You might think nursing would obviously go under the umbrella of STEM – yet, things are far more complicated. Even individuals in the industry debate whether they are working in a STEM area. If you also question, “Is nursing a STEM major?” Today’s post is for you!
What Is STEM?
STEM is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM has taken the world by storm in the last 10 years, particularly regarding education and the labor force.
An academic research group in the NSF (National Science Foundation) created this concept in 2001 to promote education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology.
Initially, they named this program SMET but later on reorganized the characters to get a somewhat better-sounding abbreviation, STEM.
Ever since, STEM has served as a motto for the US to strengthen its competence in the global arena for science, technology, innovations, advancement, and research.
The abbreviation first appeared in conversations about the shortage of skilled applicants in the United States to replace the burgeoning number of vacancies in science and technology areas.
STEM afterward evolved into an academic approach that tried to combine the study of science, technology, engineering, and math in the classrooms rather than instructing them separately, as was the practice in previous generations.
More crucially, the core premise of STEM teaching is the applicability of these courses to real-world problems, fostering analytical and problem-solving skills.
What Is Considered A STEM Major?
STEM majors study sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These majors have received lots of attention thanks to the increased demand for STEM degrees during the previous decade.
What Is Considered A STEM Field?
STEM is commonly used to designate fields closely related to the hard sciences. Indeed, when we think about STEM professions, the first things that come to mind are probably those high-tech jobs like computer programmers, system engineers, or radiologists.
However, what professions are or are not deemed STEM is controversial.
It doesn’t help that, other than the abbreviation, there is no uniform agreed-upon definition of what defines a STEM job – even authorized government bodies have argued for times.
Why Is STEM Recognition So Important?
The STEM title typically yields a feeling of prestige plus the prospect of social recognition and better earnings, which help attract a highly talented workforce in the future.
There are also funds on the table. Public, private, and scientific sectors have heavily invested in raising STEM talents, investments (in the form of awards, prizes, or scholarships), and support services are always available for any project fostering STEM.
In 2018, the US Department of Education provided $279 million in STEM funding incentives, most of which aimed at promoting women and underprivileged groups to pursue careers in STEM.
Is Nursing A STEM Major?
Nursing is anchored in the basics of mathematics and science, but it is not often recognized as a STEM career, despite nurses using mathematics, biology, and technology daily. Nursing also conforms to the core tenets of STEM in that it employs these disciplines to solve practical issues.
Thus, even the US government bodies argue over the decision of not listing nursing under the STEM umbrella.
Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies “Healthcare services” as STEM; however, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not recognize nursing as a STEM profession that qualifies non-citizens for visa extensions.
Higher learning, on the other hand, has acknowledged nursing as a STEM major, with many academic institutions putting nursing study in their science faculty – a classification that seems highly appropriate considering the typical nursing course involves a big emphasis on Microbiology, Science, and Statistics.
So Why Has Nursing Struggled For STEM Acceptance?
One aspect is probably gender bias. This job has always been regarded as a career for women, more concerned with ease and caregiving than with “hard” sciences.
Another big obstacle is probably capitalism’s nature. As the main goal of capitalism is economic progress, they believe STEM fields and their applications should yield significant economical results. However, this isn’t the case with nursing, a more humanitarian domain.
Should Nursing Be Recognized As A STEM Major?
With a lack of nurses, particularly those with higher qualifications, it’s more than just money at stake. Nursing presence in the STEM category would serve the community by granting much-needed funding to projects focused on attracting and training the workforce we demand.
Indeed, as mentioned above, the US official recognition of nursing as a STEM career may raise funds for the nursing field and broaden the range of career options for nurses in other sectors.
As a result, nursing may experience less labor shortfall and gain domestic and international respect as a career that contributes to the science of improving the wellbeing of all individuals.
Is Medicine Part Of STEM?
Whether medicine is officially STEM or not is still a debate. Although there are a few arguments, many people including our Jobandedu’s team, believe medicine is a STEM major.
And that’s for a valid reason: medicine covers all factors in STEM.
To begin with, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Organic Chemistry, and Calculus are compulsory coursework for a medical bachelor’s degree, not to mention accompanying laboratory research for each. And in most med schools, for your college application to be eligible, you must have an sGPA (science GPA) of 3.6 and above!
As a med undergraduate, you will also study Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology, Genetics, Immunology, Histology, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Statistics, all related to sciences and math. A few medical colleges even have an entire department dedicated to basic sciences.
Furthermore, medicine, like engineering, is a practical subject. Although the “practice of medicine” involves some artistry, evidence-based medicine takes priority.
As for the technology factor, there are revolutionary scientific and technological innovations developed and founded by medics. They also utilize a lot of technologies in such research and studies.
Is Doctor A STEM Career?
Absolutely, being a doctor is a STEM profession.
Because most of what clinical practitioners perform are predicated on STEM subjects, it is always among the first jobs mentioned when talking about STEM jobs.
Wrapping Up: Is Nursing A STEM Major?
Although the major covers all facets of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), nursing is not officially recognized as a STEM occupation!
According to many people, putting nursing under the umbrella of STEM will yield tremendous benefits as it solves the current nurse shortage and give extra credits (and more respect) to those working to save our lives. And we undoubtedly share the same thought! How about you? Is nursing STEM? Comment down below!