Nurses are the heroes of the healthcare system, caring for the sick and giving them support in trying times. This makes them a vital force in the healthcare system and society. They make a considerably big force of healthcare professionals in the entire healthcare system. However, with the drastic changes in society and healthcare, the impact on nurses and their profession is inevitable on the Future of Nursing.
The factors contributing to this change include a greater inclusion of technology, a rapidly aging population, an upsurge in demand for healthcare services, and new diseases surfacing on this planet, to name a few. Hence, the nursing profession is forced to evolve to keep up with the changing environment, and the healthcare system needs to ensure that it continues to provide high standard patient care services. The field of nursing anticipates rapid changes in the coming future. As of 2021, here is what the Future of Nursing career looks like.
- The Popularity Of Online Nursing Courses Will Continue To Rise
As part of a continuously changing profession, nurses have to ensure that they keep abreast with the market’s changing service demands and trends. The only way to do so is by investing in education and enrolling in higher learning programs. Currently, the system requires the nurses to multitask and wear various hats according to changing work demands. They might need to act as caretakers, while they might be called to perform administrative roles at the next moment. So, they need the required training to work in different capacities. It’s difficult to take a full-time leave to enroll in classroom-based degrees. So, the best option is to enroll in online courses like online DNP programs and adopt a work-study learning mode. The popularity of online programs reached new heights during the pandemic, and it is expected to continue in the future as well. In the case of the nursing profession, it has given nurses the flexibility to improve their credentials and fulfill their job duties as well.
- Increase In The Demand For Skilled Nurses
Today, healthcare requires a huge number of skilled nurses ready to start working in the field. The aging population demanding more healthcare services and the aging nurses’ impending retirement are some aspects driving the demand for skilled nurses. So, there will be a need to supply 200,000 new registered nurses by 2026. These vacancies can only be filled if the nursing schools produce enough graduates to meet the increasing demand or if current on-duty nurses receive additional qualifications. The good thing for nurses is that there are places where you can get additional certifications online. For example, you can easily get cpr and first aid certification online and add value to your overall knowledge as a nurse. The Bureau of Statistics predicts that the job outlook for nurse practitioners is expected to grow by 45% from 2020 to 2030, which is a much higher rate than the industry average. So, there never has been a better time to pursue this career than today.
- More Leadership Opportunities
Today’s healthcare system is quite different from the past. Today, the healthcare system needs nurses not just for patient care but to fulfill leadership roles too. This shift is because nurses have earned their place in management positions by communicating their importance in the field. The introduction of new job titles such as nurse manager and clinical nurse leader communicates the need for nurses in areas of management and administration. In the coming future, the demand for nurses in leadership positions is expected to skyrocket as the healthcare sector moves towards giving more autonomy to nurses.
- The Growing Integration Of Technology
No industry or work sector is spared from the impact of technology, and the same goes for the healthcare sector. The use of cloud technologies to store and retrieve patient data, promote patient portals, and operate wearable devices has become a norm in hospitals. The information collected through these efficient technological applications is used to administer treatment and medicine dosage. The role of informatics is expected to grow further in the healthcare sector in the future.
More informatics in healthcare also means new job opportunities such as clinical informatics specialists and clinical informatics managers for tech-savvy people. Even if nurses do not take up jobs solely focused on informatics, their job will use more applications of informatics as its popularity continues to grow in healthcare.
- An Increased Presence Of Male Nurses In The Field
There is a stereotype associated with the nursing profession that it is only suitable for females. It is probably because only females are pictured in the roles involving caregiving. However, with the field of nursing becoming more lucrative, things are changing pretty fast. The future is expected to see more male nurses coming into this field, successfully going against the popularly held belief. As per the views of an oncology nurse about the inclusion of male nurses, the field offers great compensation, more respect, and better career opportunities.
The future of nursing seems bright with an above-average career outlook and better compensation plans. There is also a shortage of skilled nursing staff which translates into more demand for educated nurses. The inclusion of technology might be a challenge for nurses skilled with old ways of doing things. However, they can successfully meet this hurdle with the proper educational qualification.