Roles of Nurses and Expected Changes in the Future
The system of healthcare is undergoing a rapid transformation that put new stress on care quality, population health, as well as the value if the services delivered. These changes by default present both challenges and opportunity to the 2.9 million registered nurses working in the United States (Gault, 2016). There are approximately four times as many RNs in the health workforce than there are physicians; by sheer numbers, nurses, will play a vital role in this transformation, and nurses will be transformed during the process (Institute of Medicine, 2014)
Whether one is earning a doctorate or associate degree, it is vital to keep an eye on the new changes expected in the nursing field to fully prepare for a future career. The 21st century is marked with revolutionary changes to the nursing workforce. Nurses have immensely contributed to the redesigning and restructuring of care delivery to the American population. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, millions of U.S. can now have access to high-quality care. Based on this fact, the country’s evolving healthcare system will continue to influence the nursing profession in the coming years (Ó Lúanaigh, 2017).
America is expected to experience a cure shortage of RNs with the increasing numbers of the elderly. Based on the statistics, over 527000 vacancies will be created for RNs through 2022. It is approximated that the number of registered nurse must increase by 0.5 million from 2.71 million to about 3.24 million to handle the increasing demand for healthcare services (Ó Lúanaigh, 2017) comfortably. Even though the number of nurses graduating annually keeps on increasing on an annual basis, according to the American Hospital Association reports that there are over 135,000 RN shortages countrywide (Ó Lúanaigh, 2017). The short will most likely become acute since more than 55% of the current registered nurses are over 50 years old.
With the increase in digitization, new medical technologies are being innovated often to streamline nursing care as well as enhance patient safety. Nurses should be more ready for most advanced systems within the healthcare facilities. State-of-the-art medical equipment and machines have myriads of benefits because they are cost-effective, accurate, and designed to save lives. For example, certain hospitals are considering using robots in the operation theater for computer-aided surgery. This requires nurses to sharpen their skills since technology is ever changing. Conventionally, nursing students had three ways to become licensed Registered nurses successfully. It was satisfactory for RNs to graduate with a four-year bachelor’s degree, two years of associate degree and a hospital-based diploma. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing report, BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing will be the minimum requirement for certified registered nurse practice (Gault, 2016). It is firmly believed BSN degree equip nurses with critical and decision-making skills to make them more flexible and can work in all type of healthcare settings (Institute of Medicine, 2014). Majority of registered nurses are now going back to school to acquire a bachelor degree. The same thing is under progress to make doctorate the minimum requirement especially for APRN (Advanced practice nursing).
Registered nurses in the future will play a key role in promoting continuum care. One of the main criticisms of the current healthcare system is that it is episodic care centered, that is treating patients for acute conditions without following up, focusing on prevention and wellness or establishing provider/patient relationship. Episodic care has numerous demerits for any person involved. Healthcare providers are unable to view patients holistically for instance, by taking into account their socio-economic conditions or family history. Patients having chronic illness become particularly vulnerable to adverse effects as well as complications. Therefore, the future healthcare system will evolve toward garter continuity of acre and greater integration across the entire care continuum. The continuum of care is a patient-centered care system that spans the entire life and consist of both services as well as integrating mechanisms, as well as tracks and guides patients over time through a comprehensive array of services across, mental health and health across all levels of care intensity (Patton et al., 2015).
All Nurses will be expected to join Accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the future. ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals as well as other healthcare providers, who voluntarily come together to offer coordinated, high-quality care to patients. The main objective of coordinated care is to make sure that patients receive the right care and at the right time while evading unnecessary services duplication as well as preventing medical errors.
Summary of the Feedback
The 2010 healthcare reform act (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA) gives nurses new opportunities to deliver care and play an integral role in leading change. The three feedback highlights the role of nurses in reforming healthcare. Nurses will be expected to take part in innovations (Patton et al., 2015). Nurses know ways of expanding care access and enhance quality at a reduced cost. The healthcare systems have innovative care models to prove it, such as home visiting programs for less privileged mothers, transitional care model, and nurse-managed clinics. By stressing on the employment of master’s prepared nurses to manage care from hospitals to home, the transitional care model minimizes re-hospitalization rate for elderly patients especially those with multiple chronic conditions. Transitional care model also assists patients to achieve improved long-term health outcomes and prevent cases of re-admission, all at a more affordable price. More nurses will be required to develop innovations (Lopaze, 2019).
