You will probably be aware that every industry goes through changes during its lifetime. From teaching and baking to vehicle maintenance and gardening, if you think of and professional field at all, it has more than likely undertaken many innovations and updates through the years that have changed how things are done. These new ideas and changes are meant to make things easier, more streamlined, cost-effective, and convenient, subsequently replacing old practices to offer better results than before.
Nursing is no different from any other career in this respect; there are always updates and changes, and nurses have to keep on top of these to ensure they are always working in their patients’ best interests and giving them the ultimate care and treatment available at any given time.
This is why it’s so important for nurses to keep up with the latest trends and new ways of working, not just in their own careers but in nursing – and even healthcare – in general. With that in mind, here are some of the nursing trends that are either already changing or are predicted to change over the next 12 months or so – and knowing about them in advance means you can start your research early and look out for them, ensuring you are well ahead when it comes to taking care of your patients.
Continued Job Growth
During the time when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its height, the already dire nursing shortage became much more of a pressing issue. Not only were more nurses needed because so many more people were getting sick, but the nurses who were working were more prone to burning out due to the pressures put on them throughout this trying time. In some cases, many nurses even left the profession, at least temporarily.
This consequently meant two things, and the first was this: if more nurses were in demand whilst many were quitting (meaning even more nurses were needed), there were significantly more nursing jobs available. For example, if you decided to become a nurse and took an accelerated BSN, you could already be working professionally and gaining experience right now. On top of this, the fact that nurses were so vital meant that many more nursing roles were opened up – hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities realized that they simply couldn’t cope without nursing staff.
When this is put into an overall result, the fact is that there are now more nursing jobs than ever before, and this trend looks set to grow. If you’re looking for a stable career in which you are almost guaranteed a job when you graduate, nursing is the one to investigate more thoroughly.
Should you already be a nurse, you’ll find plentiful opportunities to move ahead in your career, perhaps even into nurse leadership roles or specialties that may not have been accessible to you before.
An Increase In Home Health
The population is aging and living longer, and it’s all thanks to modern healthcare. This means that seniors need more care than ever before, and many of them are opting to have that care in the comfort of their own homes. Whether this is right for them is their decision, although as a nurse taking care of them, it is something you can discuss with them and their families if need be.
It could help you greatly if you considered this a unique avenue of nursing for you. Suppose you don’t enjoy the fast pace and shift work of a traditional nursing role in a hospital, for example, and you like the idea of traveling to different places each day to take care of the elderly, sick, and vulnerable. In that case, being a home health nurse could be perfect for you. As mentioned above, there are certainly positions available in this sector and a need is arising for these special kinds of nurses.
An Increase In Online Education
Something that simply would not have been possible just a few years ago but is now gaining traction and popularity is online learning for nursing students. Thanks to up-to-date technology, it is now possible to study to become a nurse from home. In some cases, you can fit this in around your current job, meaning that if you find you dislike what you’re doing, can study whilst working in order to change your career’s direction. If you think that nursing would be a great choice for you to switch to, you can do so much more easily, without having to take any drop in income (or lose your income altogether during your studies).
Not only does this make studying to be a nurse easier (although it is still hard work), but because online learning is becoming so much more popular, employers consider it just as useful as conventional learning – so you won’t find yourself at a disadvantage if you take this route.
Online learning also means that many more people can choose to study for a nursing degree who might not have been able to do so before, either due to working, as mentioned above, other responsibilities, or even finances (online learning can be less expensive than going to a traditional school due to not having to pay to get to the physical building, not needing accommodation, potentially being able to work at the same time, and the fact that often – although you should investigate this thoroughly yourself – the course simply costs less since there are fewer overheads).
Greater Demand For Training And Further Education
With more leadership roles and other positions appearing, there will also be an increased demand for additional training and higher education, even after a nursing student has graduated. Again, online study can be extremely beneficial in this regard; as you are learning, you’ll see that the nursing profession is one that changes and adapts quickly – and in various ways. This means that having to step away to study in the conventional way could mean you are missing out on some of these important updates. However, by taking your career further via an online nursing course, you won’t miss out on new innovations and practices in this rewarding field.
What’s also worthy of note is that each course will be different, and therefore there’ll surely be one that matches you and your future plans. If you have an MSN already, for example, you’ll be able to take an MSN AGACNP which means you can specialize in acute gerontology departments. Ultimately, it will pay to take your time to look into each option and determine what it is that you need in terms of your career and what you’ll get out of each course.
