Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2013 - Volume 113 - Issue 9 > An Evolving Profession
AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000434155.85137.af
Letters

An Evolving Profession

Callen, Susan K. MSN, RN, CNE

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Susan K. Callen, MSN, RN, CNE

Pittsburgh, PA

In response to Susan Pugliese's letter (“Grieving for a Profession Lost,” Letters, June): I agree that nursing has changed since the 1970s, but I think it's mostly been for the good. We now incorporate a significant amount of technology into our patient care, all of it designed to enhance patient care and patient safety.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has mandated the use of electronic health records by 2014, affording us instant retrieval of physician orders, laboratory and diagnostic test results, and medication administration records. Orders typed by physicians into the medical record are safer, because we no longer have to decipher hieroglyphics. We ask our patients to spell their names and recite their birth dates for no other reason than to enhance their safety. We have incorporated quality and safety principles into our care, including evidence-based practice and patient-centered care. We encourage student nurses to “think outside the textbook” as they develop clinical judgment.

Nurses have evolved into robust, dynamic members of the health care team. We do strive to care for our patients in a knowledgeable, respectful manner. It just looks a little different these days.

Susan K. Callen, MSN, RN, CNE

Pittsburgh, PA

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