The future of nursing: thirteen emerging trends

The medical industry has seen incredible changes in the past few years. The pandemic was a major factor in this evolution, and many trends are emerging as a result. Already, technology is bringing new ways and methods to healthcare. Hospitals now use artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and nanotechnology to redefine patient care, and the use of such technologies will only continue to grow. 

Nursing is one of the major healthcare fields revolutionized by these trends. Nurses today are now venturing into leadership roles where they can impact the healthcare system. Cleveland State University’s clinical nurse leader programs are giving nurses the skills and experience necessary to move into leadership roles. The 100% online program only takes nurses one year and seven months to complete. After completion, they’re set for leadership roles that will redefine their workplace and change the trajectory of their career for the better. The online nature of the course gives students the flexibility they need to thrive.

The industry is seeing many emerging trends. The clinical nurse leader program will prepare students for these changes, setting them up for a successful future career. This article will discuss what nurses should expect in the coming years and how these trends can benefit them. 

The new trends in the nursing field 

The nursing system is evolving, and these are thirteen trends at the forefront of that change:

Significant job growth for nurses

According to Nursing Times, there will be a large decrease in the number of registered nurses (RNs) in the future. This decrease is because many working nurses are retiring or leaving the field, and this will lead to significant gaps in employment. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that in the future there will be over 203,200 openings for registered nurses every year. 

This means that there are more opportunities for prospective nurses than ever before. Many institutions, clinics, and healthcare settings will need more nurses to meet the increasing demand in their facilities.

Higher academic nursing roles

The role of nurses is evolving, and many nurses are taking up careers in education. Many of the nurses you look up to are not just active nurses with essential duties; some feature on TV to speak about important social issues, while some feature in classes to sensitize people about their health. Many nurses are even invited to TEDx talks because of their value to the profession.

All these show that nurses are now valuable as teachers as well as carers. They either specialize in teaching about health education or teaching future nurses. In the coming years, there will be more field nurses in classrooms teaching future nurses the importance of the profession. Nurses in education are also in charge of academic administrative roles to ensure the success of every class. This major trend will be a success because nurses with hands-on experience will help in training student nurses. 

These academic roles include being a nursing educator, a nursing researcher, an instructor in a clinical lab, and a nursing education consultant, among others. Any of these roles gives nurses the ability to influence lives.

Increase in salary

Over the years, the salary of nurses has always been on a constant rise. This will continue in the foreseeable future. Going forward, there will be a steady increase in the salary paid to the nurses and this will not only make the job enticing, but it’ll also allow nurses to enjoy their job more. 

The American Nurse Journal took a survey and found that 85% of the nurses questioned stated that they would recommend the profession to others. This shows the love these people have for their role. In the survey, 55% of the respondents stated that they have received a salary increase in 12 months and 61% got a raise in the past year. 

The increase in salary is said to compensate for the efforts and stress associated with the work. For prospective nurses, this will make their careers more attractive and rewarding in the long term.

The use of Telehealth and Chatbot

Technology has changed the world in a number of ways. The healthcare industry isn’t left out, and there are many innovations that have changed healthcare. One example is telehealth, which is the provision of healthcare remotely using technology. 

Telehealth became very popular during COVID-19, where social distancing meant that people could no longer receive physical care. During this time, medical practitioners carried out their responsibilities to patients remotely using telehealth platforms.

Now, nurses and many other professionals use technology to educate patients, provide them with necessary resources to safeguard their health and carry out remote care. With telehealth, nurses and other chosen professionals have access to patients’ personal health information and can offer care services without physical contact with patients.

Telehealth can also be used by patients to monitor clinic appointments, track their heart rate, monitor their medications, and understand their sleeping schedules, among other needs.

Need for bilingual nurses

With the increase in the diversity of the US population, there will be a rise in the need for bilingual nurses. The ability to speak two or more languages will be hugely beneficial for nurses in the future. Patients tend to warm up to nurses who can communicate in their language. It will be easier for a bilingual nurse to switch from one language to another when dealing with patients, which will also make it easy to communicate care routines to patients.

According to the United States Census Bureau, at least 350 languages are spoken in the US. Nurses transcending cultural barriers by learning some of the most popular languages among US residents can become an asset to their healthcare organizations. This will not only move them closer to their patients; it’ll also make it easier to relate to patients’ families.

Increase in specialized nurses

One trend expected to rise in the future of nursing is the trend of specialized nurses. Nurses are now considered a more significant part of the healthcare industry, and choosing an area of specialty becomes important. A major added advantage is the higher salary depending on the demand in a nurse’s area of specialty. 

In the coming years, many nurses will choose advanced fields for their careers. Such roles include nurse practitioners, assistant nurse managers, case management, psychiatric nurses, pediatric nurses, clinical development specialist, and infection control, among others.

All these roles come with added responsibility. If you’re in an administrative role, for example, you’d be required to oversee other nurses and support staff. This role would also require that you manage equipment in the healthcare facility. Nurses in this role need to learn how to manage people, communicate properly, and prioritize quality health to be effective administrators. All of these will enhance their value in their healthcare organization and propel their career in the long term.

Focus will be placed on holistic care

Holistic care is a type of treatment that focuses on not just the physical health of patients. It extends to their social, emotional, and mental wellbeing. It is the treatment of the body, mind, and health of a person. Holistic care involves combining medications, therapy, and traditional healing processes—such as acupuncture and meditation when necessary—together.

