8 Emerging Trends in Healthcare That Today’s Nurses Should Know

Those individuals looking for a career with seemingly limitless growth potential and demand should look no further than nursing. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 45% growth in the need for nurses in various specialties. There are certain trends driving the need for excellent nurses and we’re going to present you with the emerging trends in healthcare today’s nurses should know.

How to Face the Growing Demand and Future of Nursing

The growing demand for nurses has been widely publicized over the last decade. Long before COVID sent many a good nurse in search of other career opportunities the need for nurses was multiplying by the day. Nurse practitioners, anesthetists, midwives as well as RNs, CNAs and LPNs are already in high demand and it’s only expected to increase as the population ages. If you’re a nurse or considering a career in nursing the following trends may help you shape your future.

When you embrace these possibilities you’re helping to shape the future. Nurses play the most significant role in patient care and these emerging technologies help achieve improvements in efficiency and skills. Nurses who face the future with the right mindset, commitment to growth and an open heart face a bright professional future indeed. 

8 Emerging Trends Today’s Nurses Should Know

As we said, the demand for nurses is well-known. A positive outlook for employment is always a welcome trend. As the population changes additional trends emerge. Here we take a look at seven of the top trends in healthcare today’s nurses should know.

1. Demand For More Nurses

Based on a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and published by the American Nurses Association, an unprecedented 194,500 job openings are projected for nurses each year until 2030. Another well-known fact is that the aging population will be the primary driver of this trend for more nurses. 

Caring for an aging population increases the demand for nurses at doctors offices, healthcare facilities, rehabilitation centers, home healthcare and skilled nursing facilities to name a few. That means more opportunities for RNs as well as CNAs and LPNs. The current nursing shortage won’t be solved overnight but the demand for nursing staff means today’s nurses will have a range of employment opportunities as demand continues.

2. Telehealth: A Growing Option in Healthcare

The idea of telehealth wasn’t borne of the pandemic anymore than grocery delivery was. The use of two-way video communication in healthcare has been utilized by clinicians since 1959. Different specialties have long used telemedicine as a means to transport immediate information and the military has used telemedicine to provide medical care in war zones since the 1980s. 

With the pandemic telehealth visits became a normalized option in primary care and its use today is just as prevalent. Patients who are chronically ill, immunocompromised, recovering at home, pregnant or elderly benefit immensely from using telehealth. Nurses assume many of the roles of telehealth and this emerging trend. The trend isn’t going anywhere and, in fact, is expected to grow. That’s why nursing programs are now including telehealth as part of their simulation-based education.

3. A Shift Toward More Holistic Care

As healthcare evolves holistic care is emerging to the forefront. After all, the body’s systems rely on one another working, often in tandem, for optimal health and wellness. For healthcare professionals to consider the overall wellbeing of the patient is a positive step in not only healing but preventative medicine as well. 

Along with traditional measures one of the emerging trends in healthcare today’s nurses should know is how to focus on treating the whole person. Integrative medicine and various complementary therapies are now a normal part of patient care a majority of the time. 

Helping those with chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, chronic pain and other conditions that benefit from lifestyle changes is not far-fetched. In fact, as complementary therapies go, certain lifestyle changes, losing weight, incorporating daily activity, finding healthy ways to cope with stress and simple dietary changes are already proven to help patients combat many of the common chronic conditions plaguing the population.

4. Professional Development

The fluidity of healthcare in itself is an emerging trend in healthcare today’s nurses should know. Because the professional landscape of healthcare is changing, nurses need to change with it. That means possessing and honing those skills and knowledge that are necessary to the quality of care you provide.

Nurses must keep current with certifications and embrace lifelong learning and continuing education. Through online educational programs, workshops, conferences and certification courses nurses can develop professional competence and keep in sync with emerging technologies. And your expanded credentials pave the way for you to level-up when that day comes.

By continuing or even advancing their education nurses are poised for making a marked improvement in patient care overall. Personally, nurses who pursue professional development may find themselves in leadership positions as well as the prime spot for advocating for patient care. These moves strengthen the profession, enhance the position of the healthcare organization for which they work (which is why many offer continuing education and professional development as a perk of the job) and provide their patients the most advanced care. 

5. Growing Non-Clinical Nursing Needs

Nurses are coming out of clinical practice and instead refocusing on alternative career paths. As nurses reimagine their futures in the wake of the pandemic mass exodus from clinical settings emerging trends in healthcare include many nonclinical roles. Instead of the more traditional nursing jobs today’s nurses embrace such positions as working in:

  • Education: When opting out of clinical nurses with some experience may consider a career in nursing education. You can help shape the next generation of nurses in the role of faculty, advisor or certification. 
  • Non-Profit: Working with a nonprofit organization affords nurses an opportunity as board members,  healthcare advisors and executive leadership roles.
  • Healthcare Settings: You can still work in a healthcare setting but not in a clinical position. Many nurses find community wellness advocate positions rewarding. There are also those nurses who work as recruiters for healthcare organizations or in advisory positions. 
  • Corporate Consultant: As a nurse you are well-equipped to advise and consult for corporations on things like employee wellness.
  • Community Nurse: There are often positions and opportunities within the community promoting health and wellness, advocating for underserved communities and helping to improve the wellbeing of the members of the community. 
  • Healthcare Corporations: There are many roles for nurses in healthcare corporations. Product development consultants, marketing and even sales positions are open to nurses. Your input makes a big difference in how, ultimately, the corporation helps improve patients’ lives.

