DiversityNursing Blog

Nursing Trends You'll See In 2022

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Jan 10, 2022 @ 10:51 AM

GettyImages-1344099061As we start the new year, we take a look at trends we expect to see in the Nursing field. Many health experts agree staffing has been and will continue to be the top healthcare issue.

Nurse Shortage

Many factors play into the staffing crisis like the pandemic, retiring Nurses, and high rates of burnout.

Rhonda Thompson, DNP, CNO and SVP of Patient Care Services at Phoenix Children's Hospital told Beckers Hospital Review, "The nursing shortage affecting health systems nationwide will continue to be a challenge in 2022. This has a greater impact than just unfilled positions and scheduling sufficient nurses based on a high patient census. It also means our experienced staff nurses are investing a great deal of time onboarding and training newly licensed nurses, in addition to their own daily bedside care responsibilities. To solve this, it will take collaboration and commitment from our health systems, staff, and academic partners."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 194,500 openings for Registered Nurses are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Increase In At-Home Healthcare

The COVID-19 pandemic created a demand for at-home healthcare that continues to grow.

According to Forbes, the Home Care Providers industry is among the fastest growing healthcare industries in the United States. "Industry revenue, according to IBISWorld, has grown at an annualized rate of 2.2% to $96.9 billion over the past five years."

At-home healthcare has many benefits. So much so, last year a bill called the Choose Home Care Act 2021 was presented to Congress. If passed, this would give patients the opportunity to leave the hospital and recover at home with a mix of expanded skilled Nursing, therapy, personal care, telehealth services, and more.

Prioritizing The Well-Being Of Healthcare Workers

The pandemic has pushed an already stressed-out career field to its breaking point. Nurses are facing high rates of burnout and compassion fatigue.

Compassion fatigue is the emotional residue or strain of exposure to working with those suffering from the consequences of traumatic events.

According to J. Maben and J. Bridges (2020), the pandemic has led Nurses to experience the highest level of stress that has ever been recorded compared to other professions.

Healthcare organizations and leaders have the opportunity and the responsibility to support and prioritize their staff's mental and physical well-being.

These healthcare workers have given so much of themselves they have nothing left to give and yet they are still showing up day after day under impossible circumstances. But for how much longer?

Nurses want to feel valued and safe in their work environment. Healthcare organizations must ensure Nurses are equipped with resources and the support they need to provide quality care.

Nursing School Online

The pandemic forced Nursing schools to provide their classes online to avoid the spread of the virus. Many institutions have continued the online learning option for some of their programs.

According to a report from Inside Higher Ed, about 60% of colleges and universities do plan to keep some of their undergraduate programs fully online.

Online schools provide a great opportunity for Nurses who are looking to advance further in their education, but don't have the time to physically attend classes between shifts.

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Topics: well being, nursing shortage, nursing trends, healthcare workers, healthcare workforce, healthcare trends, healthcare issues, 2022 healthcare trends, online nursing school

The School Nurse Shortage is Raising Concern

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Sep 17, 2021 @ 10:37 AM

GettyImages-1325774293

The School Nurse shortage is not a new issue. The pandemic highlighted the importance of having School Nurses. As schools across the nation open back up,
concerns are again rising.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends schools have one full-time Nurse for every 750 students.

The latest data from a study, published in the Journal of School Nursing in 2018, found approximately 39% of schools employ full-time Nurses and about 35% employ part-time School Nurses, while 25% do not employ School Nurses.

With out School Nurses, teachers and staff with no medical training would be responsible for providing care such as dispensing medication, managing allergies and asthma, and monitoring blood glucose levels.

Not only are School Nurses responsible for providing care, they also play a vital role in the management of COVID-19 safety protocols and updating staff and parents.

According to a survey from the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), 78% of School Nurses say they took time to review data to see new trends in COVID infections. The survey shows 43% of Nurses spent time updating and developing school health policies and nearly half said they were spending time answering phone calls from parents and the community.  

“I spend most of my day dressed up as a ghostbuster in personal protective equipment,” Rhonda Cranford, a School Nurse at Northside Elementary with 34 years of experience, shared. “I’m answering the phone constantly with questions regarding isolation and quarantine. I spend hours documenting and sending emails. Ninety-five percent of my day is consumed by COVID activities.”  

