Trends to Watch in Nursing

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Nursing is a growing career choice and is the most in-demand job in the USA at the moment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that there will be a 9% rise in the nursing profession by 2030; this is faster than the average job market, and as such, will present a winning career choice for the future. 

trends in nursing

Part of this growth in nursing will be based on a large number of the current field of nursing staff leaving the system. While creating new jobs, this also makes senior jobs available for those already in the profession in leadership and management. Nursing is not a homogeneous sector, and as such, there will be a number of different opportunities and possibilities for those looking to build a career in the profession. There are trends to be aware of that will make either entry to the profession or movement within the profession a much simpler process.

Nurses retire later than most other sectors. It is still considered a job for life, but the progression and career path have changed. The sector has been professionalized, and more nurses can now take their BSN all the way to a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and most of this can be done online. Knowing these simple insights may save you a great deal of time and uncertainty. This article details the current trends in nursing and explains how you can exploit these to develop a career or job opportunity in the health sector or nursing.

Mobile nurses

As long as you have the required certifications and registrations for the specific locale, as a registered nurse, you can pretty much work anywhere. The job itself is universal in the sense that the concepts driving human health and wellbeing are the same no matter where you are. The conditions may be different, and the resources to deal with health conditions may vary, but the principles of health and wellbeing will not, and the aims and guiding principles of healthcare workers should remain consistent – to provide the best possible care and attention to the health and wellbeing of the patient using the most appropriate available technology and medical practice.

There has been a number of interesting trends in the movement of nursing staff. Staff have moved countries. This has always been the case with a large number of immigrants serving the national health service as well as in private care and hospitals. Nurses are like any other labor resource, and although a vocation for many, the professionals out there will seek the best-paid jobs. As we all can’t work in California (where nursing salaries far surpass those anywhere else), this may necessitate working abroad.

Furthermore, the rise in nurses leaving hospital-based jobs in the last 18-24 months has seen a rise in remote private nursing care as these highly trained and skilled practitioners move into private mobile, more flexible jobs. It is a trend likely to continue into the longer term and is expected to change the provision of family nursing and personal healthcare.

Then there is the mobile ‘visit you in your home’ nurse that has seen a resurgence. It was that in the past, a nurse or health visitor would pop in from time to time and suburban life was better for it. This has changed over the years and is no longer widely practiced, but for the elderly and others who need home care, the resurgence in mobile or home visiting healthcare workers has been absolutely necessary.

Not only are nurses internationally mobile, but they have the flexibility, and the demand exists for them to move between different types of jobs as well as literally providing a mobile service. It is a profession that is going places, and the trend has been to find what will work best for you and your family in terms of the location, the remuneration, and the type of care you would like to provide as a nurse.

Increased specialization

There has been a move in recent times as nursing has professionalized to specialize. Nursing provides the opportunity to choose clearly defined areas of care to specialize in, and the increase in responsibility for primary healthcare falling to registered nurses has also seen the need for more specialized nurses. Pediatric nursing, palliative nursing, dialysis nursing, and emergency and intensive care are but a few of the examples where you will be able to develop a career in a niche sector.

The specialization of professional nursing is about nurses being able to focus on one area of care and provide clinical support in this area alone as well as being able to build a new base of knowledge in a particular area. The current nurse training takes this into account, and while many still choose the general route to registered general nurses or family nurses, there are those who will from their studies choose one clinical nursing aspect and then take this as far as they can.

Specialization leads to increased remuneration and is a great way to build a bespoke career in nursing.

More nurses are becoming nurse educators

The use of peer educators and in-service training in healthcare is becoming the norm. A growing trend and a practical means to meet the heightened demand for nursing staff and primary care has seen the rise of in-service training by acting professionals. This has created an additional entry or pathway into the nursing profession and is expected to be the start of a long-term drive to meet the nursing needs of the nation.

The use of acting nurses to train is fairly innovative, and although it is a system that has been used in midwifery nursing for ages, it took a lot of debate for trainee nurses to be let into the emergency nursing sectors and complex areas like family nursing have only recently begun to allow for set teaching moments in practice. This allows the student or trainee nurses to learn from the professionals as they perform their roles, with time allocated in between to question and discuss learning.

Not only is this a way to ensure that we meet the demand for nurses, but it will create a breed of nurses who have been at the front line and are ready for anything.

Increasing salaries

The average salaries of nurses are well above the national median wage in the US and are expected to keep growing year on year at a rate better than other jobs. Keep in mind that while this is the case, the wages of nurses varies from state to state, and as such, it’s worth looking at the value of a geographic move as well as a career move. The previously noted trend towards mobility in nursing has additionally seen the increased movement of nursing staff towards those states where the money is better. It is the same in any profession that professionalizes rapidly, and nursing has been no different. As people become more qualified, they are prepared to look further afield to ensure that they are valued financially. 

Increase in nursing tech

The technology being introduced to healthcare and nursing is surging, and from remote health monitoring to automated reminders to take the appropriate medication, the sector is seeing extensive growth. The amalgamation of nursing or healthcare as a whole and technology is an upwards trend and will only continue as technology, and information technology specifically, begins to permeate all areas of nursing. The introduction of wearable monitors and remote clinics and wards means that nursing has entered the information age and will now be conducted in the cloud for many.

Access to remote communities by professional nurses and healthcare staff is now possible with this technology, and not only in real-time via Skype or Teams but also in virtual and augmented reality settings. As such, it is the imperative of all new nurses, as well as those in the field, to ensure that they know how to use this technology to communicate with patients and clients and to improve their health options with the use of remote monitoring and the latest technological advancements available.

There are now specific jobs in relation to the health tech being used across the country, and from data scientists with a health background to remote monitors and telehealth advisors, new ways of interacting with clients and patients are being realized all the time.

Furthermore, the need for researchers and innovators around machine learning and artificial intelligence for healthcare will create an additional wealth of opportunity in the health/tech environment.

Conclusions

These trends are worth watching as all of them will provide for new and interesting opportunities in the field of nursing and healthcare. The nursing profession is changing; some of these changes are based on the demand for nursing staff, while others are driven by the changes and improvements in technology. As the sector professionalizes, these changes or trends will become more entrenched and definite. Now is the time to enter the sector, and nursing is once again being viewed as a solid career choice.

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