From time immemorial, the nursing profession has played huge humanitarian role in our society at large. There have been major changes from the time of Florence Nightingale, who was known as “the lady with the lamp”, to modern times. The nursing profession has attracted many college students contemplating nursing as their future job.
For a long period of time the nursing profession was dominated by women; partly their natural role of being homecare givers and motherly instincts were responsible for this. Florence Nightingale, whose role in the Crimean wars still remains evergreen, endears many females to the art of care giving called nursing. Then, the first male nurses appeared. In the middle of the nineteenth century, when there was a Civil war in the United States, the males served as nurses in the armies. A section of the army had about thirty men to care for the wounded. It was the start of the history of male practice in the profession of nursing.
Today the nursing profession has come a long way, but a critical look at the world shows that there is still more ground to cover. Statistics show that the ratio is a measly one nurse for thirty patients in some parts of Africa. In other war torn areas of the world, like Somalia and Sudan, there is a dire need of nurses. Nowadays, when the world is being ravaged by natural disasters, it is very important for the nurses to take care for victims of floods, landslides, and earthquakes. Canada needs to implement nurse-patient-ratio in order to ease crushing workloads and make up for a massive nationwide shortage of nurses (Brautigam, 2007). In the United States, there are about 2,909,357 licensed registered nurses. Approximately 168,181 RNs are men, which is only 5.8% of the whole nursing population. With this staggering number, there is still a shortage of nurses in the United States which is expected to grow (Department of Health and Human Services, 2009). Every day nurses brave the odds to reach the mothers and infants in Congo, where there is an acute shortage of food, water and medications. The role of nurses in Haiti during the magnanimous earthquake cannot be overemphasized either. All these facts point to one thing: the world has never been in need of more nurses than now. As the number of people requiring healthcare continues to grow on a daily basis, it becomes important that more college students start thinking of a nursing career. Like in all other professions, there are pros and cons in nursing, but from a reasonable point of view, the pros outweigh the cons considerably. A nursing career promises fulfillment on a personal level. It gives the freedom of choosing a specialty that suits best, provides opportunities for advancement into management, guarantees job security, high job payment, and an opportunity to travel. With the level of security challenges facing nurses working in war torn, disease ravaged areas nurses should have more undaunted courage to reach these corners of the world to help the needy. Organizations like Nurses without Borders face this brave encounter and keep reaching people, putting smiles on their faces, and giving hope to the many hopeless, sick, hungry, and less fortunate people of the world. We can safely say that a world without nurses would be a world full of detriments, considering the contributions of nurses all over the world.
Since nursing is mostly about caring, personal fulfillment is an important part of this noble profession. Regardless of how or where a nurse works, there is always an opportunity to make a difference in peoples’ lives. There is a reminder of Mary Slessor who braved all to stop the killing of twins in Nigeria. The nursing profession is just one in few professions that provides a great pathway for people to advance in their careers. It can be boldly stated that the nursing profession is one that has been and will be around for a very long time to come, as there will always be illnesses and diseases. Nursing is considered to be one of the best and wisest career choices, and as many countries continue to face an acute shortage of professionals in this field. Nurses all over the world remain committed to caring for the sick and injured and building a society, where people with medical needs will be treated with fairness and respect.