The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Longer Life Expectancy, Greater Demand For Nursing Industry
Thanks to new medical breakthroughs, life expectancy is on the rise. From 2010 to 2050, officials expect a whopping 351 percent increase in the population of those 85 and older. By 2050, 16 percent of the global population is expected to be 65 or older.
With this aging population we are also seeing an uptick in the incidence of chronic diseases, which means officials also expect a shift from hospital based care to home based care.
New technologies coupled with medical advances means the state of health care will always be changing—and nurses will need to know and use these emerging technologies.
As an example, nurses proficient in Computerized Physician/Provider Order Entry—commonly called CPOE—can help reduce preventable injuries and medical error, and improve the overall health care experience for their patients. Additionally, Electronic Health Records—or EHRs—can allow for more successful coordinated care between multiple providers as well as improved access to critical patient information. Despite the benefits, presently only 10-30 percent of physicians in the U.S. use EHRs, but this number is expected to rise.
3-D printing is another emerging technology that nurses will soon have to utilize, as providers will soon be able to make customized casts for broken arms, fashion prosthetics, hearing aids, dental fixtures and more.
Genetics is yet another field that can unlock answers about a variety of diseases and potential gene mutations. Nurses who directly interact with patients will need to be genetically competent in order to counsel their patients.
This is great news for those interesting in the nursing field, as 4-6 months after graduation 90 percent of nurses are working full time—and the job prospects only continue to grow!
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TRENDS IN MEDICINE
With an increase in average life expectancy, we now see an increase in the older generational cohorts of the population.
Globally, there’s a projected 351% increase between 2010 and 2050 for the 85 and over population compared to a 188% increase for 65 and over and a 22% increase for the population under 65
A SHIFT IN THE LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH AND DISEASE
- 86% of diseases are not non-communicable
- 4 out of 5 older U.S. citizens have multiple chronic medical conditions
- Life expectancy is reduced by 1.8 years with each additional chronic condition
- 60% of those 67 or older have three or more chronic conditions
INCREASED HOME-BASED CARE
With an aging population and an increasing incidence of chronic diseases, we will soon see a shift from hospital-based care to home-based care as more individuals demand help with aging at home.
USE OF TECHNOLOGY
Changing standards for technology in health care by law and medical advances necessitate broadening the scope of technology nurses are expected to know and use
Computerized Physician/Provider Order entry (CPOE)
Improving CPOE is associated with a 55% decrease in medication errors. Between 2008 and 2012, hospital CPOE adoption rose 167%.
Nurses proficient in CPOE could:
- reduce preventable injuries
- reduce medical errors
- improve the health care experience for patients
Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
EHRs allow for better coordinated care between multiple providers with improved access to critical patient information
Only 10% – 30% of physicians in the U.S. use EHRs despite the benefits
Health care providers trained to use a 3-D printer could make customized casts for broken arms, artificial limbs, hearing aids, dental fixtures, and more. Eventually 3-D printing may be used for bio-printing human organs for transplants.
Genetics are the key to unlocking answers about many diseases. Testing can be used for screening a variety of diseases and gene mutations.
Genetic testing is now available to the public without the help of a primary care provider.
Nurses directly interact with patients and will need to be GENOMICALLY COMPETENT
They may guide and counsel patients through results from genetic testing
They may be expected to educate patients about the basics of relevance of genomics
SHORTAGE CREATING DEMAND
82% of nurses and 81% of doctors perceived a nursing shortage in the past decade
The American Hospital Association reported an 8.5% vacancy rate in nursing job openings
17% vacancy rate for nurses at hospitals
A physician shortage is increasing the demand for nurse practitioners to fill the gap in primary care
18% vacancy rate for physicians at hospitals
In nearly half the states across the U.S., at least 20% of the population is living in a primary care Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA)
Bachelor’s degree in nursing may become mandatory minimum
Hospitals where a higher proportion of direct care RNs have a four-year degree have lower mortality rates
Only 55% of the RN workforce holds a bachelors or higher
The Institute of Medicine aims to have 80% of RNs holding a bachelors or higher by 2020
43.7% of hospitals and other health care facilities require new hires to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree
78.6% express a strong preference for BSN graduates
Masters of Science in Nursing offers career advancement and advanced clinical roles of specialization, such as a Clinical Nurse Leader
The current demand for nurses with master’s or doctoral degrees for advanced practice, clinical specialties, teaching, and research roles far outstrips the supply
4-6 months after graduation, 90% of MSNs are working full-time
Only 13.2% of the nation’s registered nurses hold either a master’s or doctoral degree
1.13 million NEW RNs are projected to be needed for new jobs or replacements between 2012 and 2022
30 states are projected to have annual growth rates of 15% or more for RNs
67% of nursing master’s degree graduates had a job offer at the time of graduation
AVERAGE RN SALARIES
$86,910 Registered Nurses
$70,200 Nursing instructors and teachers, post-secondary
$95,070 Nurse practitioners
$109,352 All advanced practice registered nurses
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
School of Nursing and Health Professions