Interesting Facts About Nursing

Think you know a lot about nursing? Are you a nerd for nursing facts? Then take a look at these and see which one you knew and which ones totally got you by surprise.

  • 49 of the 50 states allow advanced practice nurses to prescribe medication to patients
  • There is a National Nurses Week, celebrated from May 6th through May 12th, the day famous Nurse Florence Nightingale was born
  • Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln, was a volunteer nurse in Union hospitals
  • Famous writer Walt Whitman was also a volunteer nurse during the Civil War. Over time, he worked in over 40 hospitals, which greatly influenced his perspective, and in turn, his famous writing. This included his poem “Memoranda During the War.”
  • Within the United States and Canada, only 168,181 nurses are men, making up only 5.8% of the total nursing population
  • Many nurses complete their continuing-education-units by enrolling in courses offered through online schools
  • In the US, the ratio of registered nurses to doctors is 4:1
  • According to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, as of October 2009, there are 354,137 active nurses and 18,391 inactive nurses
    There is a severe shortage of nursing faculty who are trained to teach students who are enrolled in nursing school
  • An 8 to 10 hour shift is considered a normal nursing shift; anything after 12 hours is considered dangerous, as overworking nurses can put them at risk for error
  • Entry-level nurses, or first-year nurses, earn more than the average college graduate who takes a job fresh out of school
  • Nurses make up the largest healthcare population: 2.5 million jobs
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