Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Nursing Profession in 2014

Top nursing leaders make predictions of nursing trends to watch for in 2014, based on what has been happening in the field over the past year, in a recent article.

Leaders agree that the profession will continue implementation of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) 2010 landmark report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health recommendations, which include increasing the presence of nurses on hospital, state, and federal boards.

Without nurse leadership on boards “… our perspective is missing, and it’s an important perspective,” said Karen Daley, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of the American Nurses Association. “We speak for the patients. There’s no one closer to the everyday needs and care that we provide.”

Focus on patient safety, particularly in the areas of alarm management and the prevention of healthcare-acquired infections will also continue to be priorities for the industry, according to Vicki Good, RN, MSN, CENP, president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

Rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will continue to have an impact on nurses, including increased use of community-based settings for health care delivery, Daley said. New nurses may begin their careers in such settings, rather than at hospitals. As a result, the educational system may need to recognize and accommodate this trend, Daley said.

The Future for Nurse Practitioners 

The momentum to expand scope of practice for nurse practitioners could continue to build in 2014. In 2013, Nevada became the most recent state to pass a law granting nurse practitioners the freedom to practice independently, bringing the total to 17 states.

“I believe that other states will move slowly but will eventually see the resource that they have in nurse practitioners and be more willing to grant them the ability to practice in accordance with their education,” said Kenneth P. Miller, PhD, RN, CFNP, co-president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

As the ACA seeks to increase medical services for the previously uninsured and underinsured, nurse practitioners must be included. “It is going to take all health care providers working together to achieve that goal,” Miller said.

Opportunities and Challenges Ahead

As the economy improves, many nurses may finally retire, leaving job openings for newer nurses in clinical settings. However, this trend could be a challenge for the academic world as nursing educators and nursing school deans retire and leave gaps that may be difficult to fill, experts said.

The nursing leaders told NurseZone that individuals must remember why they went into nursing and keep their focus, no matter what the future holds.

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