How Has Nursing Changed in the Last 100 Years?

Nursing is - and always has been - about caring for patients, and that has not changed. But, everything else about the profession bears little other resemblance to nursing of 100 years ago.

What has changed? Plenty! Nurses of old received only rudimentary training – much  of it  learned at home from their mothers. The education nurses receive today is much more formal and comprehensive and, as a result, nurses have become highly respected and specialized members of our healthcare teams.

Nurses today must pass a national exam – the NCLEX – in order to prove they are knowledgeable healthcare providers and are licensed professionals. As a result, nurses are being given more patient responsibility – especially those with advanced degrees. Once a female-dominated career, the nursing profession has grown in stature and now attracts a sizable number of male candidates as well.

Once limited to battlefield and home care, nurses today work inside hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices as intrinsic members of medical teams, thanks – in many respects – to Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing. It was Nightingale who offered the first formal training for nurses…training that evolved into the nursing programs offered at schools and colleges today.

Quality patient care has become the mantra for all medical professionals, including nurses. The medical culture once offered very little concern for the patient experience or their dignity as fellow human beings. Whatever you think about the proliferation of technology in our lives, technological advances in healthcare has become not only life-savers…they’ve made certain nursing duties easier to perform and, as a result, created better patient experiences and outcomes for those receiving care.

All-in-all, it’s pretty safe to say nursing has come a long way over the last 100 years, becoming a respected profession that is both fulfilling and rewarding.

If it’s a profession that appeals to you, our Nursing program page would be a good place to start learning about the opportunities and challenges nursing candidates might face. Operating one of the nation’s largest nursing education and training networks, Fortis Colleges and Institutes can provide the education and skills to help you excel in the profession.

Tags: nursing, Engage, career advancement

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