The nursing profession is facing multiple challenges in the years ahead. From the Affordable Care Act and its focus on the introduction of electronic medical records, to the aging U.S. population, many people question what healthcare will look like in the future. What remains certain, however, is the future of nursing is bright. Nurses are a vital part of the healthcare system and a valuable resource for our society.
What can nurses and nursing industry expect in the years ahead?
At this point in time:
- One-third of nurses are over 50 years old.
- 1/3 of the current workforce will reach retirement within the next decade or so.
- Nurses work more hours now than they did in 2000.
How the Health Care Reform Will Affect Nurses
Nurses will be prepared to take on more responsibility than they currently have.
This will be helpful, since:
- Within 15 years, the country will be short 150,000 doctors.
- Primary Care Physicians (PCP) will be in the greatest demand, with an estimated 45,000 needed by 2020.
- Millions of new patients are expected to flood the healthcare system as new insurance takes hold.
- More nurses will work in rural areas where the nurse may be the only health care provider available.
As we move into the future, nursing will change thanks to new technology, such as:
- The Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) will reduce medication errors by about 55%.
- Medication will be scanned before the patient takes it, to ensure correct dosage and type.
- Transcriptions can be replaced by CPOE.
- Electronic medical records will link hospitals, physician’s practices and home health care agencies.