For nurses, change is the name of the game. They are always adapting to new healthcare environments. This effort and sacrifice were no more apparent than during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite challenges, the future of nursing is bright. New responsibilities and roles will emerge within rapidly changing technological and healthcare landscapes. Education, particularly continuing education, will play an important role in helping nurses adapt to these changes. Continuing education is also seeing its own revolution and is expected to provide high value to specialized fields like nursing.
Here are some ways that nursing will change in the coming years:
Many words have been written about how artificial intelligence will change industries and everyday lives. But it is important to understand how a nurse’s role in healthcare will change with these technologies. AI promises to simplify nursing responsibilities while improving the quality of patient care.
Being able to capture and communicate additional health data points will drive many of AI’s benefits, leading to faster and better diagnoses. Nurses, who will likely continue to act as the frontline of care, will be in a position to use these tools to gather information and make actionable observations. Nurses will be empowered to make real-time decisions based on live patient data and software that will alert them to changes in a patient’s condition.
The use of telehealth services exploded in during the COVID-19 pandemic and helped initiate a broader use of these tools. Telehealth services would continue to expand access and provide convenience for patients. As it did during the pandemic, telehealth can also help limit the spread of illness to protect patients who may be at risk of illness in hospital settings.
It will also impact the practice of nursing by helping clinicians be more responsive to patent needs. Telehealth is combined with personalized health needs to deliver distance care that takes in account individual needs. The potential to reduce costs and streamline care means more frequent and higher quality communication with health professionals. Telehealth systems are already being integrated with technologies to provide clinicians access to more real-time patent health data.
The picture isn’t all rosy. The field of nursing faces real challenges in the coming years. One of the starkest will be the anticipated nursing shortage, a perfect storm of events that will lower the number of nurses per patient both domestically and globally. However, there are ways of meeting this challenge.
Aging populations and the expansion of healthcare access are expected to add to the number of patients needing care. But while US colleges are admitting more students than ever, current projections have demand outpacing supply. Education plays an enormous role in how nursing adapts to this challenge. Nursing schools are working to attract and graduate an increasing number of students. But it isn’t just about new nurses. Nurse retention tactics and reliance on travel nurses are also important.
Continuing education from companies like CME Seminars helps ease the burden of earning CME credits by providing, highly-relevant, accredited and even fun learning options. The flexibility and opportunities offered by these choices have the chance to improve nurses’ job satisfaction and retention. Live-streamed webinars, online courses and travel CME options are also great ways to earn skills and certifications to help meet acute labor demands in specialized nursing fields.
Distance learning touches all of the technological and healthcare issues covered here. It can educate to help reduce the gap in rural medical care, promote professionalism and retention, and encourage lifelong learning. New technologies like personalized e-learning platforms provide AI-powered insights for targeted skill-building.
The roles and responsibilities of clinicians change as healthcare systems seek innovative ways to care for more patients. Distance learning is an opportunity to improve the job satisfaction and skills of nurses who want to expand their responsibilities and advance their careers. Changing roles for nurses—including nurse practitioners, RNs, and CNAs, as well as specialized nurses like emergency room nurses—will require robust distance learning options including courses covering specialty topics.