The healthcare industry is dynamic, often incorporating new ideas and practices. The trends that hospitals and nurses need to keep an eye on are constantly evolving due to technological developments, innovative care approaches, and current events.
The nursing profession must continually strive to recognize, quantify, and be compensated for the benefits to patients and society that result from nursing care. Every hospital board should include nurses and make them a primary factor in all critical budget decisions. Nursing as we know it appears quite different from what we believe tomorrow’s nursing will look like.
Consider what’s trending in the nursing world right now.
Trends in technology and the digital future
Nurses have been at the forefront of using cutting-edge digital technologies to improve patient care during the recent COVID-19 crisis. Improved teamwork, output, and dialogue are just a few examples. To deliver the highest standard of patient care, nurses must be up-to-date on the latest technological developments.
Nurses are increasingly turning to digital tools to supplement or broaden their practice. Telemedicine, RCM, and AI-powered conversational interfaces such as chatbots are all examples of such innovations. Assistive technologies of many kinds are now under development and may be helpful in healthcare facilities. For instance, a robot may transport medical supplies and instruments from one side of a patient’s room to the other.
Telehealth technology to provide patients with treatment is a more efficient and cost-effective method of meeting medical needs. All patients benefit from telemedicine and remote nursing alternatives during a public health emergency, not only those who have trouble getting to their care providers’ offices.
By advocating for nurses to provide new scientific information on data analytics and virtual models of care, the nursing profession may advance its use of digital technology. Some nurses unfamiliar with these tools may worry about losing valuable time with their patients. Others may be able to see the potential benefits of these technologies and find a happy medium.
The function of the chief nursing informatics officer is crucial to the development of digital healthcare in the future. Future use of digital technology may be boosted if nurses are given more opportunities to participate in policymaking. New technologies have both positive and negative effects. It’s essential to be aware of all potential effects before adopting them for practical use in healthcare.
Trends in patient-centered, primary care
Future nursing trends will impact patient care, and nurses should be aware of this fact. Where allowed, nurse practitioners may make diagnoses, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and begin and manage therapeutic interventions in states where they are legal. Under conditions where NPs are limited in their independence, they must work under the direction of a physician or as part of a medical team.
Eighty-nine percent of all nurse practitioners are trained to offer primary care, and the majority (75%) do just that. Due to a shortage of family doctors and their efficiency and cost-effectiveness, nurse practitioners have emerged as pivotal figures in the healthcare system. Reduced healthcare expenditures and better patient outcomes are consistent with the patient-centered care nurses, and APRNs have provided for years.
When allowed full autonomy, nurse practitioners in doctors’ offices may reduce healthcare spending and hospitalizations by a third. Increased patient compliance and decreased wasteful spending are possible outcomes of allotting patients additional time for inquiries and instruction.
In “full-practice” jurisdictions, NPs may make diagnoses, request and analyze laboratory results, and take charge of patient care. Nurses must have a physician’s supervision in states with limited nurse autonomy. The president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners calls this a “critical step forward in our country.”
Trends in the jobs outlook
As a result of the nursing shortage, the demand for RNs is expected to increase by 9% from 2020 to 2030. Various factors contribute to the nursing shortage, such as a dearth of nursing school professors and a need for graduating nurses. The advent of distance learning has made it possible for nurses to further their education even while they continue to work full-time.
Nursing leaders at all levels will be required to meet the needs of the aging millennial population, which is in worse health than Generation X was at the same age. Large numbers of older adults with severe impairments will push organizations to address cost, workforce, and service delivery issues. The existing healthcare system has many flaws, which have been brought to light by global health problems.
Furthermore, the shortage of primary care physicians is putting a strain on the healthcare system. Fifty percent of doctors in practice will be 65 or older over the next several years, which will worsen the severity of physician shortages.
Several hospitals are paying substantial incentives and raising hourly compensation to keep their nursing staff. Some travel nursing organizations pay new workers up to $150 per hour and even sign incentives for around $20,000 to get them to take jobs. Compensation and job security were the two most important factors for nurses who said they were still inclined to stay in the profession since COVID-19.
Trends in higher education and training
Hospitals have increased the requirements placed on nurses due to the greater availability of nursing education via online programs. Since hospitals and clinics are more likely to hire those with a BS or higher, they encourage nurses to further their education. To maintain marketability and compete for leadership roles, nurses must further their education by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
Nurses may now study for their degrees while continuing to work full-time, thanks to the accessibility of online learning. For instance, nursing practitioners who want to advance into administrative roles must complete advanced degrees, like Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) courses. New nurses just starting their jobs are held to the same standards as their more experienced counterparts.
According to experts, online nursing schools and RN-to-BSN nursing bridge programs are expected to grow in popularity. Online courses offered by nursing schools during the pandemic were crucial in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. According to studies, online education has the potential to improve memory retention. It may reduce teaching and administrative costs at educational institutions and shorten the time it takes to acquire the necessary knowledge.
Trends in well-being, job satisfaction, and burnout
Many nurses are contemplating an early exit from the profession due to the prevalence of stress-related disorders and burnout. For a long time now, many people have adopted the goal of developing resilience to burnout. But in the wake of the global pandemic, nurses have reported feeling less fulfilled in their work than before.
Nurses spend a great deal of time tending to the needs of others, so it’s easy for them to neglect their own well-being. For nurses to be at their best, they must put their health first. Nurses must take care of themselves and “recharge” to provide better patient care.
Self-care is vital to a healthy work-life balance, and nurses are urged to prioritize it. If they don’t, they risk their mental, physical, and spiritual well-being, and they may perform poorly at work. Nurses’ burnout may negatively affect patient care by increasing the likelihood of errors and lapses in memory.
Because of their kind natures, nurses sometimes have difficulty prioritizing their own needs. The most complex and emotionally exhausting aspect of their work is caring for individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries or are terminally ill. Putting the nurse’s personal needs first might help them provide more attention to patients when it’s most important.
Cortisol and other hormone levels may be disrupted when stress is chronically high. When nurses are overworked without breaks, they get compassion fatigue. They need to learn how to deal with stress and talk to nurse managers, therapists, or support groups.