2020 was an unpredictable year that had many unprecedented events, which led people to rethink their priorities. The outbreak of COVID-19 brought world activities to a stop as many governments had no choice but to impose lockdowns for months. People stayed home-bound and learned ways of carrying mundane tasks without stepping out of their homes. Several industries closed their doors for the time being, and the healthcare sector experienced immense pressure. The influx of patients put a strain on healthcare systems worldwide. The constant rising cases worsened the situation, compelling healthcare workers to work for long hours and exposing themselves to danger.
Nurses are a crucial element of the healthcare sector, and the COVID-19 pandemic brought their role to the forefront. They earned the title of frontline soldiers. Rightly so, they put themselves in danger to provide better care to the patients. Nurses enjoy respect from people of all walks of life because they provide their services to all human beings without discrimination. Nursing’s primary motive has always been to enhance people’s wellbeing, but nursing techniques, approaches, and trends change frequently. After experiencing a tumultuous 2020, experts have been hesitant in predicting anything for the upcoming years; they have forecasted several nursing trends for 2021. The following are some trends that will transform nursing in 2021:
1. More Online Nursing Courses
Online education was already booming when COVID-19 brought the world to a halt, and suddenly imposed lockdown increased its momentum further. Many people experienced online learning for the first time. Many newcomers are joining nursing through online education after getting exposure to the ease it brings and flexibility if offered. Several prestigious institutes offer online options for nursing prerequisites and online degrees in many fields that attract learners from all corners of the world. Experts predict that more nursing courses will be available online and enable nurses to enhance their practices. Today, nurses can opt for an online MSN program to advance themselves, as e-education allows them to carry on with their other responsibilities.
2. Increased Specialization in Nursing
Nursing is a dynamic field and one that continues to evolve. Experts predict that more areas of specialization in nursing will emerge, and the nurses’ demand for specific medicine areas will rise. Healthcare will prefer hiring specialized nurses in specific areas to have them around in the absence of physicians. When nurses have an in-depth insight into the field, they better understand the diagnostic and treatment processes and provide patients with improved services. Moreover, patients trust specialized nurses and accept their decisions.
Health issues are constantly rising, and apart from physical health, many mental problems are also emerging. The Healthcare sector is unlike other industries, and it does not bloom in a specific season and generally has jobs all year round. Unlike previous years, severe diseases have become common. In the year 2021, the nursing sector will have a plethora of jobs for nurses.
3. Telehealth Nursing
Technology keeps on giving new dimensions to nursing and has brought forward many breakthrough discoveries. In 2020 when the COVID-19 cases were continually hiking up, many healthcare centers advised patients with mild symptoms and issues to stay at home and consult doctors through digital means. The practice will continue in 2021, and patients will prefer using digital means while seeking medical advice.
Patients can reach telehealth nursing from anywhere. With the help of technology, nurses can conduct telehealth sessions in their homes, offices, clinics. A suitable place for telehealth nursing is where proper technology is available. Patients use to contact nurses through the telehealth system in non-emergency cases. That is to know the solution to their medical issues without exposing themselves to hospital areas during the pandemic situation.
Telehealth has enabled users to track their test results and get their scans on their online devices. It has features that remind patients to take medications and alert them when they need to visit the doctors. Telehealth will become more accessible. More healthcare organizations will take advantage of them to enhance their nursing functioning.
4. Nurses will have Liberty to Take an action
Gone are the days when nurses’ role was to assist doctors and provide care to the patients. Although modern nurses also work alongside doctors and assist them in giving their services to patients, they have gained the freedom of making decisions. Advanced nurses have the liberty of taking action in the absence of doctors. They can rule out decisions for the betterment of patients as per their understanding. Nurses will gain more authority and be allowed to prescribe medications and run diagnostic processes on doctors’ behalf.
5. Educated Patients
We live in the era of smart devices, where people have several means of consuming information. Nurses can expect that patients will have their research conducted before coming to them. They may raise some intelligent questions. Patients will understand their medical conditions and may have an idea about appropriate medications for them. Furthermore, pharmaceutical advertisements also educate patients, and when they visit clinics or hospitals, they already have some information. The Internet has authentic and unreliable information, and some patients may argue that they have more reliable information. Nursing will have to change their approach while dealing with these patients.
6. Technological-advanced Career
Technical experts have commented that technological advancements will continue to change world practice and bring new nursing things. Tech-savvy nurses will have an advantage over others. They will possess technical skills and know the proper usage of technical tools and equipment. Besides other nursing technical tools, more nursing mobile applications will come to the fore and ease nurses’ functioning. Nurses’ reliance on mobile phones will increase further, and they will use them to conduct their day-to-day nursing practices.
Nurses go through different experiences in their daily lives. Regardless of what nursing field a nurse chooses to serve in, their primary concern is to enhance patients’ wellbeing and help them heal. 2020 was an uncertain year where nurses mainly dealt with COVID-19 cases. While the virus is still lingering in the year, the healthcare system learned to deal with it using several means. In 2021 experts predict more technological advancements and new nursing trends emerging to enhance nurses’ functioning.