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Career Insights

Nursing: Then, Now and in the Future

Concorde Staff

Concorde Staff

Updated May 9, 2024. The information contained in this blog is current and accurate as of this date.
Vintage nurse charting in black and white next to Concorde logo

Hectic. Fulfilling. Exhausting. Exhilarating. These were the first words that came to the mind of four nurses when asked to describe their last nursing shift in one word.

Given what we know nursing to be today, it’s hard to imagine that the beginning of what has become such a rewarding career started with nearly no actual nursing responsibilities.

Until the late 1800s, nurses performed little healthcare-related work. Hospital nurses completed chores such as washing dishes, sweeping floors and cleaning dining areas. Serving meals, feeding patients and removing meal trays were other common nursing tasks. But these humble beginnings were about to change.

The Mother of Invention

In the fabric of history, the adage, “Necessity is the mother of all invention,” rings true, particularly in the narrative of nursing.

Before the Civil War, nurses primarily handled cleaning duties and dishwashing. However, as the war unfolded, medical professionals found themselves inundated with injured patients, requiring additional assistance. Consequently, during the American Civil War, nurses assumed the crucial role of tending to the sick and wounded.

The same can be said for other parts of the world, including Britain, where “Florence Nightingale helped bring battlefield medical practices up to modern standards during the Crimean War. The conflict represented a proving ground for Nightingale’s hypothesis that scientific medical practices could improve patient healthcare conditions."

Today, nurses truly do it all. While the scope of practice varies significantly depending on educational credentials, nursing is the largest healthcare professional role in America. Duties and responsibilities range from checking blood pressure to administering anesthesia, prescribing medications and even performing noninvasive surgical procedures.

Advanced practice nurses play a critical role in addressing the primary care shortage; like physicians, they build lifelong relationships with their patients. As interprofessional care teams that include everything from nurses to pharmacists grow in popularity, nursing will be central in delivering patient centered care in the U.S.

Growing Areas of Nursing Opportunity

The nursing shortage continues to drive demand for caring, compassionate nurses. However, five areas within healthcare are receiving a tremendous amount of investment dollars and research. Those interested in gaining skills likely to be in high-demand should consider pursuing these key growth areas.

Telemedicine and Virtual Healthcare Services

Telehealth service being offered by healthcare professional on tablet

The COVID-19 pandemic drove adoption and interest in telehealth services. The global telemedicine market in 2021 was estimated at $104.44 billion and forecasted to rise to $272.76 billion by 2027. Without seeing a patient in person, showing empathy and compassion in a telehealth environment will certainly be a highly sought-after skill.

Growth of AI and Machine Learning in Healthcare

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are driving rapid change, and nearly every day there seems to be improvement and advancement in the products offered. Within healthcare, AI and ML can be used to analyze patient data, detect patterns and improve clinical decision making. These technologies empower nurses to interpret vast amounts of patient data efficiently, enabling them to identify subtle patterns and trends crucial for informed decision-making. By embracing AI and ML, nurses can enhance their ability to provide personalized care, leveraging data-driven insights to tailor interventions to individual patient needs.

Value-Based Care Continues to Gain Traction

Value-based care is a new model where healthcare providers are paid based on patient outcomes rather than the volume of services they provide. This, of course, has huge implications for every aspect of healthcare. Quality care providers who are interested in management and administration roles could be well served in this market.

New Wearables and Remote Monitoring Devices

Wearable devices are useful across a wide range of settings for patient at home, in hospital wards and in nursing homes. They collect and track things such as heart rate, blood pressure and physical activity. Patients have access to more information about their own health than ever before, and healthcare providers need to understand how to use this data to their patient’s advantage.

Importance of Healthcare Cybersecurity

Data breaches are always bad, but when they involve personal health data, it’s a particularly unsettling situation. For those who may be ready to leave bedside care, this is another area in which to continue helping patients and your overall community.

Closing Thought

A career in nursing is one of the rare fields that can change and grow with an individual. Technology and advancements are creating even more roles for quality nurses, changing the way patients interact with care providers. From humble beginnings, nursing has become the backbone of the healthcare system, and with the trends we’ve identified in this article, nursing is certain to remain the heart of healthcare.

  1. Traveling Circa 1884. Accessed May 10, 2024.

  2. American Nurses Association. Nursing scope of practice . American Nurses Association. Published 2020.

  3. Telemedicine Market - Growth, Trends, Covid-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2023 - 2028).

  4. Global Telemedicine Market 2024-2028.

Take The Next Step Towards a Brighter Future

Interested in learning more about our Nursing (Pre-Licensure) program? We have a Concorde representative ready to talk about what matters most to you. Get answers about start dates, curriculum, financial aid, scholarships and more!

  1. Program length may be subject to change dependent on transfer credits and course load. Please refer to current course catalog for more information. Concorde does not guarantee admittance, graduation, subsequent employment or salary amount.

  2. Professional certification is not a requirement for graduation, may not be a requirement for employment nor does it guarantee employment.

  3. Financial aid is available to those who qualify but may not be available for all programs. Concorde does not guarantee financial aid or scholarship awards or amounts.

  4. Clinical hour requirements and delivery may vary by campus location and may be subject to change. Concorde does not guarantee clinical site assignments based upon student preference or geographic convenience; nor do clinical experiences guarantee graduation, post-clinical employment or salary outcomes.

  5. Registration and certification requirements for taking and passing these examinations are not controlled by Concorde, but by outside agencies, and are subject to change by the agency without notice. Therefore, Concorde cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible to take these exams, at all or at any specific time, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment.