What is professional nursing today?

The nursing profession has evolved from when nurses only held unprofessional roles in healthcare, such as cleaning and janitorial duties, to modern days when nurses increasingly perform professional duties. The profession of nursing owes this fortunate turn of tides to Florence Nightingale. She brought sanitation and cleanliness to military healthcare settings, fostering increased survival rates among invalid soldiers (“The Evolution of the Nursing Practice”, 2021). The profession of nursing has withstood the worst of harsh discrimination and/or gender stereotypes as a profession for women since it majorly deals with the provision of care (López-Verdugo et al., 2021). However, several things have since changed since the era of Florence Nightingale.

The nursing profession now has more highly educated nurses

A notable change in nursing is the proliferated emergence of highly educated nurses. Prior to the establishment of the nursing, nurses lacked basic medical training. As such, nurses could only perform duties such as sweeping, cleaning, and feeding patients (“The Evolution of the Nursing Practice”, 2021). More nurses today attend tertiary education and have degrees in the nursing. Indeed, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that approximately 20 and 41.5 percent of nurses hold associate and bachelor’s degrees (“The Evolution of the Nursing Practice”, 2021). Several nurses today seek further professionalism by pursuing doctoral degrees in their field.

The nursing profession has also witnessed a rise in gender diversity

The nursing profession has similarly experienced increased diversity, especially in terms of gender distribution. Unlike in the past, when nursing was perceived as a female profession, contemporary nursing has seen more male and female nurses in equal measure. Nursing has also witnessed the employment of nurses from disparate ethnic and racial backgrounds ranging from Hispanic to Asian and Blacks. Nonetheless, advanced technological innovation continues to improve patient care as more mundane duties are delegated to robots (“The Evolution of the Nursing Practice”, 2021). Nurses today also exhibit effective leadership skills that help to create teamwork and enhance the provision of care among patients.



López-Verdugo, M., Ponce-Blandón, J. A., López-Narbona, F. J., Romero-Castillo, R., & Guerra-Martín, M. D. (2021). Social image of nursing. An integrative review about a yet unknown profession. Nursing Reports11(2), 460-474.

The Evolution of the Nursing Practice. HCI College. (2021). https://www.hci.edu/hci-news/10747-the-evolution-of-the-nursing-practice

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