its capacity with the inclusion of advanced technology. Another gratifying aspect of nursing is that it can adapt to any culture. With the improvements in the methods of training, flexible nursing culture, and a wide range of specializations, nursing has become part and parcel of everyday healthcare.

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