The nursing industry is evolving at a dramatic rate. With changing technology and a new set of challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the nursing industry is being pushed to evolve to make sure hospitals and other health care companies are capable of offering quality care consistently. Exciting medical breakthroughs are arising almost daily and opportunities for building a successful nursing career are also increasing. It’s an interesting time to be a nurse. In this article, we’ll look at what to expect in the ever-changing nursing landscape in 2021 and beyond.
1. Online Nursing Degree Programs will Gain Massive Popularity
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) set up a Commission on the Future of Nursing in 2010 to come up with recommendations for an action-based solution to some of the everyday problems that nurses face. One of their main recommendations was to grow the percentage of licensed nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from 50 percent to 80 percent by 2020. In response to this recommendation, New York enforced a law in 2018 requiring nurses to hold a BSN within a decade of earning their license. New York opened doors for many other states that are currently deliberating on the best way to implement similar legislation. These changes have served as a motivation for more nurses to further their education. Online nursing degree programs offer a convenient and affordable way for nurses to earn a BSN while working full-time, creating an opportunity to pursue higher education without necessarily sacrificing family obligations or work-related duties. Even the licensing exam can be done online or via the phone. NCLEX-RN is an examination for the licensing of nurses at the moment.
2. Growing Leadership Opportunities
For many years, nurses have been important players in the healthcare industry. But it’s only recently that nursing professionals have witnessed growth in leadership opportunities. Across the globe, nurses are being requested to address the ever-increasing health care needs of patients and health care organizations. Clinical nurse leaders, nurse executives, nurse managers, and nurse administrators are perfect examples of job titles that some nursing professionals are holding today. These augmented leadership opportunities comprise roles that require graduate-level medical programs. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 31 percent increase in demand for nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetics between 2014 and 2024, introducing roughly 53,400 employment opportunities to the market.
3. Greater Focus on Population Health
Population health is an expansive care approach, which concentrates on the health outcomes of a whole group of people. Although strategies vary based on context, they often include community-wide programs like enlightening school children on the benefits of healthy eating or creating awareness among seniors on the importance of getting vaccinated for the flu. Besides enhancing health outcomes, population health strategies can also help patients and organizations save money by preventing health issues before more costly interventions are needed. Thanks to the professional care they provide, nurses can play an instrumental role in aiding the entire health care system to meet the unique needs of patients at the individual and community levels. They are fully able to spot problems that need to be solved on a wide scale and hook up patients to specific services that are offered in communities.
4. Increased Adoption of Clinical Technologies
Clinical technologies are emerging at a fast-paced rate. New kinds of healthcare software and tools that make work easier for nurses are released to the market every year. Many hospitals have moved from manual devices and systems to point-of-care portable computers, barcode medicine administration systems, and electronic IV monitors. Mastering these new clinical technologies will definitely take time, particularly for nursing professionals who are used to more traditional medical systems and patient charting methods. While the transition may be tough at times, the primary goal is to provide healthcare professionals with the necessary support and enhance the level of care they offer.
Although it’s difficult to predict with certainty what the future of nursing will hold, it’s upon every nurse to be on a constant lookout for innovative ways to offer the best possible care. Nurses who adapt and get used to new clinical technologies, concentrate on their professional development and consistently pursue opportunities to expand their knowledge will be in a better position in 2021 and beyond.