Nursing remains strong in the job market, and nurses who stay informed about the newest trends in nursing are prepared for the constant evolution happening in healthcare. These well-informed nurses can also ensure that they meet requirements for advancing in their career.
What Are the 5 New Trends in Nursing?
Certain factors contribute to the transformation in nursing. They may include the incorporation of cutting-edge technology, expanding functions for nurses and the level of preparation nurses need to practice. Here are five trends in nursing:
Increased Usage of Technology
Nursing will continue to integrate technological devices, software and even robots into patient care. It is becoming more common for patient care to be home-based instead of in a hospital, so nurses may monitor and advise them remotely using computer apps. Examples of technology found in nursing include:
- Point-of-care technology to access and receive information at the patient's bedside
- Electronic health records, which may help reduce medical errors
- Electronic lifts to lower the likelihood of injuries
- Smart beds that can obtain and analyze data about the patient
- Computerized staff scheduling systems that let nurses check and adjust their schedules from anywhere
Demand for Nursing Specialists
Nurse specialists are needed, in part, because a large segment of the patient population is age 65 or older. Senior patients tend to have one or more chronic medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease or osteoporosis. Other contributing factors include the complexity of illnesses, a confusing healthcare system and a shortage of nurses in some areas around the United States. These issues are creating a demand for nurse specialists such as:
- Certified nurse anesthetists
- Certified dialysis nurses
- Certified legal nurse consultants
- Nurse case managers
- Travel nurses
Higher Nursing Preparation
A higher level of preparation for nurses was recommended by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) — renamed the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in 2015 — in its report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The IOM proposed increasing the proportion of nurses with a BSN to 80% by 2020.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) also suggests the BSN as the minimal level of preparation for RNs. Thus, many employers now prefer hiring nurses with a BSN. In addition, a BSN may become a requirement for entry-level employment in the future.
Expanding Roles for Nurses
The number of nurses working outside of hospitals is rising. Many RNs are practicing community-based nursing. These nurses coordinate and provide care for entire communities, as well as promote wellness and educate members about health risks. Nurses are also expanding their roles in the following ways:
- Opening their own businesses to help patients
- Working for large corporations that need an on-site nurse
- Leading innovation in nursing
- Becoming a patient advocate by developing new healthcare policies
More Job Opportunities with Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)
The NLC is an agreement among states to allow nurses to use their home state license as proof they have met the qualifications to practice nursing. This makes it easier for nurses to apply for jobs throughout the country, and it may help alleviate the nurse shortage in some states.
Because a lot of job openings for nurses are in specialized fields, nurses are going to need at least a BSN to be eligible for most of the positions. For other nursing specialties such as nurse practitioner, nurse midwife or nurse educator, nurses must hold a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.
RN to BSN graduates have the knowledge and competencies they need to care for both individuals and groups. BSN-prepared nurses also know how to adjust to the trends that keep the nursing practice in a state of continual transition.
Learn more about Austin Peay State University's online RN to BSN program.
Sources:NCSBN: Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)
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