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One amazing change was the creation of graduate programs that expanded the roles of RNs to NPs, CNSs, and doctorate-prepared nurses (Judd & Sitzman, 2014, p.264). A catalyst for these new roles was credited to the end of World War II, which called a demand in for more nurses to treat more complex and technical health care needs. After reading this week’s chapters, nursing roles evolved from a hospital to setting, to a school setting and nursing professors, to nurses in the military and eventually into people’s homes providing care as midwives. Roles further began to expand by the 1960’s with the addition of nursing educational programs that allowed nurses to practice in intensive care units and advanced practice nurses (University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing). These types of programs, in addition to support from federal funding for nurses allowed nursing in the latter half of the 20th century to specialize in different areas of nursing.
This change has dramatically impacted the quality of nursing practice today. That expansion in nursing roles has flourished today. For example, nurses can now explore many avenues in different departments such as med-surg, tele, PCU, ICU, neuro, or even function outside of a hospital and practice within homes and clinics. In addition, nurses can also specialize in PICC lines, wound care, CRNAs, FNPs, research, informatics, chief nursing officers, quality control, and so forth. In each role nurses are strengthening the profession with their expertise and contributions. Nursing and its positive impact on patients can be accessed and felt in a variety of settings due to the various settings nurses can practice in. In addition, better education and better training also impacts the quality of nursing practice in a positive way because we are better able to manage and care for the complex needs of healthcare and its patients.
Judd, D., & Sitzman, K. (2014). A history of American nursing: Trends and eras (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. (n.d). American Nursing: An Introduction to the Past, Nursing, History, and Health Care. Retrieved from https://www.nursing.upenn.edu/nhhc/american-nursing-an-introduction-to-the-past/