The field of modern nursing has been in development for many generations. Once viewed as a religious order of work, nurses were women closely tied to religious faith, such as nuns or priestesses. It was not until the 20th century, however, until the nursing profession became a suitable position for the working-class woman. This was due to the increasing demand for medical personnel during both the World Wars, when casualties were overwhelming and the loss of life staggering. In the United States of America, nurses were first introduced to the battlefield by suggestion of George Washington, during the Revolutionary War. However, it was not until World War II that the field of nursing was glorifiedin the media, resulting in a significant boom in professional nurses.
During wartimes, nurses were responsible for soldiers and civilians afflicted by tragedy. But as their prominence increased, they began to expand the realm of their responsibilities. With the establishment of the American Red Cross around 1873, the field of nursing extended its influence and became valuable beyond its use in wartime. After some trials and tribulations over the autonomy of their position within the field of medicine, nursing became an established profession with the development of modern nursing degrees and training programs. This is also when the position became less divided by gender, and male nurses became a more common occurrence.
The title and degree of a Certified Nurse’s Assistant was introduced to the U.S. in 1987. This did not require much invention, as there were already a number of people working as nurse’s assistants without any degree or certificate. The CNA was re-established and tightly defined in order to manage and standardize the treatment of patients across the country. The federal mandates put into place are still in effect today, which is the reason for the regulated process of receiving certification. By these means, every CNA is held to a particular standard of education and performance.
In recent years, the job of a CNA has become more and more appealing. With over 1.5 million jobs already available in the U.S., it is a career field which is growing faster than most others in the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in the next ten years, the field will grow by 20%. This is due to increased numbers of elderly Americans and the greater need for healthcare services. The field of nursing has come a long way and will continue to do so. Becoming a CNA is a smart move when you consider the present advantages and proven value of nurses throughout history.