Current Trends in Nursing 2015
With National Nurses Week just around the corner, held this year on May 6 – May 12, 2015, let’s take a look at a few of the latest trends impacting the nursing profession.
Changing Demographics – One of the more obvious trends affecting the nursing profession, and even the healthcare world, in general, is one of patient demographics. The US population is aging with adults over the age of 85 representing the fastest growing age group of all. Naturally, as people age, their dependence on healthcare services increases commensurately. To the nursing profession, this represents a greater emphasis being placed on learning and understanding the issues that impact older adults.
Technological Advances – Technology will continue to be mentioned in articles and blogs about trends in nursing and healthcare for the foreseeable future. Nurses are exposed to an increasing reliance on mobile technology and will need to develop a level of comfort as new technologies are introduced. Another technology consideration is the growing emphasis on telemedicine, mostly in rural and underserved areas.
Changes in Nursing Education – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US will need more than one million new nurses by the year 2022. This demand is driving a change in educational offerings for nurses. In addition to continued growth in online nursing education, many programs are offering greater flexibility allowing nurses to continue their education without sacrificing their career.
Focus on Prevention – As with technology, preventative care will continue to make top trend lists for years to come. Health insurance providers and employers are increasingly promoting individual engagement in healthier living, exercise, and other preventative measures to prevent future and chronic health conditions. To support these measures, nurses are experiencing the demand for greater knowledge and participation in preventative care.
Creating Safer Work Environments – Today’s nurse works in very complex, stressful environments. In addition to needle sticks, infections, musculoskeletal injuries, and other typical workplace dangers, viral outbreaks like Ebola, H1N1 and more have served to increase the attention being placed on creating and maintaining safer working environments. Nurses must be prepared to handle whatever the next “big thing” is that comes along.
Collaborative Healthcare – Partly driven by the Affordable Care Act, nurses are finding themselves providing health care in more team-based environments. This collaborative care includes nursing professionals, specialists, pharmacists, social workers, all sharing the same data and information to improve the quality of patient care.
Variety – The future is bright for the nursing profession due to many of the topics covered in this article. The demand for nurses is expected to remain high meaning there are plenty of opportunities. The demand also leads to a wide variety of options available to nursing professionals. Travel nursing is on the rise as nurses are taking the best of both worlds by working in their chosen field while traveling to different parts of the country. In addition, the expanding educational opportunities are allowing nurses to both further their education and also choose to become specialists in preferred areas of medicine.
Share your thoughts with us about current nursing trends or let us know if there is a topic you would like us to cover in this space. Feel free to leave us a comment below or leave us a comment on our Facebook Page.