3 Important Trends Nurses Should Know
As the nursing field continues to evolve, new fads pop up annually. As 2016 comes to a close, it’s important to take a look back at the trends of the previous 12 months to appropriately prepare for 2017.
Here are five popular trends nurses should be aware of:
1. Expanded job opportunities
In the past, those in the nursing profession often found employment within hospitals or clinics. Now, job opportunities outside those locations have opened up. As older citizens desire the ability to remain in their homes for longer and with greater access to health care due to the Affordable Care Act, demand for nurses outside of traditional health care facilities is increasing.
Positions in rehabilitation centers and assisted living homes are adding more job options for nurses. As these openings expand, so will the need for nurses to improve their care coordination skills. Helping patients with chronic conditions or those needing geriatric, palliative or hospice assistance will require these health care professionals to oversee more duties within their roles.
2. More knowledgeable patients
With the ability to glean health care information from the internet, it’s common for people to believe they do not require any additional details from health care providers. Yet, this simply isn’t true. Nurses cannot just claim they know more than online resources; they have to show it. Clinicians need to share assistive data and outreach both in-person and online.
To meet this patient demand, nurses should try to get ahead of their requests by creating health-care content like blogs, social media posts and videos to keep people engaged. Not only can this action make hospitals more of a one-stop shop for their patients, but the additional materials can improve overall satisfaction for the nursing staff.
3. Necessity of high-level degrees
The future of the nursing field is changing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 500,000 nurses are expected to retire in the next five years while the profession itself is only expected to grow 19 percent by 2022. Those two statistics paired with the forecasted number of nursing graduates could lead to a shortage of nurses in the future.
To combat this issue, it will become increasingly critical for current nurses – as well as those graduating in the next few years – to attain higher-level degrees. With this advanced training, nurses will be able to cover periods when their hospital or clinic is understaffed and pass their specialized knowledge onto other less-qualified nurses.
Of course, nurses already employed in the field may find it difficult to pursue additional degrees if their employer is already understaffed and due to their already strenuous job loads. These health care providers need a program that offers flexibility. The University of Arizona online Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Systems Leadership program provides training for busy nurses so they can achieve this goal without impacting the quality of care for their patients.