Brace up Nurses! New Trends in the Nursing Profession in 2013
July 10th, 2013, Kelly Gibson
There’s been a lot of hoopla about nursing lately. And rightfully so; the career promises excellent job prospects and pays well too, who wouldn’t want to be in it? However, the nurses of today are much different than the nurses some 50 years back, or even a decade back.
With more technology, greater number of positions, and the option of getting the requisite education from some of the best nursing schools in America, the profession is seeing a number of trends and challenges for nurses today.
1. Stringent Educational Requirements
Even though the most basic requirement for a nursing career is an associate’s degree, many employers prefer candidates with a 4-year bachelor’s degree. Therefore, practicing nurses with just a 2-year degree are going for online RN-to-BSN programs, while future nurses are strongly considering opting for a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
2. Greater Role of Technology
The medical field has made a lot of progress when it comes to technology. There are scanners, MRI machines, and many other devices for diagnosing diseases, monitoring a patient’s health or even for administering drugs. That’s why today’s nurse has no choice but to be very tech-savvy, being able to handle different equipments and work with computer-generated reports, or maintain electronic records.
3. More Male Participation
Gone are the days when nursing was a profession almost reserved for the fairer sex. Today, the gentlemen have not been able to resist the charm of job security in recessionary times, or just the charm of doing a fulfilling and rewarding career, and that’s why many men are joining the field with as much fervor as women.
4. More Emphasis on Nurse-Patient Relationships
Nurses today don’t have to be just passively involved in taking care of their patients. They also have to play an advisory role and also provide emotional support to their patients. And that means developing a good rapport with the patient and working with them on a closer, more understanding level.
5. Greater Leadership Responsibility
It’s not just about taking orders from physicians and following their directions anymore. Nurses today are playing a more active, leadership role, such as in the case of a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) or the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL). So, there’s a greater decisive role to play when it comes to patients’ health as well as administrative functions, and that means much more responsibility.
6. Diverse Employer Groups
It’s not just hospitals which employ nurses these days. With an aging population, many nurses also work for home healthcare services, nursing care facilities, physician’s offices, etc. They may even be required to travel to patients’ homes, to schools, or community centres.
Despite the emerging challenges and new trends in the profession, it continues to be one of the most satisfying and gratifying careers in the US today. It’s a great time to be in this respected career field, and that’s why working towards a nursing degree , perhaps from an accredited online nursing school, is something worth a thought.