The Most Interesting Facts about Nursing: Test Your Knowledge

facts about nurses

If you’re in the nursing industry as a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse’s assistant or own a nurse staffing agency, you’re aware of what goes on in the field of nursing. For example, you probably know that there is a nursing shortage in the United States, the average salary of a nurse or how large the profession is as a whole.

Nurses might be the blood and beating heart of a hospital, but you might not know as much as you think though. Test your knowledge with these unique facts and statistics about nursing that might leave you shocked and surprised.

12 Surprising Facts About Nursing You Might Not Know

1. It’s old.

We have to start off our list of nursing fun facts with some history. The first record of nurses dates all the back to 300 A.D. in the Roman Empire. They worked in hospitals that eventually became relatively developed. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that nursing had many advances and became more widespread.

2. Florence Nightingale shaped the profession and healthcare.

One of the most famous nurses was a British woman, Florence Nightingale. Not only did she save many soldiers lives, she changed the way nurses were educated and how nursing as a profession was viewed by society.

Specifically, she changed the way hospitals were sanitized, how food was prepared and served and how to treat wounded patients to prevent the spread of infection. This interesting fact about nursing is an important one that evolved the industry.

3. Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing was the first nursing school.

This nursing school started in 1873 based on the principles of Florence Nightingale. Located in New York City, this nursing school offered a one year program. Shortly after Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing opened, New England Hospital for Women and Massachusetts General Hospital opened nursing schools as well.

4. Nurses walk a 5k every shift.

On average, nurses walk four to five miles every shift 12-hour shift they work. That’s a lot of walking.

Compare that to the average person who only walks about 2.5 miles on average. Nurses walk double the distance every shift than the average population does daily. This interesting fact about nursing proves why nurses need a comfortable pair of shoes!

5. Half of the students studying a health care related topic are in nursing.

Nursing students represent about 50 percent of individuals studying some form of health care at a higher education level. This is a direct reflection of the industry as a whole. In order for healthcare to operate smoothly as a whole, there needs to be a large number of nurses.

This is beneficial for students going through nursing school and nursing programs because of the large, supportive peer group.

6. Top jobs of 2018.

According to U.S. News and World Reports three of the 25 best jobs of 2018 are types of nurses. Registered nurses are ranked #18, nurse anesthetists are #22 and nurse practitioners are all the way up at #4.

If you own a nurse staffing agency, you’re services will continue to be of value to nurses and facilities that need additional nurses. This is even a fact about nursing that you can use as a marketing point for your staffing services.

7. Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American RN.

For 15 years, Mary Eliza Mahoney worked in a hospital before actually becoming a nurse. She started as a cook, then became a janitor and did laundry. She was an unofficial nurses aid, which is what impacted her to to become a registered nurse.

She was only one of the three nurses to make it through the New England Hospital training program. Later, she went on to to co-find the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses.

8. There are three million nurses in the U.S.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were about three million nurses as of 2016. This numerical fact about nursing is shocking because the population of Jamaica is roughly the same as the amount of nurses in the United States. To put this into perspective, there are roughly as many nurses as people living in Los Angeles.

On a more global scale, there are over 19 million nurses in the world.

9. The field of nursing will continue growing.

Similar to the nursing fact about top jobs, the field of nursing will continue to grow for the next decade. It is estimated the by 2026, there will be a 15 percent growth of employment of nurses.

If you own a nurse staffing agency, this means you have the opportunity to grow your business as well.

10. Nurses aren’t just in hospitals.

This nursing fact isn’t groundbreaking, but contrary to popular belief, only 41 percent of registered nurses work in hospitals. Here’s the total breakdown of where nurses work:

  • 14% skilled nursing home or assisted living facility
  • 11% home health care
  • 4% private practice
  • 4% community heathcare centers
  • 4% VA hospitals
  • 22% other

11. National nurses week is May 6 to May 12.

This annual week to honor nurses has been celebrated for over 40 years. It even ends on the day that Florence Nightingale was born!

National nurses week was established to acknowledge the challenging job of being a nurse and to let nurses know that their hard work is recognized and appreciated. Learn more about this year’s theme and events here.

12. Many nurses are employed through a staffing agency.

Nurses work through a nurse staffing agency to help them find jobs and new opportunities. If you own a nurse staffing agency, it’s important to have the funding to can keep up with the rising demand for nurses.

Learn how nursing staffing financing and invoice factoring for nurse staffing agencies can help your staffing company grow!