Beyond the Bedside, Major Trends Affecting Nurses This Year

Healthcare, and more specifically nursing, is in the midst of dramatic change. With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, increasing access to medical information online and the continuation of technology-driven healthcare, nurses are sure to see major changes affecting their job and their workplace this year.


It’s no secret that the baby boomer population is aging. With every passing year, this popular generation places an increasing demand on the health care system and the nurses who work in it. For nurses, this means increasing their knowledge base to include more of the diagnoses and troubles that affect these 65 to 85 year olds. Some facilities have begun to offer ongoing education to their nursing staff, specifically in response to the changes in patient demographics.

Access to Healthcare

The Affordable Care Act has increased the number of Americans with access to the health care system. This means that nurses are seeing an influx of people experiencing complications to otherwise simple medical issues due to a previous lack of insurance. This also means that more and more people are seeking medical treatments where they otherwise would not have. The increase in the number of people seeking medical care means a strain on nurses, medical facilities and their resources.


The merging of technology and healthcare is not new. The industry has been attempting to integrate technology and the practice of medicine for years. What is changing are the types of technology and healthcare’s newfound reliance on it. This means that as technology changes and evolves, nurses will have to do so as well. Any nurse who wants to keep up with these changes can do so by pursuing a medical informatics degree and staying current on major changes in their field. There will be greater importance placed on nurses who are technologically versatile and have quick learning skills.


The expanding internet means people are able to find more and more medical information on the internet, which has led to an increase in the desire for preventative healthcare. Consumers now have an increasing level of expectation for all of their medical providers to work together to create a complete, preventative medical plan. Nurses are being asked to collaborate with other healthcare professionals across different specialties.

Changing trends in nursing and healthcare have always existed. As medical science advances and changes, so healthcare workers must also adjust and accommodate. In today’s world the need for nurses to be able to change and adjust is more critical than ever. From an increase in the age of the average patient to constant technological advancements nurses are being challenged to keep pace with their ever-changing workplace.