6 Future Job Trends for Nurse Practitioners
The number of nurse practitioners has been increasing over the years, with countries such as the United States seeing huge growth. There are several reasons why this is happening, including better working conditions for nurses, more autonomy for those who do not wish to work in traditional healthcare settings, and a demand for nurses where more people are stepping up to fulfill this demand. When we look at the growth figures, we can figure out some emerging trends for future nurse practitioners. Let’s look at six emerging trends in this lucrative healthcare field.
Increased Nursing Responsibilities
It is now well-known that there is a primary care physician shortage around the world. As a result, several countries have put policies in place to give nurses more responsibilities. This has led to an increase in the responsibilities nurse practitioners have. Nurse practitioners can now provide some of the services primary care physicians do in some places, being able to order tests, formulate healthcare plans, prescribe medication and so much more.
These shifts and increases in responsibilities also mean that nurses, especially nurse practitioners, do not have to be tied to only providing bedside care as they can be more intimately involved in all parts of their patient’s care.
Nurses are Being Recognized as an Integral Part of Healthcare
The increase in nursing responsibilities is not only because there is a lack of primary care physicians but also because nurses are now getting the recognition they deserve. Although a lot of people have recognized the responsibilities nurses have and what they do for a long time, the healthcare industry took a very long time to catch up.
Nurses are now considered a key component of healthcare as they have become an integral part of delivering patient-centered care, keeping costs low, and ensuring the best patient outcomes. Now that nurses finally have the recognition they deserve, the career has become more interesting for a lot of people. The result is an increase in the number entering the workforce – a shift that is helping alleviate the severe nursing and primary care professionals shortage.
This trend started about ten years ago and will continue well into the future. Those who want to become nurse practitioners can enroll in an accelerated nursing program at universities like Marymount University and then complete their master’s degrees either online or on campus.
Increase in the Demand for Primary Care Providers
Various studies and bodies predict that we will see an increase in the demand for primary care practitioners in the coming years. These studies and bodies say that the biggest demand will be for nurse practitioners who specialize in family care as well as oncology nurses. This means that getting on a path to becoming an advanced nurse practitioner is an excellent career choice for those interested in nursing.
This demand for primary care providers has led to a significant increase in the number of nurses focusing on family primary care, with more than half of the nurses who have entered the field in the past 10 years getting engaged in delivering primary care.
Many universities now offer master’s degree programs with a family care specialization. Examples include the Masters of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse program offered by Marymount University and many other accredited universities.
Increase in Demand for Specialized Nurses in Rural and Underserved Areas
Another trend we can expect is the continuing increase in the demand for nurses who are specialized in specific areas in rural and underserved communities. According to a 2011 study, the four main areas of specialization that will see the most demand include nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse practitioners.
One of the main reasons for this is that these areas are already underserved by having only a few licensed physicians operating in them. This physician shortage in these areas makes situations that have been bad for decades even worse. The good news is that nurse practitioners and other specialized nurses can step in to provide some services people expect from licensed physicians.
In addition to a nurse practitioner degree and specialization in the areas in demand, nurses are also expected to have a community or public health specializations.
Increased Demand for Nurses in Outpatient Centers
Hospitals are under more pressure now than ever before to have a high patient turnover rate. This means that they have to treat and discharge their patients as fast as possible. The only problem is that this reduces the level of care patients receive.
Because of this reduced level of care inside hospitals, outpatient demand is surging. According to a study by Clinical Advisor, more nurses now work in outpatient settings than in hospital settings. According to the study, 15% of all nurses in the United States work in hospital clinics, over 25% of nurses work in primary care offices and a further 20% work in independent clinics. Additionally, many nurses are now able to work for different healthcare providers and facilities because many hospitals take on temporary staff.
Ability to Work Almost Anywhere
Nursing skills are very transferable and this means that nurses can work almost anywhere as long as they have the right advanced medical certifications. This has led to an increase in the number of nurses who are considering a career as travel nurses.
Travel nurses are independent nurses who work mainly for nursing placement agencies. These nurses can work anywhere their agencies tell them to work, temporarily easing nursing shortages around the country and the world.
Travel nurses are so important because they fill the gaps between the demand for specialized nurses from different clinical backgrounds and the supply of such nurses. A career as a travel nurse is a very exciting one, full of new opportunities and adventure. Additionally, travel nurses are very well paid and enjoy some of the best benefits in the field.
There is no doubt that the field of nursing is always changing, with careers in nursing changing with it. By looking at past, present, and future trends, we can tell where the field, as well as the careers within it, will head and look like in the future. Those interested in nursing can also look at these trends to decide whether a career in nursing would be a great option for them.