Nursing staff members work in tandem with doctors to provide patient care. Nurses work at hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities at various levels and in multiple capacities. This work comprises a variety of responsibilities that can change daily. Hospitals and other healthcare institutions can only function well with nurses. They deliver both direct care and supportive care. In this post, we discuss some of the most recent trends and developments in nursing. We will also examine how new trends and new ways of working can pose new challenges and what the nursing industry is doing to overcome these hurdles.
Trends in nursing
Based on the most recent data and insights, we’ve compiled a list of the top nursing trends we anticipate seeing in 2023 and beyond. During the COVID-19 epidemic, the medical industry –especially nursing – saw considerable modifications. Nurses are now finding new ways of working as the industry evolves and their roles expand. Continue reading to discover what to anticipate in the dynamic nursing field in 2023.
Online nursing programs continue to gain popularity
Online learning has become increasingly popular over time. Along with other advantages, online programs such as an online MSN course offers flexibility to students, particularly those who work. Online education has given many people who reside in rural places access to previously-unimaginable learning opportunities. Additionally, they have progressively risen in popularity. Online learning should become more important for nurses. Online courses have long been used to develop careers, open new opportunities, and further education. Recent trends in online education appear as technology evolves and becomes more pervasive in our daily lives.
Providing enough online courses to cope with demands
Despite the fact that many people are interested in obtaining a nursing degree, doing so is not always straightforward due to a lack of qualified faculty. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), during the course of a year, nursing programs in the United States turned away more than 66,000 suitable applicants from undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Faculty shortages were the cause of these rejections. To ensure an adequate faculty, nursing schools can benefit from more nurses becoming nurse educators.
The healthcare sector has long been affected by the nursing shortage. The demand for healthcare services is growing, the population is aging, and there is a greater need than ever for trained nurses. This need is not going away any time soon. There are not enough nurses to satisfy the rising demand, which has led to a severe national shortage of nursing experts with the necessary credentials. The nursing shortage is a significant issue that demands attention from healthcare institutions, decision-makers, and the nursing profession. There are several causes, such as an aging nursing workforce, a shortage of nursing professors, low compensation, and unfavorable working circumstances. Together with the ongoing issues, the COVID-19 epidemic made the shortage worse.
How do we resolve these shortages?
Retaining the nurses we do have is the first step. This includes listening to nurses’ concerns. Nurses want to believe that their loyalty is valued. Like many organizations in multiple industries, staff members can often be taken for granted. If the healthcare industry gives consideration to nurse feedback, it will create a positive culture and a harmonious environment. To deal with the nursing shortage, more nurse educators are also required. A serious issue is the post-pandemic scarcity of nursing instructors. One way to combat this would be to contact nurses who may be nearing the end of their careers and offer them new roles as nurse educators, which might encourage them to redirect their experience and knowledge back into the industry.
Telehealth has recently made significant advances in the healthcare profession; it’s no wonder that it has also become a trend in nursing. Many nurses today must provide care remotely, either as their full-time position or as a component of an in-person nursing career. The CDC reports that over the course of a year, telehealth visits climbed by 154%, and nurses have been crucial to the success of this transformation. Educating patients, acquiring data, and triaging patients are all standard responsibilities of telehealth nurses. Nurses working in telehealth provide patients with high-quality treatment without requiring them to leave their homes, which can cut expenses and stop the spread of disease. It also makes it easier to see patients who are reluctant to visit a doctor.
Lack of technology to distribute to patients
This is a hurdle that isn’t likely to be overcome anytime soon. It would cost a fortune to fit every house in the country with the technology that a nurse would use on a daily basis, not to mention the cost of training everyone to use them. However, as technology improves and becomes more affordable, these barriers can be lifted. For example, many patients now have access to blood pressure monitors and other wearable tech that can deliver accurate information to a nurse.
Travel nursing numbers continue to rise
If the last few years have taught us anything, the need for travel nurses has to be one of the main lessons. In addition, travel nursing as an industry rose 30% over an eight-month period during the epidemic. The incredible increase in the number of travel nurses has been driven by better salaries, the opportunity to travel and see new places, and the chance to work in a variety of environments.
Can lead to underfunding and a lack of continuity
The benefit of mobile nursing is that hospitals can use it to fill in the gaps during a natural disaster or highly-varying demand levels. The drawback of travel nursing is that it might be used to justify underfunding your permanent nursing staff. Due to dissatisfaction with working conditions, staffing shortages, and salary differences between staff and travel nurses, many staff nurses are leaving their positions. Also, as they often receive less training than their staff counterparts and don’t stay at hospitals long enough to develop relationships with patients, many regular nurses worry that travel nurses may disrupt clinical treatment and workflow at hospitals.
