How Nursing has Transformed Over the Past 50 Years

Nov 15

The role of a nurse has dramatically changed in the past fifty years. From the day to day responsibilities to what they wear to how much they make, to the patients they say and the issues they face, the nursing world continues to evolve. But our need for more of them only ever continues to grow, and our appreciation for all they do stays steady.

1. Nursing Uniforms in History

Starting with something a bit lighter, the uniform has drastically changed to take shape to the job’s responsibilities. In the 1960s, nurses were still wearing the traditional dresses and cap. Throughout the following decade, the uniform modernized, the dresses got a little shorter, and the caps became almost entirely non-existent. In the 80s, nurses started wearing disposable aprons instead of traditional clothe and by the 90s nurses were wearing scrubs. Can you believe that scrubs are only 27 years old?

2. Nursing Salary

In the 1960s and 70s, nurses were making on average $5,200 a year. Thankfully, the majority of nurses today make around that amount each month. Depending on where you live, how much education you have and the current supply vs. demand, RNs can make as much as $72,000 a year and often start out around $40,000. If you’re curious to know how much your worth in your state, you can take our free salary assessment here.

3. Nursing Technology

A huge shift in nursing technology has been the integration into electronic charting. Switching from written reports, narratives and lists to entering data into computer programs, the role of technology has changed the game. In one hand it saves time, and on the other hand, it makes everything go a bit faster making the number of patients higher and therefore the amount of work higher as well. With access to the internet, patients are coming in less and less. A lot of self-diagnosing and further education has made the kind of patients that come in more extreme. A nurses job has shifed from answering simple questions to advocating on behalf of patient’s more serious conditions.

4. The nursing role itself

An even more substantial shift has occurred in the nursing role itself, now more than ever before the job is extremely technologically advanced, taking over responsibilities that used to be reserved for physicians. Furthermore, nurses are becoming more specialized — cardiac nursing, case management, APRN, ambulatory care, etc. And they have also switched from just being a caretaker to an advocate of their patients.

5. How you find jobs

Lastly, the way nurses are able to find jobs has switched from traditional recruiting to online platforms. With Relode, you can now find jobs online through our system, and get a sign-on bonus from Relode when you accept the job. Or if you aren’t looking for a job, you can refer your friends for jobs, and if they get hired, you get a referral reward too.

Technology has changed the game for nurses all around the globe, but it hasn’t changed the need for them and for their hard working, kind and important role in our healthcare system. We are thankful for the way they advocate for us and for their diligence in education and care.

Interested in using technology to advance your career? Find out how here.

Alyssa McNally