10 Major Nursing Industry Predictions For 2023

 In Nurses Weekly

It’s no secret that the nursing industry has undergone some challenges in the past couple of years. (Understatement of the century, perhaps?) Nurse.org’s State of Nursing Survey from 2021 revealed some hard facts from nurses themselves, such as the fact that:

  • 87% of nurses surveyed were experiencing burnout
  • 58% of nurses felt unsafe at work in the past year
  • 84% believed they were underpaid
  • 83% reported that their mental health suffered
  • 77% felt unsupported, while 61% feel unappreciated at work

The American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN) also reported that 29% of nurses in all license types also were considering leaving the nursing profession altogether by the end of 2021. Clearly, some things need to change for the nursing industry to not only survive, but for nurses to thrive once again in a career that can—and should be—an important, fulfilling, and rewarding one that benefits both those who choose it and the patients they serve. The future of nursing doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, so let’s take a closer look at some of the top 10 predictions for what the nursing industry might hold.

1. Homecare Nursing is Going to Continue to Boom

Obviously, the pandemic brought out a lot of home-focused care again, primarily through telehealth, but one of the major predictions for healthcare, in general, is a big return to home care nursing services.

For instance, some healthcare companies are catering to parents to provide home care for sick kids with at-home kits and virtual care so they don’t have to be dragged out to the doctors and others are moving to the very real need for elder care services, such as foot care, in the home as well. Virtual care—different from telemedicine—also falls under this category, as more nurse-focused virtual care will be offered in the future. This includes everything from patient education to wellness programs like weight loss coaching or diabetes management or nutrition improvement to mental health care to chronic disease management.

Patients want care that is customized and accessible from home, and nurses will definitely be part of that revolution.

2. Concierge Nursing Will Be a Big Business

Speaking of home care, concierge nursing is also a rather new specialty that we predict will only continue to grow in popularity. From IV hydration to aesthetic services to health and wellness coaching to weight loss, concierge nursing has benefits for both patients, because it allows for individualized, on-demand care that comes to you.

And for nurses, it allows them to experiment with part-time or full-time side businesses that can be tailored to their specialties, passions, and skills. There are even businesses specifically designed to help nurses work on the side or full-time that take care of all of the legal aspects, so it’s as simple as using an app to offer your services directly to patients in your area.

3. Hospital Nursing Will Evolve

This is a prediction that sadly, we don’t have firm data for, but it’s one made out of necessity: the need for hospital nursing and well-trained, experienced nurses to serve in the hospital setting is not only never going to go away, but it’s also only going to grow even more in an aging and increasingly sick society. And it’s no secret that hospital nursing has been incredibly hard in the past two years.

So our prediction is that at a very practical level, hospital nursing is going to get a lot better because it has to. That will translate into increased pay, more support from an administrative level, better work-life balance (no guilt for not picking up those extra shifts), and manageable patient-nurse care ratios. One of the hardest parts for me as a former floor nurse myself is knowing how necessary and needed the job is and how downright miserable it can be to actually do it, so this is a problem that needs addressing ASAP for the health of our entire country.

4. Nurse Burnout Will Be Addressed (Finally)

On a related note, Forbes is predicting that nurse burnout will finally be addressed in a very real way. Obviously, it’s not just hospital nurses that are burned out, but many nurses working in different aspects of healthcare are overworked, overstressed, overstretched, and simply burned out. And addressing that burnout—which has significant impacts on both patient care, healthcare costs and delivery, and nurses’ own health—needs to be done in a systemic way, starting from a leadership level. It’s time.

5. Technology in Nursing Will Be Huge

In news that will probably surprise no one, Forbes also predicted that technology is going to continue to be the “big prize” in healthcare and that will certainly translate into nursing. If you’re a nurse with any interest in the intersection of healthcare and technology, your future is bright. This could mean everything from getting involved with start-ups to big players in the healthcare tech space like Amazon (they quit their own big plans recently, but they’ll be back, rest assured) and Walmart. Additionally, nursing with hands-on tech skills are very needed too.

6. No More Shaming of Patients Using Google

This is an interesting trend prediction that I think deserves some recognition because there has been a stigma in the healthcare world for a long time of patients using “Dr. Google” with a dismissive eye roll.

However, the truth is, credible, well-researched medical information is readily available at patients’ fingertips these days, and dismissing patient concerns and attempts to advocate for their own health in an increasingly difficult healthcare space—especially for marginalized individuals—is just downright ignorant and worse, dangerous. Nurses are already more attuned to this, but working with patients on their health journeys, not against them, will only help strengthen the patient-nurse bond and help create healthier societies as well.

7. Increased Education for Nurses as the Norm

Speaking of better-educated patients, the norm for nurses is more education as well. That’s not to say there isn’t extreme value in nurses who learn from associate or diploma programs, but that the trend is moving towards nurses being more educated overall. BSNMSN, and DNP programs are all more accessible than ever with online programs and hospitals favoring more educated nurses. There are also benefits to nurses, with tuition reimbursement being offered in some places and more education = more opportunity to specialize in an area that you feel passionate about.

8. Nurse Practitioners as Primary and Speciality Care Providers Will Increase

Already, Nurse Practitioners (NPs) as accepted practitioners for both primary and specialty care providers is the norm in many areas, with benefits from both the business aspect of healthcare—NPs are cheaper and can fill necessary gaps—and the patient end—NPs often are more accessible, but NPs as a mainstay of healthcare is only predicted to grow over the next coming years. For instance, many states are battling to either newly allow or continue to allow CRNAs to practice independently. And NPs continue to offer specialty care, like this NP who started a trans-centered care clinic, as well as necessary primary care in rural areas.

9. Nursing Educator Jobs Will Increase

All of that nursing education means that there will be a huge need for nurse educators right now. In fact, the AACN notes that nursing schools across the country have actually turned down nursing students in some states due to a lack of qualified nursing educators. That, coupled with the increased demand for higher levels of education for nurses means that colleges and universities will need to attract qualified nursing educator candidates more competitively. If you’re a nurse who’s interested in teaching, keep your eye peeled for even more education jobs.

10. Travel Nursing Will Happen Within Hospitals

Yes, you read that right. Travel nursing became hugely popular (and profitable) during the pandemic and many hospitals lost core staff nurses as a result. To help recruitment and staffing levels, some hospitals have taken to experimenting with internal travel nurse programs within their own facilities instead. That looks like a structure similar to travel nursing: short-term contracts, higher base pay, and usually, limited benefits like health insurance. Nurses looking to try short-term contracts, those who want flexibility in work but wish to remain local, or those who don’t need benefits may see the most reward from such programs.

(This story originally appeared on Nurse.org.)

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