In the recent past, nursing students and nurses were always thought of as female and white. However, in recent times, this has been changing and for the better. We should look for and expect diverse nursing workforce when we seek medical care.
Old Stereotypes – nurses are white women
In the past, nursing schools and, by extension, nurses in the working world were quite homogenous. Not only in real life but even on television and in movies, the public became accustomed to a stereotype of a nurse. Nurses were portrayed as white females wearing prim pressed white outfits.
New Changes – dress and skills are diversified nowadays
In the same way, that the population is changing in the United States, the look of nurses and nursing needs to change and is changing. Universities focus on more inclusive programs. There is an emphasis on diversity. Here, diversity means a wide range of cultures, languages, and skills for modern nurses.
Men are also becoming nurses
Nursing programs are encouraging male students. In the past, nursing was only about women. Sometimes men were seen as people who simply failed to qualify to be doctors. Nowadays, nursing is starting to be seen as a valid and viable career option for men. Even so, there is still much stigma associated with males becoming nurses.
Non-English speaking students are also joining
The face of the United States is changing in terms of its racial composition. In some parts, there is no majority ethnic group and no majority language. Spanish is widely spoken in some areas. As a result, nursing programs are reaching out to non-English speaking students. Graduates with languages other than English can communicate more among a variety of communities. They have both a language and cultural awareness of health issues.
Better relations and better understanding lead to value-added contributions
Not only do additional languages and cultural knowledge lead to better patient-nurse relations, but also nurses can address the communities they are connected to. Better relations and better understandings mean, ultimately, better medical care. Nurses with access to various communities are making a presence with health care in a proactive way.
Nursing profession can improve financial status
In many cases, nursing is a game changer in the economics of families. Sons and daughters from families, especially immigrant families, may turn to nursing as an option. They may be the first in their family to attend university education. Nursing programs offer solid educational opportunities as well as access to stable employment post-graduation.
It is more than Medicine
Nursing education is also changing to reflect skill sets beyond medical techniques. Of course, nurses need to know how to draw blood and all the basics of patient care that they have always had. However, now there are courses in communication. Teaching listening and observation skills are seen as important to a nurse’s success.
Patients favor nurses from their own community
Studies have shown that patients want to be taken care of by nurses that talk and look like them. They want the comfortable feeling that their health care workers are from the patient’s community. Because the population has increasing numbers of minority groups, this puts pressure on universities to have nurses from a wide range of communities too.
A broad future that infuences students, patients and communities
Nursing is changing as a profession. Driven by demographic changes in the population, there is a strong need for a diverse workforce of nurses. This, in turn, drives universities to change to promote diversity in nursing. These changes have deep effects on the families of nursing students, patient’s care, and opportunities to outreach to the broader community.
- There is a new face of nurses and nursing in our times.
- In every area, people became used to a certain stereotype of a nurse.
- Universities have more inclusive student bodies.
- More men are choosing nursing careers.
- Nursing programs seek out non-English speakers.
- Nurses can outreach to various communities easier.
- Expanded nursing programs offer access to university education and careers.
- Nursing is about more than medicine; listening skills are highly prized.
- Patients want nurses who share the patient’s background.
- Nursing is changing.
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