Focus on mental health and wellbeing
Today, mental health is probably one of the most critical components of nursing. Many healthcare professionals suffered unduly from the pandemic, and recovery will be a lengthy process. While many nurses experience anxiety, burnout, depression, exhaustion, and stress, the medical industry must respond with assistance. According to a STAT News survey, 95% of nurses responded that either their mental health was not a priority for the health care business or that it was a priority but that there were inadequate mechanisms to support it. A nurse’s place of employment would be wise to consider this.
How do we support mental health in nursing?
Before Covid-19, nurses were already dealing with high-pressure working conditions, often underfunded resources, and an aging population. The pandemic has since mushroomed these issues as hospitals were crowded with patients and medical experts struggled to adapt and respond to each emerging variant. The struggle for PPE, lockdowns and isolation methods were difficult to implement and even harder to enforce, especially here in the US where healthcare provision once again, became the basis for passionate debate over constitutional rights and reform. Medical professionals across the country worked tirelessly to save lives and act on the best decisions available to them as the pandemic unfolded.
Dealing with an increasing backlog of patients and the after-effects of COVID-19, medical professionals are feeling the strain more than ever. Nurses are often the first point of contact for patients and their families, coordinating care and offering compassion during trying times and they work in a variety of settings with high levels of individual responsibility. The kindness and quality of care that nurses deliver is astonishing and yet all too often this hard work is undervalued and underappreciated by the larger population, who remain unaware of the realities of hospital working conditions. Therefore, the first step of any initiative to support nurses’ mental health has to be raising public awareness, with the aim of encouraging governmental review of working conditions putting support systems in place.
Within organizations, nursing interventions that encourage resilience and mental health must take a multifaceted approach. The size of the organization and the number of patients must be considered in the strategy. Organizing treatment plans so that each nurse has a manageable and safe workload is vital not just for nurses’ welfare but for the health and safety of patients themselves. This will require strong and effective communication at all levels of the medical organization, ensuring that concerns can be voiced in a safe and if needed, anonymous, environment. Rewarding effective and safe practice is also a way of highlighting positive ways of working and increases wellbeing and motivation.
In addition to these steps, all medical staff should have access to mental health services including counselling, mental health leave, medical treatment and a wellbeing team serving staff. These professionals deal with some of the most traumatic and frightening events in people’s lives and their wellbeing often suffers incredibly because of this stress. We need to show them the care and respect that they show millions of Americans every year and ensure that they can continue their work for many years to come.
The rise of concierge nursing
Concierge nursing is a relatively young field that will gain prominence over time. Concierge nursing provides advantages for patients because it enables tailored, on-demand treatment for everything from IV hydration and beauty services to health coaching and weight loss. Also, it allows nurses to test out full- or part-time side companies that can be customized to their areas of expertise, passions, and talents. To offer your services directly to patients in your area, you only need to use an app. There are even companies created to help nurses work part-time or full-time while the company handles all the legal aspects.
Expensive and not available everywhere
Concierge medicine has a high price tag. Concierge nurses currently operate on a membership-based cost-recovery model. This enables businesses to give extended appointment durations, ensure same-day or next-day appointments, eliminate waiting, offer around-the-clock treatment, and more. Also, even if concierge medicine is becoming more common, depending on where you live, there’s still a potential that your local options could be more constrained. It’s also possible that specific concierge nurses have reached their client capacity and cannot accept more patients if they live in a place with few options.
Nurses are becoming more involved in medicine
In addition to working in research to create new therapies and fight emerging diseases, NPs are leading the charge to identify and treat ailments of all kinds. Organizations and associations are looking for NPs to assist with publishing studies and articles or to convey the results of their research nationally through publications and presentations. This is due to the NP’s rise in terms of clinical experience. NPs must have a voice in the healthcare system, in their state, and at the federal level, in addition to their practice environment.
Provide open environments for nurses to voice their opinions
With more than 3.8 million registered nurses in the country, nursing is the largest healthcare profession in the United States. Nurses work in this field because they are passionate about improving people’s lives. They interact with patients more frequently than anyone else in a hospital. Nurses have an invaluable perspective because they are wise, imaginative, and passionate about patient care. As they speak up for patients, nurses’ voices help advance nursing practice, which ultimately enhances patient care. Because of this, healthcare leaders must foster situations where nurses’ perspectives are heard and considered, as doing so can result in exciting improvements in patient care.
The nursing profession has a promising future. The aging population and nursing shortage are a chance for nursing candidates to excel and current nurses to continue. However, as the baby boomer population ages, healthcare technology continues to progress, and the healthcare workforce continues to experience flaws and issues, the complexity of healthcare will only increase in 2023.
The future changes in the healthcare sector will impact healthcare workers, nursing directors, and hospital executives. They must make the best choices for themselves and their nursing staff, relying on them to be flexible and accept changes many have never experienced in the healthcare industry.