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The Future of Nursing: What Changes to Expect Essay

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Updated: May 27th, 2021

Nursing is a profession that develops fast, and the future might hold big changes for all professionals in this sphere. The development of new technologies and techniques can influence the nursing profession. Nurses of all backgrounds, skills, and from all settings need to be aware of the potential differences in their work. This paper will observe the possible changes that nursing might go through.

Nurses’ Influence on Patient Outcomes

Nurses’ work and duties are centered mostly on working with patients. This is why changes that might happen in nursing will influence patient outcomes as well. For instance, Gillham (2016) believes that if the pay-for-performance scheme of payment will be accepted in hospitals, it will seriously improve the quality of service. With this incentive, nurses will be interested in providing high-quality care to people.

Gillham (2016) also finds that access to knowledge enabled many people to learn and develop as specialists. The rising level of knowledge and education among nurses can affect patient outcomes positively. Capable nurses will perform their duties more professionally, which can lead to a decrease in the level of failure.

In addition to that, the development of modern technologies will increase the level of service nurses will be able to provide to patients. They will let nurses make fewer errors and allow them to carry out their duties faster. Pittman, Bass, Hargraves, Herrera, and Thompson (2015) suggest that the number of staff is increasing, which means that in the future, a more desirable nurse-patient ratio can be achieved. Such a change will let nurses pay more attention to their patients and further improve the health outcomes of the latter.

RN’s Role and Responsibility

Pittman et al. (2015) project that hospitals will rely more on nurses in leading organizational change. There will also be new responsibilities that nurses will receive such as administration. As a result, the level and quality of service in such hospitals would increase. The responsibility of nurses as health care might also increase, as people would expect more professionalism and knowledge of the health care system in general. Gresh et al. (2015) argue that shortly, it will be possible to achieve greater collaboration with other health care specialists, which will also transform the role of a nurse. These professionals will be managing coordination tasks and work together with global health organizations to promote innovations at work.

Health Change Adaptation and Addressing Patients’ Needs

As mentioned earlier, technology will soon play a more significant role in the health care system and be more often used in daily operations. Nurses will need to adapt by developing technical competencies and building knowledge and expertise to use these technologies properly. There are also concerns about the rising demand for quality service, and the shortage of high-quality personnel.

As such, Saarnio, Suhonen, and Isola (2016) note that experienced nurses tend to leave hospitals to do research and administration tasks. This requires the rest of the nursing staff including trainees and interns adapt to the high-quality care expectations left by their patrons. Patient needs will also change as the accessibility of health knowledge increased (Saarnio et al. 2016). Nurses may have to argue for their proposed intervention or drug prescription and disprove the patient’s point of view.


The survey among nurse managers shows that staff wellbeing will become a priority in the future. Frequent checks and corrective actions will be taken to save personnel from burnouts and stress (Saarnio et al., 2016). This will ensure better performance and job satisfaction. Aging nurses might also become a problem as their health concerns and stress might be tougher to deal with. This situation in the future will require special attention and the development of new interventions. In terms of nurses who are new to the profession, the future may be viewed from an optimistic position. Nurse managers plan to implement initiatives connected with creating a more welcoming nursing community in hospitals (Saarnio et al. 2016). This change can decrease the amount of stress and decrease the incidence of burnout.

Lateral Violence

Christie and Jones (2014) believe that the problem of lateral violence that exists today can be addressed in the future. They suggest that creating an atmosphere where such an environment will be impossible can help decrease lateral violence or eliminate it. Given the research results, received bySaarnio et al. (2016) and mentioned above, such a scenario is highly possible in the future. Also, given the fact that there is an increased concern about this problem in the scientific literature, the possibility that it will be addressed increases. Increased knowledge and education levels will also possibly change the situation for the better.

In the process of their education, nurses will likely become aware of the problem of lateral violence and the methods of addressing it. Education might also communicate an increased level of ethical behavior among the colleagues which can also help resolve the problem of lateral violence.

Continual Education

The rising level of education can be seen even now. If the trend continues in the future, nurses will be able to become better specialists and deliver quality services to their patients. The Institute of Medicine report on the future of nursing predicted significant changes to nursing education (Pittman et al., 2015). Among these changes was the increase in its availability. Making education affordable is only a part of the problem. The prestige of the profession needs to be increased. The IOM also said that it was one of the priorities, which means that education will likely attract currently practicing nurses who consider their work as temporary practice. Being able to continue their education, nursing professionals may achieve new roles, higher wages, and recognition among colleagues.

Clark, Kent, and Riesner (2018) argue that in the future, continual education can help nurse practitioners address the old problem of low adherence and poor student performance. The new 1-on-1 learning technique could potentially raise the prestige of nursing education and the level of knowledge apprentices receive from it. This will help address the low number of educated nursing specialists in many hospitals and settings.


All things considered, the future of nursing can be bright if certain interventions and adjustments are made today. The current research suggests that notions from the IOM report are being implemented at colleges, universities, and hospitals. This gives the reason to believe that improvements will be noticed. Still, planning and a large amount of financing will be needed to implement some of the changes reviewed in this paper. For instance, changing the payment scheme could require serious budget adjustments. Nonetheless, it is still possible. Eliminating the issues of burnout, lateral violence, education affordability, and other problems could help nurses reach a bright future where their profession is highly paid, mentally rewarding, and recognized by fellow health care providers.


Christie, W., & Jones, S. (2014). Lateral violence in nursing and the theory of the nurse as wounded healer. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 19(1), 27-36.

Clark, C. A., Kent, K. A., & Riesner, S. A. (2018). A new approach for solving an old problem in nurse practitioner clinical education. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 14(4), e69-e75.

Gillham, D. (2016). Strategies for future nursing and midwifery education. Australian Nursing & Midwifery Journal, 24(4), 41.

Gresh, A., Dallman, E., Johnson, E., Mena-Carrasco, F., Rosales, L., Pantaleon, V.,… Sharps, P. (2015). The role of the world health organization collaborating centers: Perspectives of future global nurse leaders. Nurse Leader, 13(5), 44-48.

Pittman, P., Bass, E., Hargraves, J., Herrera, C., & Thompson, P. (2015). The future of nursing: Monitoring the progress of recommended change in hospitals, nurse-led clinics, and home health and hospice agencies. Journal of Nursing Administration, 45(2), 93-99.

Saarnio, R., Suhonen, M., & Isola, A. (2016). Nurse managers’ visions of future challenges in health care organizations. Journal of Nursing, 3(1), 2.

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