”How Has Nursing Changed?” is a collaborative post. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional.
Nurses are the largest group of healthcare providers. In the US alone, there are more than 4 million active nurses. For decades, nursing staff have played a crucial role in caring for those with ailments and injuries, but some of the challenges faced by nurses today are very different to those in generations gone by. The infographic below provides an insight into the growth and evolution of the profession and a glimpse into what the future holds.
Image Source PicMonkey
There are three main factors that have driven the growth of nursing and contributed to changes in the roles and responsibilities of nurses. The first, and perhaps the most significant, is the aging population. Life expectancy is increasing year on year, and by 2030, it is estimated that over 65s will account for ⅕ of the population. The average age of nurses is also increasing, with 700,000 nurses expected to retire by 2024. The final point is growth in demand for specialty nursing roles, including nurse administrators and educators.
As new challenges arise, the nursing profession must respond. Nurse leaders have a critical role to play in supporting aging patients, older colleagues who plan to retire in the near future and nurses who could pursue specialty training. To cater for the aging population, geriatric care should be a priority and patients should be encouraged to make positive lifestyle choices. To adapt to the aging population of nurses, professionals should provide support for those keen to develop leadership skills and technology should be utilized to improve efficiency, save time and increase accuracy. Students could also be urged to explore specialty roles.
The nursing profession has diversified and evolved over the course of time, and it’s a very exciting time to be a nurse.
Infographic Design By Norwich University’s Online MSN Program