Nursing has always been a challenging and fulfilling field. That hasn’t changed, but nurses’ roles have expanded in some ways. There are several factors at work here; together, they explain why more is being required of nurses.
What Has Changed?
Healthcare teams still work to provide patients with the best care, but the way the teams work has changed in several ways. For one thing, physicians are mandated to work fewer hours in many states; the result is that nurses are increasingly being asked to take on duties that had previously been the physician’s responsibility.
In addition, hospitals are understaffed, budgets are tight, the population is aging, disease rates are increasing, and a greater portion of the population has access to care. As if all of this weren’t enough to account for why more is being required of nurses, there is another factor to consider: nursing isn’t just becoming a broader field, it’s also becoming a deeper field. Nurses can pursue medical specializations and delve into complex multifaceted issues that impact our health care system and our nation.
What Does This Mean?
The ramifications of all of these changes are tremendous. Far from being overshadowed by doctors, nurses are becoming the frontline providers of health care. Over time, they are assuming important roles in the provision of managed care, and they will be responsible for coordinating and continuing the care outside traditional health care facilities.
This is not just possible, theoretical, or futuristic. It’s reality, and nurses are meeting the challenges every day. An emergency room nurse, noting the wide variety of conditions she had treated in a given day, commented that it blew her away how much influence nurses have on serious treatment decisions.
BSN and Beyond
The emergency room nurse, above, was quoted in an article about evolving educational requirements for nurses. This evolution is not surprising, given how duties have evolved in recent years. As a result of the additional challenges for nurses, many people in the health care field believe the BSN preparation, as the standard for entry-level practice, would better prepare nurses for these roles.
Some nurses go beyond the BSN: it’s been suggested that one group of medical professionals might help pick up the slack – nurse practitioners, who are registered nurses with graduate degrees and an additional 500 hours or more of supervised clinical work. The choice is individual to each nurse; although some prefer to pursue a nurse practitioner degree, others prefer to continue working as RNs.
Rising to the Challenge
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. As all nurses know, nursing is a challenging field, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. If you are seeking a new challenge, give us a call at 310.436.3650 today.