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Tina Eslinger-Vaughn, Adjunct Professor, Kaplan University School of Nursing
nursing profession is growing
and diversifying at an amazing pace. The role of nurses is evolving as nurses
forge a more direct and personal relationship with patients and their families.
Increasingly, nurse specialists and practitioners are taking on more of a
leadership role in diagnosing health issues and prescribing care.
no doubt that this is a great time to be a nurse. According to the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics (BLS), nursing is expected to be one of the fastest-growing
professions over the next decade. The BLS predicts
employment for registered nurses will grow by 19 percent, a higher rate than
the national average. Further, for nursing specialties that require advanced
degrees—nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners—the
figure is 31 percent, “much faster than the average for all occupations.”
the demand? It comes down to a mix of demographics, pathology, and
policy. There’s the aging Baby Boomer population and a resulting
heightened emphasis on geriatric care. There’s the obesity epidemic, which has
led to higher instances of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and other
serious ailments. Finally, there’s the admission of millions of more people
into health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act.
build a labor force that can meet this burgeoning need, it’s essential that
working nurses and aspirants alike are prepared to continue their education. The Institute of Medicine’s “Future
of Nursing” report stated that nurses should achieve higher levels of
education and training to respond to these increasing demands.
factors mean that we’ll have to look at the profession in entirely new ways.
The health care system is moving from a model dominated by acute-care services
to one that emphasizes more decentralized, community-based services. The profession
must better accommodate the digital age, and the way it’s
changing the relationship between health care providers and consumers. We must
learn how to better engage over social media such as Twitter and Facebook to
share our expertise on emerging developments in the profession. And, we must master
modern treatment technology such as telemedicine and robotics.
nursing is in the midst of a new era. Even the face of the profession has
changed. According to a 2013 report
by the U.S. Census Bureau, the proportion of male registered nurses has more
than tripled since 1970, from 2.7 percent to 9.6 percent. The report’s author,
Liana Christin Landivar, explained why: "The
relatively high wages and expanding job opportunities makes this field
attractive, offering stability even during recessions."
career in nursing can take educated nurses in many directions within health care,
and there are important roles for all personality types and skill sets. Plus,
it’s a field in which there are growing opportunities
to find work. As we move forward in addressing new challenges in health care, one
thing is certain: Nurses will have a big impact on the way the future of health
Did you learn something new from this article or find information relevant to your career? If so, share it!
Eslinger-Vaughn is an adjunct professor at Kaplan University School of Nursing. The
views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not
represent the view of Kaplan University.
Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or
career advancement. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or
short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
If you are considering a nursing degree we invite you to find out more about the School of Nursing and explore our undergraduate and graduate degree offerings.
Interested in other nursing career insights? We invite you to take a look at our Career Moves site, which periodically publishes new articles and other content on this subject.
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