If there is one thing you can be sure of when you talk about the nursing profession,it is that it is vital and becoming more so with every passing year. People are living longer, and the population is growing, and therefore healthcare in all its forms, and perhaps nursing, especially as it is something that tends to the patient’s every need rather than ‘just’ physical or ‘just’ emotional, is required more and more.
Yet, although nursing is one of the most rewarding professions you can follow, and although there are many additional reasons to become a nurse, some people who would make excellent nurses have put off the idea due to ideas about salary, working hours, and training. However, not all of what they think they know is accurate, and with the many trends that are set to improve the working life of a nurse, now could be the right time to look more closely into what nursing is really all about. With that in mind, here are some of the trends in nursing coming our way in the near future.
Online Nursing Programs Will Grow In Popularity
As we mentioned above, one of the issues people have with nursing is the training, and in the past, this might have been a valid problem. You would definitely have had to attend a physical college at specific times to study to become a nurse, and this would have meant that some people had to miss out. Those already in work and who wanted to change careers but who couldn’t afford to stop working on training, for example, as well as people who had family responsibilities that would have meant committing to a timetable difficult, and those who were already nurses and who wanted to progress their careers but had to work shifts, making it harder to fit studying in would all likely have missed out.
Online nursing programs make studying to both become a nurse in the first place and progress your career as a nurse much easier. It’s important to note that there is still a lot to learn, and the course is still hard work, but it is also flexible and more tailored to the individual, ensuring that anyone who wants to be a nurse can be one.
As more people realize this is the case, online learning programs – which are already popular – will become much more a part of the general consciousness, ensuring that no one has to miss out.
Nurses Will Earn More
Another reason people do not feel that they could become a nurse is the money. Although it might be nice to say that money does not matter, the truth is, it does. We all have bills to pay, and we all want to be able to enjoy our ‘spare’ money in whatever way makes sense, whether that is saving it or spending it. In a low-paying job, not only might that spare money not exist, but it could even become difficult to pay the bills in the first place, particularly as the cost of living goes up.
Do not let this put you off being a nurse. To begin with, nurses are not paid as poorly as you might think,andthe more qualifications and experience you have, the further you can progress in your career.
This is good news in itself; for those who might have thought they couldn’t live on a nurse’s salary, it could be time to think again. Yet there is even better news; the average salary of a nurse is going to increase and continue to do so to keep up with the cost of living, so if you manage to get a job, then you might be in a good position.
The Nursing Shortage Will Get Worse
Although many of the items on this list about nursing trends are positive ones, we have to show both sides of the coin, and therefore we need to discuss how the current nursing shortage will get worse. This is due to a number of factors, including:
- Many nurses reaching retirement age (around one-third of the current workforce will retire within 15 years)
- More nurses are needed in general due to an increasing and aging population
- Due to the current nursing shortage, nurses are working more and therefore more prone to burnout, causing a deeper nursing shortage – the cycle will continue
- Myths surrounding training, salary, and working conditions put people off applying to become a nurse
However, the more people who begin to understand what being a nurse entails and the positive side of the profession, and the more easily they are able to access the learning and training required, the easier it will be to lessen the damage this shortfall will cause, and ideally, within a few years, there will be no shortage at all.
There Will Be More Job Opportunities
According to reports, when it comes to job opportunities, there will be more available within nursing than in any other profession during the next year and beyond. This boils down to around 200,000 nursing positions that will need to be filled.
This means that nurses will have plenty of choices when it comes to what job they want. They can choose the one that suits them entirely, and although there will still be competition, there certainly will not be as much as in other sectors. Even if you were to apply for a job you thought would suit you perfectly but were beaten to the role by someone else, you would not have to wait long until another great opportunity presented itself.
More Nurses Will Specialize
As well as there being plentiful job opportunities for RNs, there will also be many roles available for other nurses, including specialists. Because of this, more nurses will choose to become specialists.
Specialists can continue to work in a hospital, focusing on a specific department, for example. However, they can also work in other areas, have more job opportunities, and earn higher salaries. You could choose to become a nurse case manager, a family nurse practitioner, a nursing leader, and much more. Again, thanks to online learning, the qualifications to obtain these specialist roles are much more accessible, and the huge choice of roles that means everyone can find a job they enjoy, the opportunities for those with the right mindset and experience are endless.
There Will Be More Support For Nurses’ Mental Health
Nurses work extremely hard. They work shifts, which is difficult both mentally and physically, and they work long hours. There is a lot of overtime involved too. Plus, it is a fast-paced environment. Of course, you would not choose to become a nurse if you didn’t like this kind of working, or you would be miserable the entire time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard, and it doesn’t mean that it can take its toll.
All of this can lead to mental health issues, including stress, depression, and anxiety. Not only that, but nurses will see many traumatic and upsetting events, and this could even cause them to suffer from PTSD and similar issues.
For many years, the mental health of nurses was ignored. They were expected to simply get on with the job at hand and not complain or ‘make a fuss’. Today things are different, and it is getting even better. Today we realize that nurses are just the same as everyone else, and although they might face difficulties on a daily basis and have to act accordingly to be calming, reassuring, and professional, they can still easily be affected by what they witness. Plus, they are not immune to mental health issues that stem from their working conditions either.
Thanks to the fact that all of this is now something that is acknowledged and not ignored, nurses should be in a much better place, emotionally and mentally. They will be able to ask for help when they need it, and managers should be more able to spot the signs of burnout, for example. There are even apps that nurses can use to help them unwind or podcasts to listen to that will ensure them they are not alone.
This trend is set to continue, with our precious nurses’ mental health taking priority at all times.
More Travel Nurses Will Be Needed
Another interesting trend is that more travel nurses will be needed, as well as bilingual nurses. Right now, travel nurses make up around four percent of the total nursing staff, but by next year this is expected to rise to around 10 percent. The reason behind this is the global nursing shortage. There are, therefore, positions available in many countries, and you can choose where you want to work.
If you are interested in becoming a travel nurse or you have a second language, now could be the ideal time to register your interest in nursing. You are needed, and you will find work – good-paying work – in whatever area interests you the most.