The changes in the field of nursing have been in the works for years. In this new decade, nurses will need to take control of their career future by capitalizing on the newfound longevity in the industry by way of modernized medical treatment delivery options. The traditional role of nurses has shifted to an evolutionary expansion beyond the mindset for most nurses.

Where hospitals were once the healthcare delivery system foundation, the care of patients today is steadily moving from the acute-care setting into alternative arenas like patient’s homes and community living centers (rehabilitation centers, senior living centers, etc.),  The demographics and the healthcare needs of our nation’s population have changed and this has created a challenge to create a cost-effective foundation for providing care that offers the patient high-quality medical attention. Because of this shift, there will be acute-care hospitals that shut their doors. It is inevitable. Others will provide acute-care in part of their facility and designate another portion of their space that is in-patient to services in other areas such as ambulatory and primary care.

Due to this shift, nurses need to adjust their way of thinking. This new method of providing care for patients is an open door to a multitude of opportunities for nurses. Patients have better success rates due to quality care. This change in medicine is a reason to get excited about your career again. As nurses, we must carve out our niche and redirect ourselves to a new pathway in our search for new jobs. We have to stop thinking about nursing as a task-oriented job to a perspective that is founded firmly upon care-coordination. New skills are needed to locate employment, secure it, and maintain it.

There are many ways you can go after a broadened future. The first being, shifting your perspective about your career to a widened pathway of possibilities.

How Nurses Can Widen The Pathway of Possibilities

There is a large percentage of nurses that have worked in hospitals for years that have transitioned to jobs such as population-care coordination, disease management, wound care, and (to name just a few) case management. Nursing staff nationwide are inspired and excited to be in a more challenging and rewarding environment where the knowledge and skill set they have acquired along the way can be used in ways they never imagined.

The days of focusing on your patient’s sickness are over. The focus is now on the pathway to wellness. Nurses have more opportunities today for making an impact that is positive through educating their patients on wellness and coaching them toward their best lifestyle choices. As a nurse in 2020, you can:

  • Offer your patients stress-management therapy
  • Manage the care of patients
  • Advocate for patients
  • Be a healthcare provider

Keep an open mind, folks. The shift that may be in your near future is not starting over. You are merely building on the foundation that you have worked hard to create in the field of nursing. You are powerful and you are more than capable! As a nurse you adapt easily to new environments and roles because you have to demonstrate flexibility. It takes up to six months to find your comfort zone in your new role. You may be going from being a nurse to case management. Set goals that are realistic as far as mastering any new roles you may fill. Practice patience with yourself when it seems a little overwhelming.

It’s Time To Unite

For nurses to experience success as individuals and as group concrete connections need to be made and communities made up of varying professionals from the healthcare industry need to be formed. Search for associations for nurses and medical professionals. Ask co-workers if they are members of any associations. Do an extensive internet search.

Joining industry-specific associations is one of the best professional choices you will make. You will find out about cutting edge trends in your field before others, collect information that will benefit you and your patients, and gain knowledge that you would not have if you weren’t a part of a specialized group of other healthcare providers. You can find a mentor, construct a system of support, and gain valuable skills in communication and leadership that will also assist in boosting your emotional intelligence. Consider having business cards printed so that when you go to meeting and seminars you can exchange contact information with fellow professionals and build network relationships.

There’s No Such Thing As Too Much Education

When considering furthering your education, don’t deplete your energy by debating with yourself over if you should or shouldn’t. If you haven’t already taken the steps to do it, go for it! The industry of healthcare is getting more complex each year and this is stepping up the competition for jobs in the market. It is imperative that, as nurses, we keep our knowledge base broad and our skill sets honed.

Certifications are not only beneficial, but they are also imperative. Certifications are raising practice standards in my specialization practices today. One or more clinical certifications coupled with higher education will place you in the upper echelon of the viable candidates for any job. As a certified nurse not only will you have bigger paychecks, but your confidence levels will rise and you will experience empowerment and fulfillment on the job.

Types of Clinical Certifications

There are several different medical specializations that nurses can get a clinical certification in such as (but not limited to)

  • Stroke Care – Nurses who have the SCRN credential (designating them as Stroke Certified Registered Nurses) possess a field of knowledge and skill set that is unique to the administration of care required in stroke nursing.
  • ICU nursing – CCRN-E is a specialized certification for nurses who specialize in providing care for patients that are either acute or critical. This certification is offered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.
  • Wound Care – A wound care certification can put you in the ranks of wound care experts in the nursing field. The broadened career horizon will place you in high demand as wound care is becoming one of the most sought after skill sets in nursing today.

The Evolution Continues

The role of nurses in the ever-changing world of medicine is sure to continue to evolve. Keeping up with certifications and the changes that are sure to come will be not only beneficial but integral to the role nurses play in the care of patients. As the healthcare industry continues to look for better ways to provide superior care to patients and thus see better results while keeping costs down, the traditional roles in healthcare will continue to change.