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Nursing in the United States

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Research Paper: Nursing In The United States

How nursing has evolved in the United States

Taylor Wolfe

      Promise Academy 


The U.S Bureau of labor statistics reports the median salary for a registered nurse as $67,930 will increase in the near future.  (D’avolio, 2017). Nurses make a huge impact on lives and health care as a whole. For example studies show, that nursing not only is the backbone of the healthcare field but is

                Evolution of nursing:

As some of us may know, nursing is well known for taking on the responsibility of aiding the sick and wounded. In this field, it was mainly female-oriented and wasn’t really a big deal. The women (nurses) served as assistants to the male doctors. Nursing has had drastic change over time. They have more respect and meaning behind their title. Nursing is now a huge part of the healthcare industry. In the past years, not only has the importance of nursing changed, but so did education, uniform, responsibility, technology, and the growth. For nurses, there was a major expansion throughout the industry, with more requirements for different positions.

        The beginning of nursing education/training

In some of the early wars like the Crimean War, and the Civil War the nursing profession saw its best and worse times. The history of nursing education dates back to the beginning of the 1800s but the start of the Crimean War in 1853 we saw the first mother of nursing. Florence Nightingale a social reformer and the founder of modern nursing. There was no concept of academically qualified nursing but Nightingale along with 38 volunteer nurses were sent to care for the British Soldiers fighting in the Crimean War. Nightingale’s accomplishments during the disastrous years the British Army experienced in the war was the result of her relation to mortality, as well as her ability to lead, organize, and get things done.

Florence Nightingale was responsible for setting up the first nurse training school at St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, in 1860. For the first time, nursing education was defined this was the point that nursing was being taken seriously by the world. (Benson, 2011).

The beginning of the Civil War in 1861 caused for a widespread of nurses who were skilled and had the capability to care for a large number of sick and wounded men. The war caused many women to join the rising number of hospitals offering nurse training, which was more of an apprenticeship than the training programs we see later.

The Civil War influenced the development of the healthcare field, as a result, the increase of healthcare needs during that time many institutions and organizations were formed. The healthcare setting used to be in the home or on the battlefield. An excerpt from Margret Elizebeth Clewell’s (Salem, NC.) firsthand account of volunteer nursing in its early days reads:

“I remember that day September 19, 1861, when I left Salem with a party volunteer nurses go to Virginia where the 21st North Carolina Regiment was in camp…. We were given the use of a fine old Virginia Home. Which we soon made as comfortable as possible and as many sick soldiers were brought in as the house could hold. We had carried many things with us knowing we could get nothing in the way of supplies when we reached the camp.”  (Freiler, 2015)

The war brought out many positive changes to the healthcare field, increasing the awareness for more medical institutions and trained professionals. By the close of the war, 13 general hospitals had been formed in North Carolina. The establishment of these hospitals developed a stepping stone toward the success of the healthcare field and provided many benefits. Providing care to those in need, benefitting the surrounding communities as a whole, also opened up job opportunities. An early example of job opportunities was asserted when the Confederate Congress passed legislation in 1862 designating positions for women in military hospitals and paying monthly wages.

The onset of World War 1, 1914, created a high demand for special skills of nurses. About 23,000 American Nurses served in the military, providing care to the armed forces. Although the United States did not enter the war until 1917 the practice of nursing was still administered.

Future: The advancements in technology have created an environment that makes patient care more efficient and helpful for the patient. Technology advancements have changed almost every industry in the U.S. and the medical field is no different. This has helped save more lives, made certain jobs easier for nurses, and created an environment that makes patient care more efficient and helpful.

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