We can all agree that 2020 wasn’t an average year, and one of the areas most impacted by the pandemic has been the field of healthcare. Frontline workers were thrust into the spotlight and tasked with caring for the public during a global healthcare crisis. As a result, some new practices became popular and many are expected to stick around even after the pandemic wanes.
The following five trends either started or grew during the past year and are expected to continue in 2021. Here’s what you should know:
- Telehealth Medicine
Social distancing during the pandemic kept some people who needed medical care at home for fear of contracting COVID-19. This led to a rise in telehealth visits which could be conducted over video or phone. Organizations found that this form of care was not only safe for the patient and the healthcare worker; it also increased a patient’s access to doctors and nurses, especially for those who live in rural communities. According to the American Hospital Association, 76% of hospitals now use technology to connect with patients and that number is expected to expand.
- Nurse Navigators
The healthcare system can be difficult to navigate, especially for older patients or those with complex medical issues or chronic conditions. Nurse navigators advocate for patients, using their medical knowledge as well as people skills. This area of nursing provides an opportunity for RNs who want to take a holistic approach to care, ensuring that patients understand their options and make choices that improve their quality of life.
- Nursing Shortage
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the U.S. has a shortage of nurses. This trend isn’t new, but the shortage is expected to continue to grow as the pandemic continues which is going to lead to increased burnout in some providers. In some states, hospitals are competing for nurses by offering hiring bonuses and incentives.
- Increased Specialization
There is an increased demand for nurses who specialize in certain areas of medicine, such as neonatal, dialysis, psychiatry, or geriatrics. Specialization allows a nurse to become experienced in a specific area of healthcare. In many cases, specialization requires on-the-job training and certification.
- Nurse Practitioners
One of the fastest growing medical professions is nurse practitioner and employment is projected to grow substantially over the next decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Currently, there are more than 290,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in the U.S., according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. More RNs are choosing to advance their education and expand their careers by following this path as well.
If these trends spark your interest, now is a great time to begin your journey to become a nurse. Fortis’s nursing education program can get you on the path to this rewarding career. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career counselors.