The good news is that because of industry innovations, updates, and a higher demand for this kind of ongoing training, more and more educational establishments – and courses – are opening up, allowing more nurses to fulfill their career goals and improve their job prospects. As such, nurses must continue to learn throughout their careers, and further study is a great way to do that.
Better Staff Support And Wellbeing
In the past, nurses were often left to deal with their own mental health and wellbeing issues. They had to maintain a brave front for their patients, and they truly had nowhere to turn when things became too much. It’s little wonder that so many nurses suffered from mental health problems and developed conditions like depression, anxiety, and stress.
Today, however, things have changed, and are, in fact, still evolving. Even though nurses are highly professional and do their best to care for every patient, that doesn’t mean they are immune to feeling down or being traumatized by something they witness or have to deal with – and society knows and accepts this now more than ever before.
Due to the rise in mental health awareness amongst professionals in the healthcare domain, there is a lot more support available to nursing staff, allowing nurses to have someone to talk to about their worries and problems. No longer do nurses have to try to deal with this all alone; there is always someone they can turn to and ask for help.
Nursing training helps with asking for help as well. In fact, it is during training that nurses are taught that asking for help is of paramount importance, no matter whether their woe is down to a practical element of nursing or is something that is troubling them emotionally. Gone are the days when nurses were told to hide their feelings and just get on with their job, and that is a very positive notion indeed.
More Travel Nursing
Travel nursing is predicted to grow by 40 percent over the next year. This may have something to do with the pandemic because people had to stay at home and could not travel. Therefore, nurses can now combine a wonderful career with the chance to travel, and many are taking advantage of such an amazing opportunity.
Another reason why travel nursing is gaining in popularity could be the result of technology. There is so much more scope nowadays for nurses who choose to work abroad; they can stay in touch with friends and family a lot more easily, they can research the country they are going to more thoroughly, and they can continue learning online, whether that’s honing their nursing skills or learning a new language. In other words, working abroad has become not just an exciting adventure but one that is now much more accessible to anyone who wants to do it – and that especially includes nurses.
Salaries Will Increase
It may come as a surprise to those who aren’t already working in nursing, but nurse salaries have been steadily rising for a while now. In the past, nurses’ incomes weren’t the best – considering the amount of training and work a nurse has to do, they were rather low. Over time, this has improved, and salaries in nursing are now either reasonable or very good (naturally, this will depend on where you work, what branch of nursing you are in, and what level of education you have). Some examples of the average salary for nurses include $73,000 for RNs who hold a degree and $111,000 for FNPs.
What’s more, it would seem that this trend of higher pay is set to continue over the next 12 months. Not only that, but some healthcare facilities are offering many fantastic benefits to persuade well-trained and experienced nurses to come and work for them. These could include signing bonuses (sometimes worth five figures), free college tuition for the nurses’ children, and even complimentary housing. The value of nurses is clearly being recognized, and this is reflected in the salary and packages they can now obtain.
The Choice To Work From Home
If you love the idea of working from home because it means no commute to worry about, coupled with potentially more flexibility and a better work-life balance in general, would you ever really be happy choosing to become a nurse? It’s well known that nurses have to work long hours and do shift work, which some people thrive on and can offer a decent work-life balance managed correctly.
On the other hand, long hours and shift work are also exhausting and can be overwhelming for some people. Perhaps it’s this harsh truth that is causing you to wonder if nursing is for you – or if you are already a nurse, it may make you feel like it’s time to look for a different job.
However, the shift in technology and the need for remote systems aren’t just demands exclusive to the pandemic period; people found remote and hybrid working to be hugely beneficial, and therefore remote healthcare is here to stay and may increase in usage and functionality if reports are to be believed.
This means that there will be no lack of work from home roles for nurses. For example, nurses will be needed to offer exceptional telehealth services, which ease the burden on in-person healthcare facilities. Plus, health chatbots are becoming more prominent, and these are not automated; real nurses are required to answer patients’ questions online and over the phone.
Although some nurses will want to continue working face to face with patients, these telehealth roles will be ideal for those who want to help people but would prefer to do so from home and be less hands-on. This important kind of remote nursing might even be something you could do in tandem with your hospital nursing job on a part-time basis in order to earn extra money – so long as your regular schedule permits it.