Nursing is the most populous health-care profession in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 3 million registered nurses in the US in 2019, and employment of registered nurses is expected to expand at a greater rate than the average for all professions over the five-year period 2019-2029. * According to the American Nurses Association, there will be more registered nurse employment available by 2022 than there will be for anyone in any other profession.
As a result of COVID-19, the health-care landscape is shifting even further, and the physician shortage is becoming increasingly acute, nurses should be aware of the following nursing trends for 2021 and beyond.
The continued expansion of telehealth services, as well as privacy concerns
Because of the pandemic, the use of telehealth services rose rapidly in 2020, raising worries about security and privacy for all health-care professionals. Nurses who offer care through telehealth must be familiar with the rules of informed consent and HIPAA compliance.
In the words of Bonnie Fuller, licensed nurse educator at Purdue University Global's School of Nursing, "any nurse should get a patient's consent prior to engaging in telehealth services." As Fuller points out, "that consent should include instructions on what to do in the case of a technological breakdown during the visit."
Compliance with HIPAA regulations is always critical, but with the rapid spread of telehealth, it has risen to the top of the priority list. Nurses must make certain that the platform they are using is secure in order to communicate critical information. It is expected that the requirement for privacy and security of protected health information will continue to be a health-care trend well into the year 2021.
Increased Specialization in the Workplace
There is an increasing demand for registered nurses who specialize in specialized fields of medicine—psychiatry, obstetrics, gerontology, and so on," says Fuller.
Nursing specialization, according to Fuller, "allows a nurse to become an expert in the field in which he or she is giving care." "It also opens the door to prospects for growth within the organization."
In addition to providing reassurance to patients and health-care institutions that a nurse is highly skilled and competent in a certain area of care, specialization and subsequent certification also provide assurances to nurses themselves. Certified nurse practitioners can be found in a variety of professional organizations that offer nursing qualifications. † More information can be found in our list of nursing specialties.
Nurses Transitioning Into the Outpatient Community Care Setting
The delivery of health care is gradually moving away from inpatient to outpatient settings. According to the American Hospital Association's 2019 Hospital Statistics report, outpatient revenue in 2017 accounted for 95 percent of inpatient revenue, further reducing the gap that previously existed between the two types of services. This transition is being made in response to the need to keep health-care expenses under control, as well as the introduction of new and better health-care technologies.
With Fuller's words, "wellness is what nurses strive for, and wellbeing begins in the community." "Our goal is to help individuals achieve and maintain good health, and this is made easier when nurses work in the community, offering preventive and restorative care. The reduction of needless visits and stays in acute care facilities helps to reduce health-care expenditures. Nurses are in a unique position to make a significant contribution to this reduction."
The Ascension of the Nurse Navigator
Patients are guided through their health-care journey by nurse navigators, who combine their medical knowledge with management and people skills to provide them with the best possible treatment. In addition to assisting patients in navigating the health-care system, they take a holistic approach to improving their entire quality of life as well.
Nurse navigators, according to Fuller, "are an extended version of the nurse case manager job." In particular, the navigator assists the patient in making smooth transitions and receiving appropriate medical treatment. They assist patients in comprehending what is occurring to them—the tests, the diagnosis, the medication, and all of the care that they require."
As the population becomes older and chronic health disorders become more frequent, this position has grown increasingly important. Employers that hire nurse navigators include independent nursing companies, insurance companies, physician groups, and medical institutions. For more information on entrepreneurial options, see the section on the following page.
The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing offers nurse navigators the opportunity to become certified in care coordination and transition.
Increasing the number of entrepreneurial opportunities
Entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular in the nursing field. In Fuller's opinion, "there are numerous prospects for nurses to establish their own enterprises." Examples include nurse navigators and nurse practitioners, both of whom provide direct services to patients," she says. This is especially critical in rural communities that are in desperate need of services. That is an excellent opportunity for nurse entrepreneurs to enter and establish a business in."
