King and Rogers Discussion Essay

King and Rogers Discussion Essay

The period between the late 70s and early 80s is one of the essential periods in the history of nursing. Martha Rogers was one of the most influential nurses of this era, who steered the shift from diploma programs to associate degree programs. She emphasized that nursing is a unique and essential field of study that requires higher education recognition. This discussion presents the crucial happenings in nursing in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the shift from nursing diploma programs to associate degree programs, and the importance and impact of this shift to nursing as a profession.

One of the achievements in the 70s was the changes enacted in the nurses practice act. Following the change, nurses were allowed to diagnose and prescribe to patients. Additionally, the nursing work conditions improved to a great extent. Some improvements included salary increments and the standardization of nursing working hours (Bryant, 2022). Nursing uniforms were also improved to accommodate men in the nursing profession. More so, cloth overalls were replaced by disposable overalls, thus enhancing safety for the patient and the nurses.

Additionally, nursing education attracted federal support in the era. According to Bryant (2022), the nurse training act amendment of 1979 encouraged more people to pursue nursing education and training, including student training and the advanced training of already practicing nurses. Following the act, various measures were taken to support nursing education and training. These measures included the provision of funding for nursing special projects and research for development, student loans, and grants to nursing schools. The federal government also provided traineeships (training scholarships) for nursing practitioners and nurse anesthetics.

The shift from diploma to associate degree programs helped diversify the nursing profession, thus leading to various specifications. Additionally, the shift helped emphasize the uniqueness and importance of the nursing profession. It enabled nursing to be seen as a stand-alone profession that can be pursued independently, thus attracting more people to pursue it.

Smallheer, Morgan & Stern (2020) note that the shift in nursing education attracted more males to the profession. Initially, nursing was seen as a female profession, where the roles were an extension of the woman’s natural care of a patient. However, the introduction of associate degrees in nursing demystified the roles and emphasized the seriousness of the roles through the need to have a nursing degree. Thus, more men were seen pursuing the nursing profession, diversifying the profession, and finishing the stereotype of nursing being a female profession.

The shift of nursing education from diploma to associate degree programs also steered nursing research and theoretical development. The development of higher education in nursing called for more research, studies, and improvement to develop nursing education. Thus, the shift impacted nursing education positively through the development of theories and models that shaped nursing practice. Some of the theories and models of nursing practice developed in this era formed the basis of practice, which is used to date (Sanford & Janney, 2019). More so, the theoretical development called for more research to critique, assess, evaluate, and develop the theories further to enhance the continuous improvement of nursing education and practice.

In conclusion, the 70s and 80s were crucial times in nursing as a profession since they saw several reforms that shaped the nursing profession and formed a basis of what nursing is today. The shift in nursing education and training was one of the vital accomplishments of the era. As discussed above, it came with different advantages that positively impacted the nursing profession. The theories, models, and research from the era have impacted practice and enhanced the development of nursing education and practice.




Bryant, R. (2022). Some reflections on the evolution of nursing over the past 50 years. The Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing39(2), 1-3.

Sanford, K., & Janney, M. (2019). Preparing the nurse executive of the future. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration49(4), 171-173.

Smallheer, B., Morgan, B., & Stern, R. (2020). A historical look at men’s involvement in nursing and leadership in GAPNA. Geriatric Nursing41(1), 52-53.



Discussion Question:
Consider what was happening in nursing in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s with the change from diploma programs to an associate degree program. Martha Rogers believed that nursing is a separate and essential discipline and a unique field of study. She worked hard to establish nursing in higher education. Explain the importance of this shift and how it impacted nursing as a profession.

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