When it comes to important job roles, nurses are right up there at the top. RNs make up the bulk of healthcare, and in many ways, are the backbone of healthcare as a whole. While doctors are absolutely invaluable, health goes beyond the most critical moments that a doctor or physician will be there for. Nurses care for patients in recovery; they are there to help comfort, and teach patients, provide support, and more. The total time that patients and their families spend with doctors is minimal, but nurses? Nursing staff can offer comfort, care and can improve patient outlook considerably – and that is just RNs. There are higher levels of nurses that provide even greater levels of care and expertise, and some who can even operate autonomously.
It can feel daunting to push to become an APRN, but not only is this the best way to earn more and help better, it is also entirely doable.
Currently, there is a nursing shortage, and that shortage is only set to grow bigger as the baby boomer population of nurses retire. On average, the estimated number of nurses set to retire by the end of the decade is 1 million.
The good news, however, is that with online education and training, more people can easily transfer their career into nursing, and more nurses can further their training – and they can do it all without quitting their job.
The good news is that online tools and digital applications are set to help reduce the shortage of RNs and make it easier for RNs to train further to become APRNs.
Add in the decentralization of healthcare and also the rise of telehealth, and not only is further education becoming more accessible, so too is nursing as a whole. Decentralizing healthcare means reducing pressure on city healthcare services and expanding it to better serve those in rural areas as well.
There are so many ways that you can build a better nursing career for yourself, and with these expert tips, you will be able to not only better your career but to do so in a way that promotes your health, your wellbeing, and your goals.
The Future of Healthcare: Decentralization
Decentralization is the way forward to improve healthcare for all. Currently, there is a massive focus on healthcare and healthcare services that puts emphasis on care within large population areas, namely, cities. While this makes sense, it doesn’t help support rural communities, and it certainly does not help the already lacking healthcare services in these rural areas to support the growing number of people moving out of cities.
We are currently seeing a trend where remote work is becoming permanently adopted. This means that workers no longer need to live somewhere within city limits in order to commute into work and can instead live where they can enjoy larger homes, cleaner air, and a better quality of work/life. Healthcare needs to decentralize to support this growing number of people moving remotely to take advantage of the better quality of life because the quality of life isn’t complete without supportive and easy access to healthcare.
The good news is that thanks to technology, and in particular telehealth, decentralization won’t just occur, but it will occur more readily as patients gain access to care right in their own homes.
Part of how healthcare is decentralizing is through the expansion of the enhanced nurse licensure compact (eNLC). By making it easy for trained nurses to take advantage of job shortages and opportunities in a variety of states, we can more readily even out healthcare needs across the country. It’s great for patients, and it opens up so many options for nurses themselves.
What does this mean for nurses? More work opportunities. Though nurses will primarily need to work on-site (with the exception of telehealth nurses), the decentralization of healthcare means more working opportunities throughout the country. You can make your money go further, can offer your children a better experience growing up, and benefit from a larger home and lower expenses, all thanks to increasing investment into rural areas.
The Future of Healthcare: Telehealth
The biggest setback for telehealth is privacy, but with the rise of blockchain technology, these privacy issues are being handled. Add on top of the adoption of blockchain technology the fact that many healthcare services needed to offer telehealth options during the lockdowns, and telehealth is officially here.
Telehealth still hasn’t reached its potential, and to reach that potential nurses will be at the forefront. Nurses, particularly APRNs, will be used to direct healthcare. They will diagnose, send for tests, and even write prescriptions. RNs and other nurses will be necessary to monitor patients remotely, particularly those who have a serious condition and are connected to monitoring devices.
In short, telehealth not only means you will be able to work in more locations, but it will also offer a greater number of nursing roles.
The Future Healthcare Education
There are many reasons why online education has exploded recently and why many nursing programs are now offered primarily online (with only a small portion of that degree taking place either on-campus, or in a clinical setting).
- Most people nowadays have their own computer, tablet, or smartphone.
- Unlimited data packages
- 5G introducing greater, faster, stronger connections, even in rural areas.
Being able to train and progress your career further without having to relocate is an excellent option for nurses around the country. Unfortunately, rural areas have historically experienced poorer levels of healthcare simply because training occurred in cities, where most job opportunities were also located.
Cities do require greater numbers of healthcare options, yes. They have higher populations and higher population densities. City living, particularly if pollution is a problem, also increases the risk of ongoing health conditions, accidents, and so on.
That does not mean that rural areas should be left with a lack of options. Preventative care is the single best option for patients, and telehealth, as discussed, is one of the best ways to help offer this.
The other way to help improve rural healthcare systems is by making it easy for nurses who live in more rural areas the ability to train and improve their skills without having to relocate.
This applies to all levels of nursing, including fast-tracked or integrated education options. The good news is that they now exist. Nurses can earn a BSN online, an MSN online, and can even earn an online DNP / MSN to DNP degree and become a nurse leader that has all the skills and knowledge necessary to completely change and improve small hospitals that may be operating on inefficient
Build a Better Nursing Career
There are so many reasons why nursing as a career offers so many unique opportunities today, and for every reason, it is a new opportunity to better your nursing career and take it to a whole new level.
Easier to Train and Specialize
Build a better nursing career at your pace with online learning and training. Online degrees have taken a lot of pressure off of nurses and are almost always designed to be completed in a part-time capacity to allow for nursing students to continue to work.Being able to work and study means that hospitals and other healthcare settings don’t suffer because their nurses are furthering their training. It also means that nurses can continue to learn and train without having to take out a massive loan (as they can work to pay it off as they go) and, of course, can continue to support themselves and their families.
Online training has opened up so many doors. You can now train in a whole host of new specialties simply because your options don’t extend to what is nearby or even which state you are located in (there are limits, of course, so always check which states can apply before you inquire).
New Telehealth and Job Opportunities
There are so many great, new job opportunities to take advantage of, both within and outside of healthcare. Keep an eye out for job opportunities, and simply explore what roles are now being offered, so that you continually work in the role best suited for you.
Greater Reach for Unique Job Roles
You can do so much with a nursing degree, but many of those roles aren’t readily known. Between social media, job boards, messaging boards, and job sites nurses today can discover opportunities they never thought were possible. You can be an on-site nurse for sporting events, or work on the healthcare team for big athletes. You can work almost anywhere there is a budget for an on-site nurse, and that is just the start.
Nurses are needed outside of healthcare as well, particularly those who hold either an MSN in education, or those with a DNP. You can work as a nurse educator to train up the next generations of nurses, can work in policy to help improve nursing conditions and patient outcomes as a whole, and so much more.
Being a nurse means understanding patient needs, and the medicine behind their care. These are two incredibly important skillsets to have, and thanks to a greater reach, open job roles can be found and discovered every day.
The only thing nurses need to do now is to keep an eye out and to research what their options are. Finding where you feel passionate, and supported, will allow you to do more with your nursing experience.