Changes in Nursing Over the Last 10 – 20 Years

When was the last time you worked as a nurse? 20 years ago? 10 years ago? If it has been that long, and you’re thinking about re-entering the field, get ready for a surprise. Nursing has significantly changed since then! The following describes a smidgeon of some of those changes – changes that all online LPN, RN, and BSN nursing programs prepare you for.

Computer Technology in Nursing

In the last 10 – 20 years ago, we’ve made an almost complete shift from paper-based recordkeeping to computer-based record keeping. No longer do nurses work with patient charts on paper, for example. They’re on the computer now. And no longer are lab tests ordered with a carbon set of papers. Tests are ordered on computer as well.

This shift isn’t exclusive to nursing, however. Almost every industry made this shift. Either that, or they’re in the process of making the shift now. This includes nursing school as well. In fact, much of the enrollment process is computer-based since a significant number of classes are taught right over the internet. Can you imagine?!

NCLEX Testing

When you first took your NCLEX, you more than likely took it over a period of two days (via two three-hour sessions every day) – with paper and pencil at that. Now, the test is issued over a computer as well, and it only takes one day to complete. It takes a shorter amount of time to get results too. In the past, you might have waited a whopping eight weeks for NCLEX results.

Nursing Working Hours

What about those nursing shifts? 10 – 20 years ago, you might have worked from 7 am to 3 pm, 3 pm to 11 pm or 11 pm to 7 am. Today, nursing shifts are more extensive (and intense) with some nurses working 12 hour shifts! Since much of today’s nursing shifts are the result of the severe nursing shortage we’re currently experiencing, they may return to what they were when you worked as a nurse once the field increases its workforce.

Nursing Dress Code

Do you remember your style of dress? As a prior generation nurse, you were probably told what colors were acceptable and you probably even had to get permission to wear anything other than an official uniform. Maintaining a clean and professional demeanor is still enforced within the nursing industry, however labor laws prevent hospitals from dictating the colors of clothing worn beneath appropriate cover.

Nursing Job Protocol

Of course no smoking is allowed anywhere inside or near a health facility’s premises, but you probably remember being able to smoke at a nursing station. And the use of gloves is an absolute requirement now. Before, gloves were pretty much prohibited across the board – except for surgery.

Yes, things have certainly changed and most people will agree they’ve changed for the better. The world of nursing is a fascinating world full of new and exciting learning and working opportunities. Make sure you skills are up to par and with the times. Enroll in an online nursing program and get today’s skills for today’s nurse!

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