6. Advanced Healthcare Technology

Technology causes all kinds of shifts in all kinds of industries. Innovations in healthcare such as robotic assisted procedures, AI predictive capabilities, data retrieval and even portable medical devices create the most efficient experience for both patients and their clinicians. 

Proficiency in these medical technologies is an emerging trend in healthcare. Today’s nurses can expect to be called on to fulfill these technologically sophisticated roles. After all, these technologies are developing to make your job much easier. Such as:

  • Telehealth Technologies: As mentioned above, telehealth technology offers nurses the ability to assess patients visually while the patient is remote. The benefit is to both the nurse and the patient.
  • Telesitting Technology: For patients who need to be monitored the telesitting technology allows nurses to observe multiple patients at the same time. 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): Through the use of AI certain clinical data can be identified and analyzed. AI uses this data to predict outcomes, treatments, trends and even risks. For example, AI uses patient data and trends to predict a fall risk so you may provide care accordingly.
  • Mobile Staffing Apps: This technology allows for adjustments based on patient census. Short staffing is not a concern when you use the mobile staffing app.
  • Blockchain Credentialing: Keep up with your certifications and licensure so you can stay in step. This is also helpful for those nurses who need to work at different locations to show they are approved.

7. The Need for Geriatric Specialists is An Emerging Trend in Healthcare

We all know the aging population is growing considerably each day. In 2022 a whopping 17.3% of Americans were over age 65. As longevity improves that number will only grow with each passing year. The need for healthcare is growing along with the aging population. As we age we’re in greater need of things like regular primary care appointments, preventative care and treatment plans become more complex. That means more nurses who are proficient in gerontology are necessary. Many nursing programs do offer a more focused curriculum for those who have an interest in geriatric care and today’s nurses should be aware. Gerontology-proficient nurses are in demand now and expected to be in demand for the long term. 

8. Mental and Behavioral Healthcare 

The need for healthcare professionals in mental and behavioral healthcare is at a critical stage. Prior to the pandemic an estimated 1 in 5 Americans lived with mental illness. Since then the number of mental and behavioral health-challenged Americans has only become higher. Suicides hit an all-time high in 2023 and the need for children’s mental health care also surged. 

There is a serious mental healthcare shortage right now and nurses are critical to mental health care. In fact in most cases nurses are leading the charge in recognizing the importance of mental health awareness as it relates to overall care. A basic mental health assessment is something nurses can incorporate in patient care. More nurses trained in identifying emotional distress and adept at intervention techniques as we address the mental health epidemic in the US right now.

As an emerging healthcare trend today’s nurses play a crucial role in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and promoting awareness within the community. As an advocate for mental health resources nurses contribute significantly to the overall wellbeing and recovery of their patients who suffer the need for mental and behavioral healthcare.

Emerging Trends in Healthcare Today and In the Future

The future of healthcare is in the hands of today’s nurses. By paying close attention to emerging trends in healthcare you’ll no doubt recognize that these are what will shape nursing for the future, as well as the future of healthcare. Advanced technology has proven that in just the last decade. Data and analytics drive the clinical decision-making process and more and more clinicians incorporate the use of technology for improved patient outcomes.

The role of nurses in community health, preventative care and public policy is expanding. These individuals have their finger on the pulse of healthcare in the US and we can expect nurses will continue to be at the center of change in this arena. 

Embracing the changes in healthcare begins with paying close attention to these emerging trends. For more information on the role of nurses today and in the future, and to find out how you can make a difference, please contact BOS Medical Staffing. Like today’s nurses we know how to make a difference in healthcare.

What Skills Are the Most Marketable on Your Nursing Resume?

What Skills Are the Most Marketable on Your Nursing Resume?

It’s expected that a nurse who passes certification possesses a clear understanding of essential clinical skills. Those basic skills are…
Company Culture Matters: 10 Healthcare Employer Insights for 2024

Company Culture Matters: 10 Healthcare Employer Insights for 2024

Your company culture impacts the overall health of your healthcare organization. Job satisfaction, staff retention, patient care and ultimately the…
6 Challenges Today’s Healthcare Employers Face When Hiring

6 Challenges Today’s Healthcare Employers Face When Hiring

The healthcare industry is in dire need of good nurses. Yet there are some definite challenges that stand in the…