According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 3 million registered nurses in 2019, with employment expected to continue growing faster than other professions through 2029. As demand for nurses continues to rise, familiarizing ourselves with the trends that are poised to transform the industry can help provide valuable insight into the growth and potential of the US’s largest healthcare profession.
1. Demand for Nursing Specializations Will Rise
Focused expertise on specific areas of medicine for nurses is on the rise. Nursing specializations allow the nurse to deliver skilled and expert care in a specific niche. This allows them to demonstrate their skill and deliver better patient care that in turn fosters patient trust. Additionally, it also helps open more doors for career growth and advancement as nurses seek to pursue additional education and certification in their preferred fields.
2. Increasing Adoption of Telehealth Prompting More Focus on Patient Privacy
A dramatic increase in telehealth services was seen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This prompted not just a strong focus on the efficiency of telehealth services but on the security and privacy concerns of patients and healthcare professionals as well.
Because of this, nurses should be more stringent about obtaining patient consent before engaging in telehealth services. Strict compliance with HIPAA guidelines will also guarantee secure communication between both parties and secure transfer of sensitive data as a stronger need for privacy and security comes into focus for 2021.
3. Rise of the Nurse Navigator
Nurse navigators are nurses whose medical knowledge, management expertise, and people skills are used to guide patients through their healthcare journey. Their primary role is to help patients learn more and understand their current condition and guide them through the testing process, diagnosis, and medication they need to take.
With an aging population requiring more focused care due to chronic health conditions that need to be managed, the role is steadily gaining more importance.
4. Expanding Opportunities for Entrepreneurship
The opportunities for growth among nurses are no longer just limited to hospitals and medical settings where they are tasked to deliver direct patient care. As nurses’ roles expand and evolve, opportunities for entrepreneurship are also opening up. For instance, nurse consultants can work independently to assist doctor’s offices and clinics in managing electronic health records (EHRs) or manage scheduling and documentation. Others can work as management experts for assisted and long-term care facilities.
5. Supporting Continued Nursing Education Online
Additional training and certification for nurses will always be an advantage. However, with online programs becoming more accessible and gaining more prominence due to the pandemic, many nurses saw this as an opportunity to further their education and training.
6. Stronger Focus on Self-Care for Nurses
As rewarding as nursing is as a profession, it also is one of the most challenging careers to enter. It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing. While nurses are primarily tasked to deliver top-notch care to patients, the recent demand for nurses, especially given the pandemic, is putting the spotlight on the need for nurses to take better care of themselves.
Numerous studies highlight that employers who encourage and promote self-care for their nurses manage burnout and compassion fatigue better. There is a direct correlation between the quality of healthcare a nurse can deliver and their wellness, which is driving more employers to focus on their nurses’ wellness.
These top trends are set to influence how the field grows and evolves through 2021 and the coming years. It also illustrates how a career in nursing could be one of the most promising professions you could pursue, given its growth.
We hope you found this article on the top nursing trends that will transform the industry in 2021 and beyond helpful. Have you noticed any trends you feel will change or transform the industry? Comment them below.
Jessica Williams is a marketing professional for HCI College, a school dedicated to preparing students for a career in the medical field by offering programs such as Nursing, EMT, and Paramedical services. The institution is best known for its practical approach to learning that propels students from theoretical classroom instruction and forwards them into the workforce.
We regularly share news, trends, and insights about the industry on the official HCI blog. Do connect with us on Twitter @hcicollege.