Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Nurse and the Past 50 Years

Physicians gave the orders, Nurses implemented them!This is how the nursing profession have been linked with the medical profession and still continues, in many areas. In the last fifty years, some changes have occurred that does not make the above statement accurate to all nurses! LPN or licensed practical nurses have taken over the bedside nursing in many facilities, especially in Long Term Care but they do work under the Registered Nurses' supervision.

In order to make these postings simple, all the Nurses I mention in the next paragraphs are Registered Nurses who are either educated in a nursing college or a university and all have post-graduate studies in some specializations.

You, most probably have heard of ICU (intensive care unit), ECU (emergency care unit), CCU(cardiac care unit) Dialysis unit. All these units are specialty units and the nurses who work there have extra education and certification above their basic nursing education.

Scientific and Medical discoveries like radium, vaccines and antibiotics expanded the role of the nurse. Then in the last 15 years, informatics has changed the mode of recording data and treatments.

Nurses are now working in other areas besides the traditional hospitals and Nursing Homes. Community Health Nurses work in clinics and visit homes to do assessments on home-bound clients. Public Health Nurses work in municipal and other government agencies, teaching, researching on disease prevention and policies for health protocols. Occupational Health Nurses work with employees, in industries and organizations.

Nurse Researchers, nurse Educators are found in colleges, universities and some major research facilities. There are also Nurse Anaesthetists, Nurse Case Managers, Mental Health Nurses

The Informatics Nurse is a new addition in the last decade and she is responsible for teaching her colleagues on IT related documentation as well as formulating new applications for nurses. Another new addition is the Nurse Practitioner who is able to diagnose and prescribe some medication and treatments independently. Usually, she works in a community clinic or Wellness Centres. Sometimes, she works in partnership with a family physician in an office setting!
Yet another is the Nurse Entrepreneur - she is a business owner either online or off-line.

So what is next for the Nurse?? Tune in on Tuesday?

copyright P Nicholas

1 comment:

Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

You left a comment on The Nurse Practitioner's Place regarding needing a post? I think you said Cathy, but my name is Jennifer.
email me at