Nursing jobs are poised for a change according to Philip Greiner, professor and director of the school of nursing at San Diego State University and member of the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing’s future task force. He spoke with U-T San Diego this past week and said there are many changes on the horizon.
Due to the ever-evolving nature of technology, the aging population, and the Affordable Care Act, nursing, which has already undergone many changes, will be poised for even more changes in the future. This includes a shift of setting from hospitals to long-term care facilities or group practice settings. There will also be a push for more nurses to obtain a baccalaureate degree, rather than a two-year associate’s degree.
Greiner also notes that some hospitals are launching nurse residency programs to help nurses become more seasoned. He expects there to be shift to preventing problems before they happen, rather than treating problems after they occur.
But even with a 19 percent growth in the occupation between 2012 and 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some believe that there will be a shortage of nurses not in the far distant future due to the more chronic disease and the obesity epidemic.
“I can’t say there’s a nursing shortage right now,” Carolyn Yucha, the Dean of the School of Nursing at UNLV said. “I think we have a sufficient number of nurses. What we don’t have is a sufficient number of experienced nurses.
“There’s every indication it’s going to get worse.”
Cheryl Parker, a San Diego-based RN-BC added to U-T San Diego on the changing roles of nurses:
“We need more nurses specialized in care of elderly and who can work … independently as more of us are focused on ‘aging-in-place’, therefore increasing the need for home health services. As in-patient hospital length of stays decrease, more care will be provided in transitional settings and at home. … I believe we will see more primary care services provided by nurse practitioners. As more people have access to insurance coverage (under the Affordable Care Act) the focus is shifting to preventive care in order to help our population stay as healthy as possible.”