They also note nurses as the most direct caregivers for patients, play a key role in enhancing patient outcomes as well as delivering quality care. With the new pay-for-performance edges, nurses are now recognized as major contributors to the bottom line of health care organization (Patton et al., 2015). Now that satisfaction rates and safety records are readily available online; consumers can now find detailed information about every hospital from the American Department of Health and Human Services. Such access to information is gradually changing the nurses’ role in the current healthcare delivery system. Other medical experts are increasingly depending on nurses to screen for possible risks as well as ensure that facilities of healthcare avoid mistakes. This is especially significant now that Medicare does not pay for avoidable errors (Patton et al., 2015).
Health systems and hospitals across the United States are adopting a triple aim of enhanced quality at a reduced cost, with improved patient experiences. Nurses are demanded to apply complex knowledge to offering care to patients as well as be prepared with a new understanding in areas such as evidence-based practice, leadership, and collaboration. With the massive changes constantly taking shape in the healthcare systems, nurses are a source of expertise and partnership. Elements such as value-based purchasing, affordable care act, and meaningful use are causing hospitals to put more emphasis on enhancing and sustain patient outcomes to remain relevant. There are a serious need and push for quality, and healthcare facilities are reporting enhance patient outcomes when nurses especially lead change on frontline rather than top-down approach.
Technological advancement in healthcare is drastic. Therefore, nurses are expected to stay sharp and focus. Hospitals are turning to the implementation of Innovations such as remote monitoring devices as well as high-tech patient’s simulators and electronic health record systems (Lopaze, 2019). Because every healthcare facility has different types as well as levels of technology, it is crucial for nurses to be adaptable especially in learning new equipment and systems. Besides, electronic communication via text apps as well as hospital-wide paging communication tools allows nurses to respond to patients needs more effectively and efficiently. Apps will alert nurses in cases they are running late to offer treatment and allow for concomitant quality management.
These new innovative methods can enhance life for nurses, promotion team collaboration, and offering immediate access to key patient information. Nurses can provide a quick response to the changing physiological parameters employing evidence-based protocols to enhance patient outcomes. Majority of nurses now take part in decisions making process relating to the purchase of modern equipment because of the increased recognition of the important role that direct access play in the enhanced quality of care (Lopaze, 2019).
I agree with the three feedbacks because they discuss in details what healthcare change implies to nurses. It is true that access to technology is something nurses can now see in their daily roles. There is increasingly mobile and portable technology that helps them to provide accurate and quality care. There is also stress on the implementation of telemedicine in under deserved and rural areas. With the prevalence of electronic health records, physician and hospital offices are keeping track of patient data online or digitally. This often makes it easier to access and share patient data easily. However, it can put at risk personal information of the patients. As a result, nurses’ role demands them to stay watchful to guarantee the security and safety of the patient personal information.
I also agree with the feedback that with changing roles of nurses, facilities such as retail clinics and ambulatory surgery now serve patients outside the setting of the hospital, and this increases the demand for nurses. It is true that the nursing future is heading straight to where it began with nurses visiting the patients often in their homes and interacting with the entire community. There is a shift toward home-based services and community clinics. Another trend that is often observed is preventive care with both the insurance providers and the medical community focusing on promoting healthy living among patients to prevent higher cases of health complications and lifestyle diseases. It implies nurses will experience a rise in demand for “well care” as well as coordination with other medical professionals such as psychologists, physical therapists, and nutritionists. It is also true that nurses will have to collaborate with other medical professionals quite often.
Gault, I. (2016). Communication in nursing and healthcare: A guide for compassionate practice. Sage Publications Ltd.
Institute of Medicine. (2014). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health.
Lopaze, K. (2019). 4 ways the nursing profession is changing. Retrieved from https://www.thejobnetwork.com/4-ways-the-nursing-profession-is-changing/
Ó Lúanaigh, P. (2017). Nurses and Nursing: The Person and the Profession. Taylor & Francis: Routledge.
Patton, R. M., Zalon, M. L., Ludwick, R., & American Nurses Association. (2015). Nurses making policy: From bedside to boardroom.