2020 was an unprecedented year for the nursing industry. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic transformed the way nurses handled patient requests, and it looks poised to impact the nursing sector in 2021 as well.
Here are five nursing trends to watch this year.
1. Rising Demand for Specialized Nurses
Demand for nurses who possess extensive training in highly specialized areas like oncology and emergency room (ER) care is increasing. As such, nurses who enroll in training programs and courses to bolster their knowledge of specific areas of medicine can pursue a wide range of nursing career opportunities. Plus, these nurses are well-equipped to deliver exceptional care to patients, resulting in improved patient outcomes at hospitals and other healthcare facilities worldwide.
2. Increasing Use of Nurse Navigators
Nurse navigators are often found in cancer centers and help patients make informed medical decisions. In 2021, the number of nurse navigators at these centers and other medical facilities could increase. This is due to the fact that nurse navigators can use their clinical expertise and training to guide patients on the optimal healthcare path. The result: nurse navigators can help patients identify safe, effective ways to improve their quality of life.
3. More Telehealth Consultations
Phone and video consultations dominated 2020, as healthcare facilities promoted social distancing as part of their efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. Virtual consultations made it easy for patients and their medical providers to engage with one another, even amid the pandemic. This year, telehealth consultations will continue, regardless of how quickly the COVID-19 vaccine is generally released. Meanwhile, nurses will be expected to contribute to virtual care, and they will continue to do their part to make it a success in 2021.
4. New Online Continuing Education Opportunities
Nurses who want to take their careers to the next level once had to attend training programs or courses at local colleges and universities. Now, nurses can attend these same schools via online continuing education programs. Advanced nursing degree programs are becoming increasingly available online, and this trend will continue throughout 2021. So, nurses who want to pursue higher education opportunities can enroll in online programs to get the training they need to accelerate their career growth.
5. Ongoing Nursing Shortage
A worldwide nursing shortage has been an ongoing problem since the Great Recession. Although 2021 may lead more people to pursue careers as nurses, the shortage will likely continue. Fortunately, healthcare organizations may be more prone to offer incentives to hire nurses. These incentives may include financial bonuses and other perks that lead people to explore nursing industry opportunities.
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