Besides direct patient care, there are a variety of other entrepreneur alternatives to consider. "Nurse informatics is an example," adds Fuller of the emerging field. Similarly, nurse consultants who visit doctors' offices and clinics to consult on electronic health records (EHRs) to assist with scheduling and paperwork are available." "There are also nurse entrepreneurs who work as quality management experts for assisted living and long-term care institutions," she continues. Entrepreneurship may be a good option for nurses who place a high importance on independence and autonomy.
Doctoral is becoming increasingly necessary.
There is an increase in the number of nurses enrolling in doctoral education programs, particularly for the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (DNP).
"Our country is experiencing a physician shortage, and we require more direct care providers." Doctoral-level education is becoming more common among nurse practitioners, which helps to address part of the deficit, according to Fuller.
"In addition, the future of nursing involves a mandate to have a greater number of nurses who have received doctoral training. There is a great deal of support for this throughout the industry. "We will continue to see the growth of the nursing profession."
Continuing Nursing Education Through the Internet
In response to the growing number of employers who demand their nurses to hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, institutions have increased their online course offerings to include an RN-to-BSN degree program. These programs assist nurses in furthering their education in a manner that accommodates their hectic schedules.
The transition to providing online nursing degrees, on the other hand, is not limited to the RN-to-BSN program. This includes the online Master of Science in Nursing and the online Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, as well as other courses.
Many nurses are pursuing advanced degrees through online programs, according to Fuller. " "This is an excellent option for nurses who want to advance their education but live in remote locations where there is no university nearby." The availability of online education makes it possible for nurses to pursue advanced degrees."
The Implications of the Impending Nursing Shortage
The United States is experiencing a nursing shortage. It is anticipated that this shortfall will worsen as the baby boomer generation ages and the need for health-care services increases, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
Besides a scarcity of nursing care providers, "there will also be a severe shortage of nurse educators," according to Fuller. "This is particularly critical because nursing educators will be required to support this job increase." "As a result, businesses may be willing to pay nurses extra money, give them bonuses, and reimburse them for tuition." Nurses will continue to reap these perks as employers scramble to fill open positions in the nursing field. ‡
Involvement of Nurses in Advocacy and Action
A major opportunity exists for nurses to express their opinions on the future of health care and the health of our nation because they represent the nation's biggest single group of health-care providers.
"Advocacy is our responsibility, according to our code of ethics," Fuller explains. "We should be advocates for our patients, and we should be actively involved in the development of better health care for all parts of our society," says the author.
Nurses can find advocacy possibilities through groups such as the Nurses on Boards Coalition and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Incorporating Self-Care into Nursing Practice
Every day, many nurses are confronted with pain, stress, and trauma firsthand, which can have a significant impact on their physical and emotional well-being. It may have a negative impact on their mental health, job happiness, and overall quality of life, among other things. As a result, raising awareness and providing education about self-care for nurses is a top priority in the field. A nurse who takes better care of herself or himself will be able to provide better care for their patients.
"Many studies have shown that nurses remain in the profession for reasons other than financial compensation," Fuller explains. "As we battle nurse burnout and compassion fatigue as a result of the type of work nurses undertake, employers who encourage self-care and healthy work environments are becoming more prevalent.
A good work atmosphere is associated with nurses' ability to offer high-quality, safe care, which has a favorable impact on patient outcomes. " More and more organizations are realising the significance of a safe and healthy environment for all. In addition, health care organizations wishing to become Magnet Certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, generally known as the ANCC, can benefit from this."
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It is expected that these nursing trends will continue to have a significant impact on the growth and development of the field in 2022 and the years that follow. Consider pursuing an online nursing degree from Purdue University Global if you're interested in increasing your nursing prospects. We offer a world-class nursing education as well as the flexibility that working nurses require to be successful. RN-to-BSN degrees, a Master of Science in Nursing degree, postgraduate certificate programs, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice are all available through Nursing Writing Service. Find out more about our online nursing degree programs or submit a request for additional information right now.