10 interesting facts about nursing I bet you didnt know
10 interesting facts about nursing I bet you didnt know. Due to Covid-19, practicing nurses have been challenged like they may have never been before. It is important to remember some of nursing history. Read for more.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics identified nursing as one of the fastest-growing professions in the U.S.

Nursing combines scientific thinking with a compassionate heart, and many people admire the virtues seen in nurses. Many refer to nurses as ‘angels’; however, there are many interesting facts about the nursing profession and nurses that you may not know about.

This article presents ten nursing facts you probably will be surprised to learn about.

1.Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American to complete nurse’s training

She earned a professional nursing license in 1879. She studied and worked in the United States. She developed an interest in nursing as a teenager, while working at the New England Hospital for Women and Children, as a cook, janitor, washerwoman and an unofficial nurse’s aide.

After 15 years of working in this hospital, Mahoney enrolled in their 16-month nursing programme at age 33. She was one of the four students that made it through the training among 42 students that enrolled for the programme.

She worked as a private care nurse for 30years across the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. Mahoney served as director of the Howard Orphan Asylum for black children in Long Island, New York. She co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) with Adah B. Thoms.  

After over 40 years of nursing service, Mahoney retired and turned her focus to women’s equality. The progression was natural, given her fight for minority rights during her professional career. Mary Mahoney wasn’t just an idea to African American women, but the whole nursing profession. Her drive and keenness for nursing helped shape the standards at which the profession has come to expect and continues to develop

2. Nurses need looking after too!

A significant concern in Nursing is the potential for musculoskeletal disorders which are often due to heavy manual lifting when transferring or repositioning patients, working in awkward positions, straining to lift or move obese patients, spending a significant amount of time standing and walking.

According to reports, nurses are more often the target of workplace violence than other healthcare workers. Effects of which include minor or major physical injuries, temporary or permanent physical disability, psychological trauma, or eventual death.

3. 2020 is tagged the year of the nurse and midwife.

The year 2020 was designated the year of the nurse and midwife by the World Health Assembly which is the governing body of the World Health Organization to advance the role of nurses in transforming healthcare and honour the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

Unfortunately, over 1000 nurses were reported dead due to COVID-19 in 2020. To address the global shortage of nurses is instrumental to achieving worldwide universal health coverage by 2030, it was projected that nine million more nurses would be needed. The WHA partnered with other global organizations to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives and “advocate for increased investments in the nursing and midwifery workforce.”

Organizational partners in the effort include the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), International Council of Nurses (ICN), Nursing Now and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

4. Jess Anderson ran the London Marathon in record time in her scrubs.

Nurse Jess Anderson broke the world record by completing the London Marathon course in 3.08:22 in 2019 and was presented her official Guinness World Record certificate for fastest nurse in uniform to run a marathon at the Barts Health Heroes award in February 2020. She’s proof that not all heroes wear capes, some of them wear scrubs.

5. COVID-19 has led to an increase in the Nursing school applications.

The year 2020 has been faced with COVID-19 pandemic which has brought about a renewed appreciation for healthcare workers, particularly Nurses.

Donna Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean of Nursing at Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College said, “For the first time in my career, which has been a long one, folks truly get what Nurses do, and they see how important and rewarding career it is. Some would say Nurses are the glue, especially in hospitals and healthcare organizations.”

Also, the increased record of job loss and unemployment that has resulted from the pandemic has made people in struggling occupations to consider Nursing as a rewarding and stable profession.

 There has been an increase in the number of “want to be” nurses, this is thought to be in response to the desire to help the sick people and helpless victims of COVID-19. 

6. Japanese nursing qualification does not have a renewal system

If you work as a nurse in Japan, it is not a requirement to renew your Nursing Registration. Once you become a Registered Nurse, you have the licence and the title on for life. However, some circumstances prove to be exceptions to this rule, and you can say goodbye to your license when you commit cases such as breaking the law or when you put the dignity of the profession in a compromise.

7. Some nursing homes in Germany have fake bus stops to collect patients with dementia who are trying to leave.

Public transportation is the primary way by which patients with dementia get from one place to another. With this knowledge, a replica of a bus stop was constructed near the nurse’s station or outside the centre. At the fake bus stop, the green and yellow sign triggers the patient’s long-term memory and reminds him or her that a bus will come to the bus stop and pick them up, taking him or her home or wherever it is he or she “needs” to go at that moment.

Ideally, the patient will then sit down at the bus stop and wait. Cruel, right? But it works. The escaping patient will happily wait for a bus; this lowers the agitation of the patient, who understands that there is nothing to do but wait until the bus arrives.

This calming makes the patient approachable. Caregivers inform the still-waiting patient that the bus will be five minutes late and invite the patient inside the center for refreshments until the bus arrives. Because Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have poor short-term memories, the patient is likely to forget that he or she ever wanted to leave the nursing home in the first place.

8. Men rarely practise midwifery for cultural and historical reasons

In ancient Greece, midwives were required by law to have given birth themselves, which prevented men from joining their ranks. Males in the 17th century Europe specialized in births requiring the use of surgical instruments which eventually developed into a professional split, with women serving as midwives and men becoming obstetricians.

Men who work as midwives are called midwives or male midwives. In the United Kingdom, men were not allowed in the profession until 1983. As of March 2016, there were between 113 and 137 registered male midwives, representing 0.6% of all practising midwives in the UK

9. Mary Seacole self-funded an expedition to the Crimean war.

Mary Seacole was born in Kingston on the Caribbean island of Jamaica, in 1805.  She had an interest in medicine and nursing from a young age. As early as age 12, she was helping her mother run a boarding house in Kingston, where many of the guests were sick or injured soldiers who were taken care of by her mother with traditional Jamaican treatments and remedies.

She learned from her mother and the army doctors staying at the boarding house. Following her husband’s death in 1844, Mary focused on caring for the sick. Between 1850-1853, she cared for the victims of cholera and yellow fever in Kingston and Panama.

Mary’s request to join Florence Nightingale and her team of nurses treating wounded and sick soldiers in Crimea was turned down. However, that was not enough to stop Mary, together with her friend Thomas Day, in 1866, set off to the Crimea in a ship stocked with medical supplies. She opened a “British Hotel” near the battlefields to care for the sick and wounded soldiers. A lot of nurses did invaluable work looking after the soldiers in the Crimean War, but Mary went a step further and did something incredibly brave, she rode on horseback into the battlefields, even when under fire, to nurse wounded men from both sides of the war.

10. More men are getting into nursing

Nursing is known to be a predominantly female profession, but the narrative is now changing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of 2019, stated that more than 12% of Registered Nurses in the U.S. are men. 

More males are getting into the nursing profession. Some hospitals even reported doubling the rate of male nurses over the past decade.

One in ten hospital nurses in Britain is males as against one in a hundred some 50 years ago.  There are male nurses in every nurse specialty from obstetrics to geriatrics to sexual assault examiners. Specific specialty attracts more male nurses than the other, such specialties as; Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Emergency Room Nurse, Intensive Care Unit Nurse, Critical Care Nurse, Flight Nurse, among others.

Finally, I want to personally thank all front line workers for your dedication and courage during this recent crisis.

Thank you to all you beautiful nurses










Emilie MASI

Registered Nurse, Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice Graduate Diploma of Wound Care Working towards Masters of Wound Care

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