Nursing is not just another career where one can have the freedom to act in anyway and then defend his or her stand later. It is a career that deals with human life as the main subject and thus requires dexterity and caution in their strict sense. Contrary to other careers where money is the driving force, the inner desire to achieve results drives nursing (Ellis & Hartley, 2004). Nurses will conveniently achieve the goals of their profession if they enjoy doing their daily duties, rather than coming to work because they have no any other option. Consequently, nursing need to be more than just a profession and become a lifestyle for the nurses. It is important to note that besides the demand for nursing increasing, the profession is experiencing shifts both in technicality and role.
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The number of aging population is expected to increase in the future and this people will require enhanced medical care. On the same note, the cost of quality healthcare is increasingly becoming expensive. Similarly, technological advancement has led to the ability of many problems receiving medical treatment (Callara, 2008). Therefore, demand for nurses majorly those with advanced education is on the rise. There has been an increase in the number of nurses graduating from various colleges in the recent past. Unfortunately, a junk of currently employed nurses are aging meaning they will be out of work sooner or later. This is expected to compound the current problem of nurse shortage and increase the opportunities for nurses.
In the past, nurses used to majorly work in clinics and hospitals. Nowadays, nurses can work in schools, physicians’ offices, private duty and health homes. It has also been noted that physicians are spending lesser and lesser hours with patients (Ellis & Hartley, 2008). This is shifting the role of nurses to being health educators thus providing direct care to patients. Additionally, computerization of medical records and health information is rapidly becoming part of the nursing profession. This area, which is known as nursing informatics, requires nurses to be well educated. Moreover, salaries, bonuses and allowances that nurses receive are on the rise. All these increase opportunities for nurses. However, the nursing opportunities will increase less rapidly in hospitals compared to other sectors of the health industry (Finkelman & kenner, 2012).
Another impressing fact is that there are increased opportunities for nurses to specialize in different areas thus, shifting the role of nurses in the health sector. Recently, nurses have been allowed to specialize in areas like geriatrics, mental health and palliative care. On the same note, computer technology has revolutionalized the nursing profession (Finkelman & kenner, 2012). Continuity of care is enhanced through computer technology which has made access of previous medical history easy thus reducing medical errors. Despite this benefit, computerization of medical records should be handled carefully because it jeopardizes patients’ right to privacy of medical information.
Of importance to note also is the implementation of the medicare shared saving programs through Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). This will shift roles of nurses from the traditional providers of care and task workers, to managers of care and knowledge workers (Finkelman & kenner, 2012). In this regard, it is important for nurses to understand the concepts, policies and principles of ACO’s. Furthermore, the nurse managed health centers are increasingly becoming vital in providing the highly required healthcare. Additionally, these centers are receiving all sorts of patients. Therefore, nurses will have to keep learning to enhance the services they provide (Callara, 2008).
Nursing is dynamic given the different roles that nurses have to execute. Moreover, technological advancement will continue to bring new ideas that will require enhanced knowledge. Therefore, continuous study in the nursing profession is inevitable. Opportunities will continue to increase meaning that nurses will not miss jobs. It is upon the nurses to ensure that they take the profession to the desired heights.
Callara, L. E. (2008). Nursing Education Challenges in the 21st Century. New York: Nova Publishers.
Ellis, J. R. & Hartley, C. L. (2004). Nursing in today’s World: Trends, Issues & Management. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Finkelman, A. & Kenner, C. (2012). Professional Nursing Concepts: Competencies for Quality Leadership. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.