The Importance of Nurses: 6 Ways Nurses Change Lives

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Want to know more about the importance of nurses and the role of nurses? Check out this list of seven ways nurses can change lives. At Madonna University, you can pursue nursing and make a different through the ABSN program.

Nurse in hallway smiling and talking with patient

With nursing as such a varied and vital role in patient care, there is more than one answer to the question “why is nursing important?” Nurses have an immeasurable impact on our healthcare system, starting with them keeping patients alive, monitoring patient status and managing patient care.

At Madonna University, we are doing our part to bolster the nursing workforce of tomorrow. Through our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, students with 60 prior non-nursing college credits or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree can earn their BSN degree in as few as 16 months.

The Role of Nurses

In the ever-evolving world of healthcare, the importance of nurses remains as prominent as ever. In fact, the need for nurses is increasing. Nurses provide vital services when people are most in need. In the age of technology, nurses continue the tradition of hands-on care and in-person connections. The role of nurses is multifaceted, but the goal is simple: to provide quality care that helps their patients recover. They also spend time with patients, educate them on their health, and advocate for them.

Over three million nurses currently work within the U.S., and the need is rising. Our country demands more nurses, so choosing nursing is a smart move toward a high-opportunity, stable career. With increasing patient needs, the nursing shortage is expected to increase with time.

Before entering this field, though, it’s important to ask, why are nurses important in healthcare and in the community? Throughout this post we’ll discuss the top six reasons nurses matter.

Madonna ABSN student working with sim manikin

Want to know more about accelerated nursing programs? Learn more about what nursing school is like in Madonna’s ABSN program.

6 Reasons Highlighting the Importance of Nurses

At Madonna, we appreciate the lifesaving impact of nurses within the community. Why are nurses important? There are countless answers, but let’s examine some of the top responses. These are six of the ways nurses change lives within our communities every day.

1. Nurses Keep Patients Alive and Healthy

Nurses are charged with the responsibility of preserving lives. This is a high calling, and one nurses don’t take lightly. Through their everyday actions, nurses support the health needs of their patients. Nurses sustain life through acts such as:

  • Administering medications
  • Managing ventilators
  • Assisting in surgeries
  • Providing nutrition
  • Preventing and treating infections

One of the reasons why nursing is such a fulfilling career is because nurses make a tangible, real-world difference on a daily basis. You can see the results every day when a patient gains strength, makes progress and is eventually discharged. Nurses keep the entire healthcare system turning, and patients are alive because of their work.

two Madonna nursing students in sim lab

2. Nurses Spend Time with Patients

Nurses are the primary touchpoint that patients experience when in a healthcare environment. Think about the last time you went to a clinic visit. After checking in, the nurse likely spent time with you, bringing you to the exam room, taking vitals, asking about your medical history and reviewing your symptoms. Compared to nurses, physicians may spend a fraction of that time with patients due to demands on their time.

The same reality applies to an even greater extent when in the hospital environment. While physicians generally round on patients once a day for a few minutes, the nurses are present with their patients throughout the day. It’s common for nurses to check on their patients hourly or even more, and they spend time chatting and getting to know one another. Patients depend on the interaction and time nurses offer them on the path to health.

3. Nurses Observe and Monitor Patient Status

Because of the time nurses spend with patients, they are often the individuals who pay attention to the small details of how their patients are doing, and they can notice when small but indicative changes occur. Nurses can notice these slight changes in symptoms and alert the healthcare team about warning signs. For example, nurses are able to note and act on signs including:

  • Symptoms of dehydration
  • Wound infections
  • Mental status changes
  • Signs of a stroke
  • Electrolyte imbalances

Nurses perceive these and many more health conditions because they monitor their patients closely, and they’re skilled at noticing changes. In addition, nurses also recognize patient improvements over time. Their clinical perspective helps the entire healthcare team know when a patient is stable and ready to go home.

4. Nurses Help Patients Better Understand Their Health

Health literacy is the understanding patients have about their health needs. It’s vital for patients to know the why behind their health, and health literacy helps people make decisions that align with their health goals.

Many populations in our communities suffer from low health literacy. We need professionals within the health community who can remedy this by providing accurate, relevant information in everyday language. That’s where nurses come in.

Madonna ABSN student using stethoscope on patient

Nurses also play a key role in patient education. Often when patients receive a new treatment plan or a new diagnosis, nurses are the ones who educate patients about their health. When earning a BSN degree, nursing students devote significant time to coursework that teaches the why behind health conditions. Therefore, nurses can explain the meaning of complex healthcare terminology and the reasons for taking certain medications. Nurses provide essential value through being a trustworthy source of education.

5. Nurses Support and Advocate for Patients

Nurses have passion for the care they provide to their patients. After spending many hours with patients, nurses get to know them on a personal level. Because of the strong interpersonal connection that forms with patients, nurses are the ones who can best advocate for better tests, better care and better treatments. They go the extra mile for their patients every day.

One place you can observe the support of nurses is in obstetrics. On the labor and delivery floor, nurses become invested in their patients after hours of helping them go through labor. Thus, they become protective of these new moms, looking out for them and ensuring they get the best care every step of the way.

Another area where patient advocacy becomes important is within community health and caring for underprivileged populations. When patients are uninsured or don’t have strong ties to the healthcare community, nurses help prevent these patients from falling through the cracks. Because of their kind and intentional care, nurses help countless patients receive the healthcare they deserve.

6. Nurses Manage Many Aspects of Patient Care

Madonna nursing student working with stethoscope on sim manikin

Many may not realize it, but nurses carry plenty of autonomy when it comes to multiple aspects of patient care. Nurses lead many parts of the patient experience without direct oversight from doctors or other healthcare providers. For example, nurses manage:

  • Electrolyte management protocols
  • When to give PRN, or as-needed, medications
  • Diet and activity levels
  • Wound care
  • Prevention of pressure wounds

This list could go on and on, but the point is that nurses are in charge of myriad aspects of patient care. The community and the healthcare team trust nurses to be experts in their field. This is one of the reasons why having a BSN degree as a nurse is so important. Aside from increasing requirements for new nurses to have a baccalaureate degree, having a well-educated nursing team means patients will encounter nurses with safe and effective patient care plans.

Madonna ABSN student standing by lockers

Why become a nurse? Learn the top six reasons why becoming a nurse is a great career decision.

Ready to Join this Life-changing Profession?

If you’re looking for a career where you can find meaning and purpose in your work, nursing may be the perfect fit. In fact, nurses are so highly regarded that they have been chosen as the No. 1 profession for honesty and ethics 20 years in a row, according to Gallup.

With the ABSN program at Madonna, candidates with 60 prior non-nursing college credits or a bachelor’s degree can make the change to nursing in as few as 16 months after finishing their prerequisites. We offer three options for start dates — in January, May and August — without the hassle of waitlists, so you don’t have to wait to begin.

Your timeline to becoming a nurse - Madonna ABSN student smiling

Interested in making the career change to nursing? Learn the steps to transitioning to nursing school with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree.

The accelerated nursing program at Madonna uses a hybrid educational model, where students glean a well-rounded education through a mix of flexible online courses, hands-on nursing labs and enriching clinical experiences. Our curriculum equips our students to take the NCLEX exam and enter the field as a practice-ready nurse upon graduation.

The importance of nurses comes from the difference they make for patients. Reach out to one of our Admissions Representatives to learn more about how earning your BSN at Madonna can jumpstart your path to making a difference through nursing.