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Nursing Issues

Orgen (2001) points out, in a classic article on the relationships between the past and present, that an understanding of nursing issues requires an understanding of nursing history.  Some of the issues highlighted on this page have been discussed and discussed over a period of years.  For example, the RN to BSN issue is still argued on nursing listserves and in the hospital breakroom.  


Other issues result from technological advances but have parallels in the past, such as the the maintenance of the privacy of people listed in medical databases.  Nurses have always cautioned themselves to keep patient information private, yet modern advances have made privacy an even more urgent concern.


As this page develops, please feel free to suggest other issues and websites here.


Orgen, K.E. (2001).  The risk of not understanding nursing history.  In Hein, E.C. (Ed.).  Nursing Issues in the 21st Century. New York: Lippincott.

Nursing Issues Resources


The following is a list of possible issues.  As we find resources on these issues, we will further organize the issues and resources.  Your suggestions are welcome here.


Nursing Profession

  • Public Image of Nursing

  • Nurse's Influence in the Current Healthcare Arena

  • Falling Enrollments/Nursing Shortage

  • Diversity in Nursing

  • Political Involvement

  • Definition of "Nursing"

  • Advanced Practice Nursing

  • Evidence-Based Practice

  • Quality Improvement/Nursing Standards

  • Curriculum Revolution

  • Governance of Nursing

  • Dealing with Colleagues

  • Cultural Diversity in Nursing

  • Nursing's Moral Imperatives

Health Care System Issues

  • Alternative Medicine

  • Patient's Rights


  • Genetic Advances

  • Healthcare Rationing

  • Technological Advances

  • Medically Uninsured/medical costs

Patient/Client Issues

  • Aging Population

  • Family Violence


Nursing Issues Texts:


Current Issues in Nursing (6th. Ed.) (2001), edited by J.M. Dochterman and H.K. Grace   032301270 or 6


Nursing Issues in the 21st. Century (2001),  edited by E.C. Hein