Contemporary Nursing Practice in the US and World


The nursing profession is among the most significant ones both in the US and in the world. This medical personnel provides care for the patients in hospitals and other healthcare settings while assisting doctors with treatments. However, it is evident that the nature of practice for nurses has evolved and changed over the years. According to Salmond and Echevarria (2017), the work process in the past was “episodic, provider-based, fee-for-service care” (p. 15).

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Modern nurses contribute significantly to improving health outcomes for people and help transform the healthcare setting. In addition, the changes in the medical environment (such as the Affordable Healthcare Act) demand a high quality of care delivered by professionals; thus nurses have to be well educated and intelligent. This paper aims to identify changes and examine essential components of the nursing profession.

Evolution of Nursing Practice

The nursing practice has adjusted over time; its development has modified the scope of practice and the approach to treating an individual. As was previously mentioned, nurses used to contribute to improving a specific condition that bothered a patient while focusing on the quantity of the procedures, and not on their quality. In the present time, nurses have to be aware of many other factors that contribute to creating an individual. Salmond and Echevarria (2017) state that “factors driving healthcare transformation include fragmentation, access problems, unsustainable costs, suboptimal outcomes, and disparities” (p. 15).

In addition, the authors emphasize the importance of providing care for patients with chronic conditions. Modern nurses are vital components of the medical teams in hospitals. Thus, the primary concern of nursing practice used to be providing care for the diseased, while nowadays nurses have to consider a variety of factors that influence one’s health.

Associate and Baccalaureate Education

One can be a registered nurse (RN) either after completing an associate diploma study (ADN) or after receiving a bachelor’s degree (BSN). According to Spetz and Bates (2013), “since 1964 the American Nurses’ Association (ANA) has advocated that all RNs be required to have a BSN, based on the belief that nursing has become more complex due to technological and organizational change and thus requires a higher level of education” (p. 1859).

Thus, a nurse who has received a BSN can deal with more complex cases, as opposed to a nurse with ADN. It can be argued that a BSN education teaches a person to apply more advanced skills such as critical thinking, communication, and analysis. This enables a research-based approach; therefore such a nurse can participate in improving the current practices. An ADN nurse is taught the basics of everyday practice (how to perform procedures, and how to follow care plans). A nurse with an associate’s diploma is educated for day-to-day nursing tasks, while a bachelor’s degree enables one to participate in advanced work.

Patient Care Differences in BSN and ADN Nursing and Evidence-Based Practice

A scenario that would illustrate a difference in approach for a BSN and ADN is a case of an obese person who is at risk of developing diabetes. When such a patient is admitted to a hospital, an ADN will perform standard procedures to address the current concerns. This approach is valid and helps the patient improve his or her health state. However, a BSN nurse will utilize more critical thinking to identify the possibilities of enhancing the overall state of health for this person.

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Thus, a BSN will speak to the patient to determine general health concerns and possible methods for resolving those. In addition, BSN will educate the patient about the risks of developing diabetes and would provide evidence-based practices for improvements that could help prevent the development of the disease. Thus, a BSN will approach a patient using critical thinking and evidence-based methods to improve the overall health state of the person.

As was previously mentioned, BSN education teaches to apply a variety of skills to the nursing practice. Due to this fact, RN-BSN would be prepared to offer methods for treatments or health improvements that suit a particular patient. The nature of evidence-based solutions implies that those were tested and proven to be effective, which is the central significance of their application. Thus, RN-BSN can look through the research and apply the proper method into his or her practice. Education enables this, as it provides an opportunity to learn and use essential skills (such as critical thinking, research, and analysis).

Communication and Collaboration with Interdisciplinary Teams

Modern nurses can communicate and collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to ensure a safer environment. According to Gausvik, Lautar, Miller, Pallerla, and Schlaudecker (2015), nurses’ communication with physicians has proven to enhance patient outcomes. In addition, the authors state that interdisciplinary collaboration helps improve the safety measures across a hospital. The basis of such collaborative work is proper communication, as it enables professionals to analyze the events and come up with solutions for issues. Thus, interdisciplinary team collaboration and communication can be utilized to improve safety and patient outcomes in a healthcare setting.


Overall, the nursing profession has changed together with the development of the healthcare system. Modern nurses are approaching patient care as a more complicated matter, aiming to improve the quality of services. In addition, nurses who receive a BSN degree can apply advanced skills in their practice. Finally, a collaboration between teams within a healthcare setting can enhance safety for patients. The result can be achieved by applying proper communication techniques.


Gausvik, C., Lautar, A., Miller, L., Pallerla, H., & Schlaudecker, J. (2015). Structured nursing communication on interdisciplinary acute care teams improves perceptions of safety, efficiency, understanding of care plan and teamwork as well as job satisfaction. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 8, 33-37. Web.

Salmond, S. W., & Echevarria, M. (2017). Healthcare transformation and changing roles for nursing. Orthopedic Nursing, 36(1), 12-25. Web.

Spetz, J., & Bates, T. (2013). Is a baccalaureate in nursing worth it? The return to education, 2000–2008. Health Services Research, 48(6), 1859-1878. Web.

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