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Jessica Anderson

Professor Rieman

English 1102-026

April 30, 2011

Nursing: Why is the profession always changing and how do nurses adapt to the changes?

Self Assessment: Revising this was so much easier than actually writing the paper. I believe my paper

was okay before but now I think that it is actually a good paper. I tried my best to revise all of the areas

that seemed very hazy when trying to read through and I believe that I made them so much clearer. I

feel that this new revised paper flows more easily then the one before and that the reader will be able to

understand the point more easily. Out of the four research papers I have written, I think that this paper

is probably the best because I finally have how to add in sources so that they may flow correctly in the


Nursing as we know is its own discourse and to be a nurse you are required to have a lot of

knowledge about the human body, how it the human body works, and how to help the patients who are

having health problems. Obviously, the human body never changes but technology and the techniques

of helping the human body do. I have always wondered how nurses adapt to these changes in their

profession and if they like the changes or not. Registered nurse Dorothea Orem acknowledges in her

book Nursing: Concepts of Practice that “for so many years, a nurse was described as a signified person

with a wide range of nursing knowledge and capabilities. The reference terms within nursing have

changed and will continue to change as nurses continue the development of their science and art (29).

Reference terms in nursing cannot stay definite because nursing techniques are always advancing as new

research is being done. New techniques and discoveries for the health field are always being created
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which cause nurses to change the way they do their job; sometimes the changes can make the nurses’ job

easier or more difficult.

As we all know, our lives are based upon time and how we do not have enough of time to get all

of the things we have to accomplish. The nursing profession is a great example of not having enough

time because they have so many patients they must see in such a short amount of time. These days,

people usually go to the doctors’ office or the emergency room for the smallest health problems,

therefore; nurses have to deal with these people as well as the ones who have more serious health issues.

Besides caring for the patients’, nurses also have a lot of paperwork and other tasks that they are

required to accomplish. Debbie Stine who is a registered nurse emphasizes that although the care of the

patient is the main concern, there is now more paperwork that the nurse had to do and it sometimes

seems like there is less time to care for the patients need. Usually the examination of a patient is just

basic care because of the time issue.

When a nurse is training for something new that has come into the nursing community, the time

they train has also lessoned to a minimum amount. Melda Sue Logan who is a retired registered nurse

along with Cheryl Hickman who is a registered nurse observe “in the early years of nursing, physicians

and nurses and other health care providers had time to conduct round table discussions on the job which

were teaching and learning opportunities. Today, the fast paced and complex health care arena requires

a more formal educational and competency based teaching model.” (Logan and Hickman) Not only do

you have to learn how to do something new, you have to learn how to do it fast. For some nurses, it may

take them longer to actually get used to something first before they can officially master the certain task.

There is a term in nursing that is called knowledge transfer which deals with how nurses adapt to

all of the changes they deal with in their profession as well as the research they have to use. Marilyn

Aita, Marie-Claire Richer, and Marjolaine Héon who are all registered nurses claim that “knowledge
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transfer has been identified as an essential process for development of knowledge in nursing as well as

an important asset when dealing with it’s issues surrounding the use of research in clinical practice”

(146). I think that knowledge transfer is probably one of the most important changing factors in the

nursing profession because it shows just how much nurses must adapt to all the many changes that are

created in the nursing profession. Knowledge transfer does not only effect nurses in their profession but

also in their profession socially, Nancy F Woods and Diane Magyary claim that “in addition to adapting

to new ways of doing science, investigators are simultaneously being challenged to transition to a new

social contract for science” (14). This means that nurses must adapt to new ways of addressing their

patients and how they must learn new ways to treat their colleagues and patients. I never thought that a

nurse would have to change the way they communicate with patients’ but it now makes sense because

times are different than they were ten years ago and people tend to change.

There is an interesting study that interviewed nurses from five different countries in

North America (including the United States) about the many things in nursing that are changing. It was

surprising to me that the nurses had similar outcomes of the changes and that they actually had the same

changes in the five different countries. Edilma B. Guevara and Elnora P. Mendias are the two who

shared their findings in an article and listed many of the same changes in nursing between the five

countries. Many nurses’ workloads would probably be much easier if they did not have as much

because some have a workload that would normally be given to two nurses instead of just one. Guevara

and Mendias assert that “Some nurses mentioned a decrease on the nursing workforce, different duties,

extended use of auxiliary personnel, or reductions on other job positions that impact nursing tasks”

(349). Most nurses have to take on more tasks because the work force is smaller due to an idea that

nurses can handle things better now that there are easier ways to handle patients. I do not think that

nurses should be given so many tasks because I believe that their main focus should be toward their
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patients. When nurses have tasks that would be fit for two nurses, they are trying to get the task

accomplished and are less worried about the patients they have to attend to. If there were two nurses

splitting up the tasks, the patients would be the main concern unlike the other tasks nurses may have.

