Future Career Prospects in the Nursing Profession

Despite the emergence of new medical breakthroughs and revolutionary technological developments, there are medical and healthcare problems that are still affecting our daily lives. The compounding nursing shortage, growing patient population, and rising healthcare costs have put tremendous pressure on the healthcare system to shift from an illness model to wellness and prevention model in dealing with these issues.

The emergence of medical devices and technologies is believed to reshape and refine how nurses do their daily work. Along with new pharmaceutical drugs and changes in healthcare policies, the nursing profession is expected to evolve. New nursing procedures would mean that the tasks will become automated such as:

* nurses may now use computers and hand-held devices to update the patient’s records and documentation

* smart beds will now monitor the patient’s health condition and vital signs

* bar code readers will be used to keep track of the patient’s medication

* automatic medicine carts will now reduce time and errors in medicine dispensation

* tablet computer technology will eliminate the need to write things down

Now that many of the basic nursing tasks are automated, nursing aides will now handle the distribution of the patients’ meals and nurses will have more time to take care of the patients. The length of patients’ hospital stays would shorten thereby giving more career choices for nurses in administration and supervising positions. They will have all the time to educate the patients and their families and at the same time mentor new nurses.

If the trend of nursing shortage continues then hospitals should allocate their beds to people who have serious and critical health issues. In this way, the number of patients in outpatient care would increase thereby contributing to a growing demand for home health care nurses. Many nurses will have greater career choices and gain prominent roles in private clinics, consulting firms, health insurance companies, and health maintenance organizations.

Nurse practitioners would gain good jobs in the field of geriatrics and gerontology especially when the baby boom generation is getting older. Geriatric nurses may now focus their efforts in nursing homes, aged-care, and assisted living facilities.

Now that new technologies and medical research have linked chronic illnesses with behavior, nurses can now focus more on preventing diseases from happening rather that treating patients with the disease at its critical stage. New drugs have been developed that targets diseases before they become serious. Risk assessment will now help nurses provide preventive care. In this way, people will be learning to take care of themselves even more.

The nursing shortage and rising healthcare costs will put more pressure on the healthcare system to shift their strategy. Whatever the future holds, nurses will keep on evolving and learning to the changing landscape of the medical and nursing field.

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