A Sprinkle of Passion and Empathy
Nursing holds a special place within the field of medicine. Unlike doctors, nurses focus more on people and how to best treat them individually. This isn't to say that doctors don't care about their individual patients; just that they tend to focus on the disease the patient has and how to treat it. Nurses also treat the disease, but incorporate a great deal of patient care outside of medicine. This often means improving general quality of life through collaborative work with family, therapists, and others.
A Dash of Hard Work
A career in nursing means a lot of education, even after the original degree. Nurses need to have a license in their state and then, depending on the state and its regulations, do ongoing education courses to keep the license. This education at all stages can be tough, but you can find material in the nursing articles and books here on Direct Knowledge to help prepare you at all levels. Just be sure you know what your state requires and that you follow its rules.
Within nursing as a whole is a wide range of specialties. Nurses need varying degrees of qualifications that range from 1-year certificates to PhD's. The necessary education level just depends on the role you intend to do, but most still start with a science degree. Degrees are then followed by one to four years of training depending on the level of entry.
Nursing as a modern profession of registered professionals started in the early 1900's, but the field's roots go much deeper than that. In just the fifth century BC, skilled attendants cared for patients in much the same way as modern nurses in terms of providing care for improving their well-being. This is the primary theme of nursing that continues to t his day. Nurses work to apply their knowledge, skills, and personal characteristics to the job of improving the quality of life of other people. This can mean preventing illness, curing it, or just alleviating symptoms to reduce patients' suffering. The nursing articles in this category cover the details of the field as a career, the variety of environments nurses work on, current advancements in the field, and much more.
Articles on the History and Background of Nursing
The earliest descriptions of nurse-like attendants in various parts of the world are sometimes challenging for historians to classify as technically “nurses”. This is due to the limited information available about them, as well as the wide definition of nursing. Generally, people trying to improve the overall well-being of others form the basis of the definition. This makes members of religious orders some of the most common early nurses. In all of the world's main religions, nuns, monks, and other religious leaders provided care to their members and other people in need. This religious root still exists in modern nursing, influencing much of the modern ethos of the profession.
It wasn't until the 19th century that the foundations of professional credentials arose. The first school of nursing was based on Florence Nightingale's Notes on Nursing from the mid 1800s. A number of Catholic orders building hospitals to provide nursing services at the time. In the latter half of the century, nurses started participating in active duty in the military. Although, the profession was often exploited as a cheap or free source of labor due it being primarily women.
During the last century or so, the profession has become more gender-neutral with tighter regulations necessitating certain levels of credentials. It has also gained scope and skill requirements such that many consider being a nurse close in difficulty to being a medical doctor. To see how the field is growing, check out the nursing articles on recent advancements and current events. You can also find articles on the more scientific and research side of the field.
Nursing Articles Scope
Nursing covers a huge range of areas. Nurses can work with patients of all genders and ages, from the newly born to those on their death beds. The can practice preventative medicine on healthy individuals, curative medicine on the sick, and alleviative medicine on the terminally ill. Certain nurses can perform diagnosis and give prescriptions to patients. And still others work in management, education, and health policy. From the start of life to the brink of death, nurses provide the care and attention that patients need. The nursing articles here help you explore every nook and cranny of the field.
Difference from Doctors
Nurses have an approach that differentiates them from doctors, in addition to having a wider scope and different training. They provide not only scientific information to diagnose and treat illness, but also support on other various levels. They take into consideration not only the physical needs of patients, but also their emotional, intellectual, social, psychological, and spiritual needs. This might be because of the profession's deep roots in the spiritual and religious orders. Their training and credentials also give them different levels of prescription authority than doctors, and typically a lower level of ultimate responsibility for each patient. If a nurse works under a doctor, then the patient they share is ultimately the responsibility of the doctor. As you read the nursing articles in this category, you'll start to notice these differences more and more.
Independent vs Interdependent Nursing
An exception to the above stated difference in responsibility between doctors and nurses is in the case of independent nursing. Independent nursing is the practice in which the nurse is solely responsible, without working for or under another health care professional or authority such as a doctor. Independent nurses will work with patients directly, tailoring plans to optimize and individualize their personal care. They then administer all care, from general nursing to advanced medical care. Interdependent nursing, on the other hand, is when nurses work collaboratively with other professionals such as physicians and other nurses to treat a patient.
Careers in Nursing
Nursing practice is regulated by laws at national and state levels in most countries. The education and other credentials necessary to become a nurse vary greatly by country. But, all require extensive study, practice, and dedication. In the US, one must first complete a nursing degree at an accredited university, followed by siting for a nurse licensing exam. The exam, called the National Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is a a standardized exam that can be prepared for by using study books and practice tests. You may find resources in the nursing articles here to help prepare you for these exams or connect you with other means of preparation.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
In the US, licensed practical nurses work under the direction of physicians. In this position, they interdependently provide care primarily to sick, injured, and disabled people. Their jobs often consist of providing basic bedside care, including taking and monitoring vital signs as well as performing lab work and medical equipment maintenance.
Registered Nurse (RN)
Registered nurses in the US have graduated from a nursing program and obtained a nursing license. They are primarily regulated by legislation and professional organizations, rather than directed by another healthcare professional. In fact, they can actually be responsible for supervising other healthcare workers such as licensed practical nurses.
Nursing Articles as a Professional Resource
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a nurse's median salary as of 2018 was about 71,000 dollars per year. The growth rate of the number of jobs in the industry is also much faster than that of other professions. The BLS projects that over 438,000 jobs will be added to the pool in the next decade. For anyone willing to work hard for the noble cause of helping people, this profession provides the opportunity to both do good and make a reliable living. If you're curious about joining the field, this category also contains nursing articles with examples of such admirable professionals.
In the US, most people have met a nurse at some point or another. Many of us meet them immediately upon entering the world in the delivery ward of a hospital. Others feel their helping hand when they’re sick or healing from surgery. And still others benefit from the presence and care of nurses softening their final days in life. Read the nursing books here to learn about the world of difference nurses make and how they do it.
Nursing Books for Getting Down to the Basics
In school, the topics of greatest importance will at first be sciences such as biology and chemistry. You'll start experiencing more nurse-specific education after a couple years. At this point you should choose from one of the hundred or so nursing specialties, such as burn care, geriatrics, hospice, or radiology. Some specialties need special education, so it's best to know which you want to do as soon as possible.
For those looking for help through their studies or to widen the breadth of their professional knowledge, the nursing books here have you covered. Material like Public Health Ethics: Cases Spanning the Globe can give readers a boost in learning about complicated topics. This book especially looks into the tough decisions nurses have to make and how to best use available information to do so.
On the job, nurses perform many tasks. These tasks range from performing physical exams, getting health histories, and providing medical care to working with other members of the medical team, doing research, and supervising staff. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRN's) also have duties that extend beyond these.
For example, a nurse practitioner can specialize in acute care, child health, or women's health, to name a few. A certified nurse-midwife provides obstetric care. There are a few different advanced practices to choose from, so read up to see where you fit in the nursing sphere. The nursing books here can then help you build foundations in the areas that interest you most.
One area of nursing is hospice care. In this specific niche, nurses focus primarily on easing discomfort and increasing happiness towards the end of life. Putting effort into getting to know patients and their families is as important for this line of work as medicine itself. This category of nursing books in Direct Knowledge walks you through the unique traits of various nursing positions like this and how to join their ranks. You can read books such as Nursing Care at the End of Life to learn specifics about the different types.