Many schools have a tight budget and can lack the funding needed to hire a School Nurse.

Laurie G. Combe, NASN President said, “When budgets are tight, administrators make decisions to hire Teachers over Nurses, but what many administrators don’t understand is that having a Nurse on staff can actually save dollars."

A glimmer of hope arose in May when the Biden administration announced the American Rescue Plan. The Plan includes dedicated funding of at least $500 million to hire School Nurses to help schools safely reopen and remain open for in-person instruction.

It’s important to remember there is a Nursing shortage across the country. School districts are competing against healthcare organizations for Nursing applicants where wages in hospitals and other settings tend to pay more.

Between the Delta variant, mask protocols, and vaccine mandates, schools need Nurses now more than ever. 

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Topics: school nurse, nursing shortage, COVID-19, face masks, school nurses, school nurse shortage

U.S Facing A Shortage of Health Care Workers As Pandemic Rages On

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Dec 29, 2020 @ 11:42 AM

covidnursesNurses are a critical part of healthcare and make up the largest section of the health profession. According to The American Nurses Association (ANA), more Registered Nurse jobs will be available through 2022 than any other profession in the United States.

As predicted by health officials, the United States is seeing surges of Coronavirus cases from the holiday season. As health systems and hospitals deal with the surges, they are worried about finding enough medical workers to meet the demand.

“What we see now is just the beginning of the post-Thanksgiving peak,” said Eric Toner, senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “It’s going to be huge, and it’s going to be awful.”

The problem is especially dire in intensive care units which are overcrowded with a record number of critically ill patients.

An article from the New Yorker stated, at least half of all states are now facing staff shortages, and more than a third of hospitals in states such as Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, and Wisconsin are simply running out of staff. Usually, an ICU Nurse might care for two critically ill patients at a time. Now, some are caring for as many as eight patients at once.

In some situations, patients have been transported hundreds of miles for an open bed. Some patients have been moved from Texas to Arizona as well as central Missouri to Iowa.

According to ABC News, hospitals in some states are enlisting retired Nurses and Nursing students. In Alabama, more than 120 students and faculty members from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Nursing school began helping with care last week at UAB Hospital.

In some states, health officers have amended orders that allow health care workers who tested positive for COVID-19, but are asymptomatic to continue working.

To free up healthcare workers, hospitals are asking medical and Nursing students, firefighters, and EMTs to administer Coronavirus vaccines.

According to Reuters, nearly 10 million doses have been delivered across the country, but only about 1 million administered due to staffing shortages at hospitals and the special requirements for preparing the shots.

Nancy Foster, the American Hospital Association’s vice president of quality and patient safety, said she’s heard from two dozen hospital leaders over the past two weeks, warning her of staffing shortages.

Travel Nurses are usually a good option to help fill open positions, but the pool of available travel Nurses is drying up as demand for them jumped 44% over the last month.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services secretary, said the state is “lucky to get two-thirds” of its requests for travel Nurses fulfilled right now.

The main hope here is for cases to decrease by people following COVID-19 guidelines such as quarantining and wearing masks.

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Topics: nursing shortage, nurse shortage, COVID-19, coronavirus, short staffed

The Nursing Shortage In The U.S

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Jul 10, 2018 @ 02:42 PM

NURSE57The United States has a massive Nursing shortage, and the problem is only going to grow. Due to an influx of patients into our health system, the retirement of baby boomers, and educational obstacles, Nursing positions aren’t being filled fast enough to keep up with demand.

By 2022, the American Nursing Association predicts the U.S. may need more than 1 million new Nurses to both care for a growing number of older Americans and replace retiring Nurses.

“I’ve been a Nurse for 40 years, and the shortage is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said Ron Moore, who retired in October from his position as Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Charleston Area Medical Center.

More people have access to health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act passage in 2010. This has led to an increase in people seeking medical care. Another reason for the increase in patients is medical technology has advanced to the point that it has enabled people to live longer. The number of people over the age of 65 in this country is rapidly increasing. There are more Americans over the age of 65 now than at any other time in the country’s history. It’s predicted that this number will continue to grow, which means more people with health issues and more people in Nursing homes.

