Trends for Nurses to Watch in 2020

Looking at recent healthcare trends, there are plenty of opportunities to highlight the nursing profession! In fact, the World Health Organization, (WHO) has declared that 2020 is officially the year of the nurse. With so much going on in the future of healthcare, awareness will give you the cutting edge this year!

The Future of Nursing is Leading

The truth is that nursing is the core of the medical community. Without people like you, all of the day-to-day administration of treatment would cease to exist.

With that, nursing has become even more essential in the medical community as more and more opportunities for healthcare are available to the public. As we move into the next decade, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you are getting every chance to advance your career.

It’s important for healthcare providers to support nurses to take a stronger role in their duties, allowing practices and hospitals to help more people more efficiently while still providing excellent care.

The opportunities for nurses to become leaders in the medical community has never been higher. Not just in terms of patient care, but in terms of where the industry is headed as well as decisions that major institutions and hospitals make.

Support from the World Health Organization

Nigel Crisp, co-chair of the WHO’s Nursing Now campaign, said recently, “This is a once in a generation opportunity for governments to really show nurses and midwives how much they are valued, not by empty words, but by effective, decisive action to give us the human and physical resources needed to get the job done.”

The key is to help raise awareness in terms of what nurses do in their more expanded role. In order to see where things are going, we have to look at the trajectory that led us here.

Nursing Education

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (what is now the National Academy of Medicine) wanted to see a healthcare environment that would have 80% of nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or BSN, by 2020.

The goal was to facilitate nurses improving outcomes by increasing the scope of what they’re allowed to do. However, it also means that more education is essential in this career path.

Education needs to be a major focus moving forward as a nurse. There’s so much opportunity for growth and development. At each stage, a nurse only acts to serve more and more patients, making them a force multiplier for healthcare.

There’s still a lot of work to do to get to their 80% number. Notably, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s nursing Campaign for Action has been paramount. But even with all of their effort, this is only the beginning.

Advanced Degrees in Nursing

With the evolution of nursing programs nationwide, pursuing advanced degrees in nursing is becoming more and more essential.

The sky’s the limit with masters of nursing (MS), as well as with a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP). Developing these pathways is still continuing, and these critical degree programs have made considerable progress in how healthcare is administered in the country.

Nurse Practitioner Practices

One of the great developments of the IOM/NAM goals set in 2010 was to take a considerable look at why nurses can’t be their own providers in some cases.

In terms of progress to date in that respect, since 2010, there are 9 states that have removed barriers for nurse practitioner practices to exist. So, as of today, there are 22 states and the District of Columbia that allow them.

This has been an enormous victory, but there is still a lot of room to grow. Some of that growth is coming from institutions like the VA, which has expanded its offerings to include some nurse practitioners that don’t require supervision from a physician.

Legislation Protecting Nurses at Work

With workplace violence on the rise, recent legislation is aimed at making nursing safe. The details of the legislation are pretty far reaching. Some of the elements include:

1. Addressing the epidemic of workplace violence in nursing.

From 2011 to 2016, there were 58 hospital worker deaths as the result of violence. In 2016, the GAO found that healthcare workers in in-patient facilities were actually between 5 and 12 times more likely to witness or be the victim of workplace violence. This has to stop.

2. Added requirement for OSHA violence prevention standard.

These standards would require employers to take on very specific and strict regulations that will ensure the safety of their employees. This is an essential step in getting everything necessary codified and into a functioning system.

3. Sets both minimum requirements and a quick timeline.

The minimum requirements are pretty substantial. They include elements such as implementation of violence prevention measures and assessment of existing measures — to include aspects like physical changes to the environment. Additionally, this involves security staffing, robust record keeping, and more.

A Positive Outlook

Overall, we’re looking at a new year and decade that centers on growing the nursing profession through leadership and education. There is a renewed focus on supporting the profession and keeping nurses safer at work. We have high hopes for 2020 and all that our nurses will achieve!