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History of Nursing Part 2
Posted: 8/4/2015 8:28 AM by
In the postwar period, nurse education has undergone a process of diversification towards advanced and specialized credentials, and many of the traditional regulations and provider roles are changing.
Nurses develop plans of care, working collaboratively with physicians, therapists, the patient, the patient's family and other team members, that focus on treating illness to improve quality of life. In the U.S., advanced practice nurses, such as clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners, diagnose health problems and prescribe medications and other therapies, depending on individual state regulations. Nurses may help coordinate the patient care performed by other members of an interdisciplinary health care team such as therapists, medical practitioners and dietitians. Nurses provide care both interdependently, for example, with physicians, and independently as nursing professionals.
These days, RNs are not limited to employment as bedside nurses. They are employed by physicians, attorneys, insurance companies, governmental agencies, community/public health agencies, private industry, school districts, ambulatory surgery centers, among others. Some registered nurses are independent consultants who work for themselves, while others work for large manufacturers or chemical companies. Research nurses conduct or assist in the conduct of research or evaluation (outcome and process) in many areas such as biology, psychology, human development, and health care systems.
Nurses hold a lot of responsibility in the medical field and are considered vital to healthcare reform. RNs are expected to develop and implement multi-faceted plans for managing chronic disease, treating complex health conditions and assisting patients in the transition from the hospital to the community. Patients also look to RNs for health education and for strategies to improve their health. RNs assess the appropriateness of new research and technology for patients and adjust care plans accordingly.
RNs are the largest group of health care workers in the United States, with about 2.7 million employed in 2011. It has been reported that the number of new graduates and foreign-trained nurses is insufficient to meet the demand for registered nurses; this is often referred to as the nursing shortage and is expected to increase for the foreseeable future. There are data to support the idea that the nursing shortage is a voluntary shortage. In other words, nurses are leaving nursing of their own volition. In 2006 it was estimated that approximately 1.8 million nurses chose not to work as a nurse. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 296,900 healthcare jobs were created in 2011. RNs make up the majority of the healthcare work force, therefore these positions will be filled primarily by nurses. The BLS also states that by 2020, there will be 1.2 million nursing job openings due to an increase in the workforce, and replacements.
Nursing is the most diverse of all healthcare professions. Nurses practice in a wide range of settings but generally nursing is divided depending on the needs of the person being nursed. Throughout the history of nursing and to this day, nurses provide healing touch and caring conversation to make a difference in the lives of their patients.
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