Students appear to have a high level of interest in a Nursing career. It pays well, has strong projected job security, and allows practitioners to do meaningful work. However, when applicants send in their transcripts, many are turned away or wait-listed. 

The problem in Nursing education is there aren’t enough teachers to educate student Nurses. Not only that, but the current faculty’s median age is in the 50s, so many of them will be looking to retire soon.

For those that do get accepted into Nursing programs, there’s the cost of schooling to worry about. Whether trying to attain a Nursing license through an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s program, the costs add up. Also those pursuing a specialty have to be prepared to devote years to their professional development. 

Grants and scholarships like the DiversityNursing.com $5,000 Education Award, can help with some of this burden, but unfortunately, there just aren’t enough to go around.

Seun Ross, Director of Nursing practice and work environment for the American Nurses Association, thinks focus should be placed on boosting resources available to Nursing schools so they can hire more teachers who, in turn, can train more students. She also said hospitals must invest in the experience of Nursing, buying cutting-edge equipment and cultivating an inclusive work culture in order to get the most out of their Nurses.

In terms of work environment, the American Nurses Association suggests introducing more flexibility into the work environment structure and scheduling programs; rewarding experienced Nurses for serving as mentors to new Nurses; and implementing appropriate salary and benefit programs.

Nurses comprise the backbone of the entire health care industry. Without them, the whole thing collapses. At every level, the quality of care and human touch necessary for positive outcomes link directly to the Nursing staff.

Topics: nursing shortage

Oncology Nurses Are In High Demand

Posted by Pat Magrath

Mon, Feb 13, 2017 @ 04:02 PM

oncnurse1.gifI bet there is a lot you can add to the comments from Oncology Nurses in this article. Perhaps you’re an Oncology Nurse or someone close to you is doing this job. This article will give you a glimpse of the day-today responsibilities, concerns, technological issues, and a perspective on how to answer a patient’s very difficult questions.
 
As you know, this Specialty isn’t for everyone. If you’re considering becoming an Oncology Nurse or are curious about it, please read this article and let us know what you think.

In the world of cancer care, there's much to celebrate. In the last two years, the FDA has approved dozens of new treatments. The vast majority of those drugs are targeted therapies — the kind that require particularly complex medical care. At the core of that care is the oncology nurse.

The job of the nurse in cancer care is now even more demanding — and in the next few years, that pressure could be compounded by a shortage of oncologists.

David Freudberg is host of the public radio series Humankind, based in Belmont. He's produced a documentary series about the challenges in nursing in today's health care environment called "Resilient Nurses."

Freudberg spoke with WBUR's All Things Considered host Lisa Mullins about what he's learned regarding the pressures nurses face and the care they give. Below are excerpts from that conversation and from Freudberg's interviews with nurses around the country.

oncnurse.jpg

DAVID FREUDBERG

On the working conditions nurses face
"They're difficult conditions, with so many baby boomers flooding into our health care system and the new cohort of patients coming in as a result of the Affordable Care Act. And many of them have what's called higher acuity — more difficult-to-treat symptoms. In addition, there are budget difficulties, and you have all the technology that nurses increasingly are responsible for monitoring [with] a patient, and this adds a kind of emotional stress — because nurses truly are in it to care for the individual patients. They want to make a personal connection to the extent that their job limitations permit. And when you're having to mostly focus on machinery and technical measurements and special procedures, that becomes an obstacle to direct care of the patient. And so that's a stressor."

On technology making nurses even more accessible to their patients
"I happened to interview a couple of wonderful nurse practitioners... And they do provide their cell phone and text abilities to their patients, because they really want to be available to them — some [patients] whom are very compromised and extremely worried. In addition, various social media — Facebook, Twitter — become additional means of reaching nurses ... so in some ways the technological pressure has increased in the communications technology, as well ... My impression, having met them, was that they're just deeply warm and caring. It's not to suggest that other nurses who don't want to do it are not warm and caring. But they just wanted to be there for their patients."

On "compassion fatigue"
"... some people would say compassion doesn't fatigue; it's the people who are trying to be compassionate who need to re-frame the way in which they provide their compassion. But it is potentially a serious problem, because people do get tired. They are up against a relentless schedule. Some nurses don't even drink water during the day; they don't go to the bathroom during the day. I heard this over and over in different locations... for every patient they're dealing with, three more have rung the desk and they need to attend to them. And in addition, there are the families who are asking questions. It's just really tough, and the typical shift of a nurse in the United States is about twelve hours. That's a long time to be on your feet, running from patient to patient, not necessarily even getting a break. And this subjects you to medical errors, to a reduction in job performance.

