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2018 Salute to Nurses: A Noozhawk Partnership with Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care

What Nurses Really Do Today Is a Far Cry from Stereotypes of Old

Nurses must earn continuing education hours every year to stay informed of current and new trends and technologies in the field. Click to view larger
Nurses must earn continuing education hours every year to stay informed of current and new trends and technologies in the field. (Green Shoot Media photo)

Nurses play critical roles in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and various other care facilities. The template of the caring, compassionate nurse from years gone by — the stereotype that still exists today — at times overshadows all of a nurse’s real responsibilities.

This is not to say care and compassion aren’t key traits that successful nurses have and employ, but they are much more than “nurse maids.”

Here are some of the most pressing roles of a nursing professional:

» Nurses in emergency departments are often tasked with triaging patients based on their own expert assessment.

» Nurses require state and federal certification or licensing, and many hold advanced degrees from illustrious programs.

» Nurses are responsible for coordinating patient care with physicians, physical therapists and social workers, among others.

» Nurses found and run health-care systems for under-served communities, providing care to patients struggling with substance abuse, various forms of violence and prenatal care.

» Nurses can be doctors. Nurses can earn a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) or a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP).

» Nurses must earn continuing education hours every year to stay informed of current and new trends and technologies in the field. Medicine is constantly evolving, and it is imperative for nurses to keep up.

» In fact, according to a 2001 World Health Organization report, nurses and midwives make up between 50 percent and 90 percent of the number of health practitioners in numerous countries.

» Nurses forge new ground in health care, having been responsible for founding the American Red Cross and Planned Parenthood, as well as the development of mental institutions and the Army Nurse Corps.

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