This type of treatment helps in promoting long-term good health as it helps in treating the patients beyond the symptoms of their illness. For example, holistic comfort, a variation of holistic care, helps ease nurses into the reality of the work and motivates them to work for the best patient outcomes. 

In the future, nurses will place more focus on providing holistic care for their patients. They will be expected to have a deeper skill set that helps them connect closely with their patients. This skill set includes critical thinking, problem-solving, empathy, and major communication skills.

These skills will help them care for their patients in a way that allows their patients to warm to them. Nurses will also be required to work with other health personnel with the aid of technology to provide patient-centered care.

It should be noted that holistic care is not only taking over the future of nursing. It’ll remain a formidable force in the healthcare industry as a whole.

Increase in the demand for home care services

A significant trend that will be a norm in the coming years is the increase in the demand for nurses in home care settings. An increase in door-to-door or homecare services will be driven by factors such as the aging population, an increased prevalence of chronic diseases, and likely future epidemics.

Nurses in the home care setting will provide distinctive care to their patients. These will include services such as medication management, wound care, physical therapy, and personal care assistance. Home care allows nurses to provide personalized care for their patients in the comfort of their homes to improve patient health and satisfaction.

Nurses interested in such possibilities of treating patients in home care settings need to have specialized skills. This may include the ability to manage complex cases and work independently. This way, they can provide quality care with adequate knowledge of all basic diseases and treatment approaches to achieve optimal health.

Shift toward preventive care

Since COVID-19, there has been a shift toward preventative care. Thus, there is increasing focus on preventing illness, promoting wellness, and managing chronic conditions. Preventive care involves protecting patients from disease and looking out for signs that indicate the presence of a disease early.  

Also, focus on preventive care will help nurses understand the major connection between wellness promotion and disease prevention. The more patients are educated about their health, the better disease can be prevented. As healthcare trends shift toward preventive care, nurses will be trained on how to educate their patients on healthy lifestyle habits to improve and enhance their health. This form of education will provide the backbone for quality health.

Emphasis on interprofessional collaboration

The nursing profession will increasingly witness the uptake of a multidimensional approach. This approach enhances patient care in ways the solo approach cannot.

A multidisciplinary approach means that nurses work with other healthcare practitioners to provide patient-centered care. This collaborative care can involve physicians, pharmacists, therapists, counselors, social workers, and any other healthcare professional. This approach reinforces holistic care and helps nurses address the various aspects of their patient health with ease.

Collaborating with other skilled healthcare practitioners will help nurses contribute their own unique expertise while benefiting from the knowledge of others. This effort will provide patients with utmost care that covers their physical, emotional, social, and mental wellbeing.

Nursing leadership and influence

One of the major trends that is expected for nurses in the future is their influence in obtaining leadership roles in health services. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have been gaining respect for their opinions on public health. And this has made the world see their relevance beyond the ward services and care they offer to patients.

With their link to the physician and the patient, it would not be surprising to see nurses occupy leadership roles and manage health services at various levels, including the national and international levels. Nurses in future will be chairs of reputable public health policies because they have unique insight into public health needs.

As the world becomes more cautious about health, nurses will also become advocates for better living conditions to reinforce good health. As this increases, they may become an essential factor in decisions toward healthcare, and this will seal their leadership role in communities. Nurses being in major decision-making positions will bridge the gap between people and health. It’ll bring people closer to educators about their health and will help improve the overall quality of public health services.

Mental health awareness

Mental health is an aspect of health that many people don’t take seriously. While this is dangerous, it’s usually a result of limited or a total lack of awareness. Data shows that 1 in 5 US adults suffer from mental illness. One survey also shows that 90% of US residents agree there are mental health issues in the country. However, there is limited awareness about treatment options, and fewer people go for treatment for their mental health issues than for physical problems.

This is bound to change as nurses are becoming more experienced in psychiatric care and counseling. In the near future, there will be more emphasis on mental health care. Medical institutions are also incorporating mental health care into their arranged health services. This level of awareness will ensure that every care treatment is focused on attaining good patient health.

Closely tied to this is mental health awareness for nurses. Nurses experience burnout, stress, and other complex challenges in their work. For example, the CDC reports that 69% of physicians experience depression and 13% had suicidal thoughts. 22% of workers also claim to have experienced moderate depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress. 

With this reality, healthcare organizations are beginning to make provisions for professionals’ health in their institutions. For example, they’re now allowing conversations about mental health, offering mental health training, and providing health insurance that covers mental health care. 

Environmental health and sustainability

Environmental practices affect public health, and this is where nurses come in. Nurses provide initiatives that will ensure better practices in environmental health and sustainability by addressing environmental health concerns.

There would be regulation of better environmental practices. These may include proper management of waste, minimization of energy consumption, among others. This will help in creating environmental health and sustainability. However, these practices can only be properly carried out when the public is aware of the advantages of maintaining healthy environmental practices. In this case, nurses can help in raising awareness and educating patients about the need to maintain a healthy environment.

Final words

Nursing is a wonderful profession and it’s important for prospective nurses to be aware of emerging trends. There are so many nursing trends to expect in the future, most of which will lead to an increase in the efficiency of nurses in different specialties. The rise in quality care coupled with technological assistance will make nurses’ work easier. All these developments will seal the productive future of the nursing profession.