Technology is probably the most changing role in the nursing profession. New and better

technology is always being created, whether it is new updates on computers used by nurses or better

machines to discover a patient’s health state. Dorothea Orem suggests that the technologies and

techniques to effect change in nursing must be discovered, their validity and reliability under ranges of

specified conditions established, and their undesirable effects if any set forth (89). Changing technology

in nursing is to try and make the nurses’ job even more convenient as well as the patients’ visit more

comfortable and efficient, which is the same reason why technology is always advancing. These new

inventions help both the nurse and the patient; the nurse can get results faster and then serve the patient’s

need in a short amount of time. I dislike how everything has to be rushed in our time but there is not a

way to change it so now a nurse’s goal is to help their patients’ in as little time as they can so they can

get to as many patients as possible.

One example of the changing technology is how everything the nurses have to write down is

now not out in files but has to be documented into the computer. I have heard that nurses have to go

through a lot of paperwork and registered nurse Debbie Stine states “It seems like nursing is sometimes

more about the paperwork than the patient sometimes” (Stine). Some nurses may find this stressful

because many may not be technologically advanced and are having to learn something completely new.

I do believe that nurses come into their profession knowing and expecting changes to happen. However,

some changes can be stressful to learn and may take some getting used to but in the long run technology

can make the nurses’ job much easier. Julie Blanche who has an associate’s degree in nursing claims in

her article “Nursing 50 years back and Today: How the Nursing Field has Changed over the last 50
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years” that technology has made the job of nurses much more easier and helps to get things done faster

so that the nurses have more time to devote to their patients care since they have little time for that as

well. Technology also allows nurses to measure vital signs quickly, record information, and to

administer medications (Blanche). I stated earlier that nurses have little time to spend with their patients

which is true, however; technology’s role in nursing still gives them more time than usual to spend with

their patients. Devices in nursing help to let the nurses get results much faster. For example, if you had

to have an x-ray for your brain you would just go in get the x-ray of your brain and within minutes the

nurse would be back in your room with the picture of your brain and his or her examination of what is

wrong and if going to see a specialist such as a brain surgeon is needed. This is just one of the many

examples of how technology in nursing makes the nursing profession flow easier. It may be difficult

learning how to work certain technologies for the nurses at first but I’m sure they will admit that it was

completely worth it.

Some examples of great technology in the nursing profession are x-rays, 3D ultrasounds, and all

the way down to the machine that shows someone’s urine sample etc. The list could go on to the many

technologies that the nursing profession has acquired and uses everyday in their profession. These all

have made a nurses job easier and less time consuming. I cannot even imagine how nurses in the 1950’s

did anything, but they did still have stethoscopes, blood pressure pumps, etc. All of these tools in the

nursing profession have made the nursing profession flow more easily.

The nursing profession is probably one the most fast changing professions over any other

profession. Most of the changes seem to make the nursing profession including certain technologies

such as the 3D ultrasound. The only problem I see with changes in the nursing profession is that nurses

do not get to spend much time with their patients due to having so many patients’ to take care of in little

amounts of time. Also, I believe it is probably sometimes difficult to do all of the paperwork along with
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having to learn how to operate the new devices that are being used. Not just anyone can be a nurse; I

believe you have to have a passion for it and that you will eventually start being prepared for all the

changes that come about in the nursing profession. Melda Sue Logan and Cherly Hickman remind us

that “much has changed in the nursing profession through the years, and change will continue; what

cannot change is the nurse’s commitment to be a patient advocate (Logan and Hickman). The nursing

profession is always changing; for example, the technologies used in nursing along with the way nurses

have to perform their job and interact with their patients. Their job may be difficult and stressful at

times but I believe that when you have a passion about something, you are willing to deal with the

changes and face the challenges headstrong.

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Works Cited

Aita, Marilyn, Marie-Claire Richer, and Marjolaine Héon. “Illuminating the Processes of Knowledge

Transfer in Nursing. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing. Vol. 1. 2007.

Blanche, Julie. “Nursing 50 Years Back and Today: How the Nursing Field has Changed over the last 50

Years.” Healthe Careers Network. 2 November 2010. Healthecareers. Web. 13 April


Guevara, Edilma B, and Elnora P. Mendias. “A Comparative Analysis of the Changes in Nursing

Practice Related to Health Sector Reform in Five Countries in the Americas.” 2002.

Logan, Melda Sue and Cheryl Hickman. “Nursing—Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” Publishing

Concepts, Inc. 2008. Web. 14 April 2011.

Orem, Dorothea E. Nursing: Concepts of Practice. St. Louis: Mosby Year Book, 1991. Print.

Stine, Debbie. “How Nursing Has Changed In the Last Ten Years.” Helium Inc. 4 April 2009. Helium:

Health and Sciences Jobs. Web. 13 April 2011.

Woods, Nancy F, and Diane Magyary. “Translational Research: Why Nursing’s Interdisciplinary

Collaboration Is Essential.” Research and Theory for Nursing Practice: An International

Journal, Vol. 24, No. 1. 2010.