Latest data from the World Health Organization estimates the global health workforce to be slightly above 43 million workers, including 20.7 million nurses and midwives, 9.8 million physicians, and approximately 13 million other health workers.* According to Partners in Health, globally, nurses deliver 90% of all healthcare services.† Choosing a nursing career means you can play a critical role in society.
Nursing has remained the most trusted profession for 15 straight years, and in Gallup's annual look at honesty and ethical standards among various fields, nurses top the list with 84% of the public rating their standards as "high" or "very high."‡
Though a physically and emotionally demanding career, nursing has its many rewards. In addition to caring for patients on a daily basis, nurses help make the world a better place. Here are four ways nurses positively impact those around them:
- Serve. Nursing is a selfless career choice in which nurses assist and care for complete strangers, whether it’s recovering from an injury, welcoming a new life into the world, or providing expert end-of-life care as a member of a palliative care team. To become a nurse is to become a member of an elite profession dedicated to improving the lives of others.
- Educate. Nurses often work in demanding environments with patients who have complex medical needs, which means they must be very knowledgeable about healthcare as well as medical trends and topics. Some nurses become nurse educators to ensure future generations of nurses are prepared to meet the demands of a diverse, ever-changing healthcare environment. Others become public health nurses, where they assess communities and populations; identify high-risk groups; and develop culturally sensitive, acceptable, and realistic population-based nursing interventions.
- Volunteer. Despite their stressful profession, nurses volunteer their time to give back to their community when they’re not working. Blood drives and free medical clinics rely on volunteer medical professionals like nurses so that they can continue to serve their communities.§
- Advocate. As liaisons between patients and doctors, nurses help patients understand their diagnosis and make the best possible decisions about their health. Since every patient has different circumstances, beliefs, and preferences, nurses help bridge the gap between a patient’s wishes and doctor’s orders.**
Nurses are everywhere and often inspire others to join the influential field. Registered nurses (RNs) practice in all healthcare settings: hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices, ambulatory care centers, community health centers, schools, and retail clinics. They also provide healthcare in more surprising locations such as camps, homeless shelters, prisons, sporting events, and tourist destinations. Nurse practitioners (NPs) work in clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, and private offices, and provide a wide range of primary and preventive healthcare services, prescribe medication, and diagnose and treat common minor illnesses and injuries.†† Graduates with higher-level nursing degrees, such as a Master of Science in Nursing, generally enjoy more job stability and job security as well as a more diverse choice of career paths.
If you want to earn your nursing degree, you should take a look at Walden University. Walden gives you the convenience and flexibility of an online learning format while offering CCNE accredited nursing degree programs and numerous advantages that make it easier for you to earn your degree while working full time. Thanks to these advantages, Walden attracts students from all over and produces more nurses with advanced degrees than any other university.‡‡
There is a nursing shortage around the world due to an increasing number of retirees, population growth, and rural healthcare needs. Becoming a nurse can be a life-changing decision, but one that will positively impact others as well.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering online nursing degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
*World Health Organization, World Health Statistics 2016: Monitoring Health for the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), on the internet at www.who.int/gho/publications/world_health_statistics/2016/en.
†S. Davis, Are You a Nurse? Here Are 5 Ways You Can Impact Global Health, Partners in Health, on the internet at www.pih.org/blog/5-ways-nurses-can-impact-global-health.
‡J. Norman, Americans Rate Healthcare Providers High on Honesty, Ethics, Gallup, on the internet at www.gallup.com/poll/200057/americans-rate-healthcare-providers-high-honesty-ethics.aspx.
§My Daily Thread, 8 Ways Nurses Give Back and Make the Most Impact, MP Nursing, on the internet at www.mp-mydailythread.com/8-ways-nurses-give-back-and-make-the-most-impact.
**Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing, Nurse Advocate, on the internet at www.discovernursing.com/specialty/nurse-advocate#.WPd4dVPyu8V.
††American Nurses Association, What Nurses Do, on the internet at www.nursingworld.org/EspeciallyForYou/What-is-Nursing/Tools-You-Need/RNsAPNs.html.
‡‡ Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Retrieved July 2017, using CIP codes 51.3801 (Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse); 51.3808 (Nursing Science); 51.3818 (Nursing Practice). Includes 2016 preliminary data.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.