Ashley Weber, oncology nurse at Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Hospital Colorado, on administering cocktails of medications to pediatric cancer patients
"We're working with severely immunocompromised people... if you don't prep the insertion site with alcohol for as long as it needs to be, you could be introducing a bloodstream infection. Some of the medications we give, you'll read the adverse side effects or reasons that we would stop a certain study that a patient's on, and it's death. You're just waiting for that clearing of the throat to be an indicator that your patient's going to stop breathing. And then when we're at home and we see a phone call from work, we think, 'What did I do wrong? Who did I kill? What medication did I not give? What chemo didn't go in right?' And we're looking at patients that each have easily 15 to 30 meds each."

Sherry Goldman, oncology nurse at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, on providing compassionate care to cancer patients
"I can think of a specific incident where I told a patient some really devastating news. And I just reached out and held her. And we cried together. I don't have an issue with showing my feelings. There may be other clinicians that do. But how can you not, when you're telling a young girl some tragic news? And you see her completely fall apart. It's okay to fall apart with them and hold them, but then give them confidence afterward."

Paulette Manon, oncology nurse at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, on questions she was asked by a terminally ill cancer patient
"I was in his room, and he said, 'What do you think happens to people after they die?' And I said, 'I'm not sure.' He said, 'What is your belief?' And I said, 'I believe that if you believe in God, that you are remembered and he will look after you.' And he said, 'What do you think happens to people that don't believe in God?' I said, 'Well, whether you believe in him or not, he believe in you.' When someone asks you something like that, it's just not a casual question. You can actually feel the pain coming from that person and the fear that that's going to be it for them, no return, nothing. It's not always that you give someone an ABC answer and they're fine."

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Topics: nursing shortage, Oncology Nursing, Cancer Care

Why the World Needs Nurses

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Wed, Nov 13, 2013 @ 10:56 AM

There are 5.5 million nurses and nurse’s aides in America. That’s 2.6% of the population and yet nursing is still one of the fastest growing occupations. In fact, the country is currently facing a nursing shortage unlike any other before. 

Nursing is essential for a smooth running health care system. Nurses are far from one-trick employees – they perform countless vital tasks in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and more. The number of nurses on hand (or a lower nurse-to-patient ratio) has been directly related to patient survival and recovery without additional complications.

Some of the most in-demand specializations for nurses include:

  • Forensic Nursing: Nurses who care for patients that were victims of crime. These nurses assist with collecting evidence from their patient’s injuries in order to build a case against the attacker.
  • Infection Control: Nurses who care for patients infected with diseases such as HIV, STDs, or tuberculosis must be specially trained to ensure the contagious disease is not passed along unintentionally to either the nurse themselves or other patients.
  • Management: These days, nurses who can educate or manage other nurses are in high demand. These career-oriented positions typically pay better, sometimes even into the six figures, but do require additional education. Management, education, and advocacy are three essential roles in recruiting more high quality professional nurses to the field.

Nursing isn’t an easy job. Over half of nurses report that stress and frustration plague them daily in their job. However, most nurses also agree that their job is very fulfilling. Very few careers are as directly related to public health and serving the community as nursing. Also, the public is genuinely grateful for nurses. For the last eleven years, nurses have been ranked by Americans as the most trusted profession – a pretty impressive feat.
Currently, there is a shortage of nurses in the workplace. This shortage is caused by a range of reasons, but the main ones are:

  • Baby boomers are aging and require more intensive care
  • The recession forced many people to neglect preventative care or lose their insurance, driving up the demand for health care in the long term
  • Fewer nurses are pursuing bachelor’s degree which would enable them to get the best nursing jobs

The shortage is leading to salary wars (hospitals offering hefty bonuses to new nurses and more). At the end of the day, professional, skilled, and intelligent people are desperately needed in the nursing field in the US and around the world.

whytheworld resized 600Source: RNtoBSNonline.com

Topics: BSN, occupation, nursing shortage, education, RN, infographic

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