The field of modern nursing continues to rapidly grow, while the health care industry is adapting to social and regulatory changes. In order to keep up, nurses need to be passionate about professional development and keeping up with the latest industry trends. Doing so will provide nurses with the right skills and knowledge, while also preparing them to meet future challenges.
Overwhelming Career Options
The nursing field has become very diverse within the past 30 years. Today’s nurses are faced with dozens of job options that all lead down very different career paths. For example, there is cardiac, dental, emergency, and environmental health nursing. There is also forensic, genetics, immunology, and neurosurgical nursing. Nurses can work in a variety of workplace settings, such as military bases, pediatric clinics, and infection control centers. In response to these changes, many educational organizations now offer a variety of degree specializations for nursing students. Some nurses also choose to study completely different fields and get a health care IT or radiology degree instead of a traditional line of study.
Cutting-Edge Health Care Technology
Many exciting technology advances are being made in the field of health care with new software solutions, such as web-based patient portals, and wearable technologies that monitor physical conditions. One innovative technology is tele-medicine, which integrates IT, telecommunications, and health care practices into a unified solution for patients. Doctors in rural areas without access to health care support and resources can virtually connect with national experts using this technology and some surgeons use advanced robotics and tele-medicine technology to perform remote surgeries. For patients who are bedridden at home, tele-medicine allows them to conveniently and effectively check in with their nurse.
Quality Improvement Programs
There is a positive nursing trend that also focuses on improving the overall patient experience. This has grown out of the health care industry’s goal to re-focus on quality of care. Many large health care organizations are leveraging data warehouses and big data techniques to acquire accurate statistics regarding employee and hospital performance levels. For instance, The American Hospital Association (AHA) reports that hospitals are coordinating together to provide patients with more affordable care options. Health care performance is measured and validated through these public reports. This means that a hospital that closely follows safety protocols during surgeries will experience lower patient and fatality rates. Alternatively, hospitals that promote preventative programs and healthy lifestyles will experience lower health condition reoccurrence rates.
Don’t forget that nursing demographics are shifting from being predominantly female to include more males and diverse communities. Nursing today is much different than it was in the past, with diversity, career expansions and technology, we are seeing many changing trends in this line of work.