There is no better time to be part of the healthcare industry than now. Aside from being a critically relevant profession, the nursing profession is the right job to consider if you’re worried about the future.
Look into different professions along with advancements in technology, automation, and artificial intelligence and you will see that many professions may no longer be here in the future.
Of course, robots may be used in the healthcare in scenarious like administering medication and maintaining medical records. However, at the core of the nursing profession is empathy, compassion, and attention, all of which cannot be provided by robotics.
What does this imply? When Elon Musk said, “Robots will take your jobs, he could not have said this while on a sickbed.
There is power in the words and tender hands of nurses.
A calming and reassuring voice stills the storm in the an expectant mother full of fear, gives hope to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, or comfort to aging patients in nursing homes.
Nurses are not just angels to patients, they are the strength of doctors in a 6-hour surgery, post-operative care never suffers in the presence of nurses, and to a bedridden patient, they are the superheroes that keep them clean. The implication of this is simple, regardless of how fast advancement in technology could be, the job of nurses is always secure.
The Expected Void
If the 2014 United States Census report can be relied upon, it claims that by 2050 there will be no less than 83.7 million Americans who will be above the age of 65. There are currently around 36 million Americans who are above the age of 65 years and are being cared for by almost 4 million nurses.
Those in dire need of nursing care is expected to rise above double in just three decades, meaning there is a real need for more nurses to fill the void.
Another aspect being overlooked by many is that just like the population is aging, skilled and qualified nurses are also aging. In reality, the expected shortage of nurses may even be more drastic than predicted.
More than ever before, life expectancy is improving, but it will affect the healthcare system. At this juncture, it is important to stress that by 2022, the nursing profession will have more openings available than any other profession. From 2022 onward, the United States will require no less than 100,000 registered nurses annually.
The reason isn’t far-fetched; at least 500,000 registered nurses are expected to retire or switch jobs. This is from around 3 million nurses across the United States, a number which is becoming inadequate to cater to current needs.
Increase in Nursing Leadership Opportunities
The current (and projected) void in the nursing profession is known and you’ll find nurses everywhere adjusting for these projections.
A lot of registered nurses are currently in training, and more will still join their ranks. Though, what many are unaware of is that the gap is wider in skilled nursing professions that require advanced certifications.
Why is this happening?
A good number of registered nurses with valuable experience are unable to acquire more qualifications. The current nursing shortage has many taking up additional hours, hours that could have been spent advancing their skills and increasing their knowledgebase. Others, may not have the spare time or finances to pursue further qualifications.
While practicing nurses are expected to take up the increasing leadership opportunities becoming available in the nursing profession, the reality is that many are not. And many lack the certifications needed for additional leaps in their career.
Without a BSN degree, practicing registered nurses (RN’s) will be unable to take up advanced roles. These roles include; nurse administrator, nurse manager, nurse anesthetist, nurse executive, and many more. These advanced nursing roles account for a substantial part of the gap that is needed to be filled in the coming years. The Bureau Of Labor Statistics projects a 31% growth between now and 2024.
Getting Ahead: From RN to BSN
This is beyond being able to increase your earning capabilities, think of it as being ready to step up your clinical, leadership, and research skills as a practicing nurse. There’s no better way to achieve this than to pursue a Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) which will open many more doors for the nurse looking to advance their career.
Of course, it’s easier said than done for many nurses considering their current work schedules, and other responsibilities like family and child care.
But despite how tough it is to leap from being an RN to become a BSN, it is required to get ahead and to pursue many of the other advanced nursing certifications and positions. While there are many ways to earn a BSN, one of the most popular options today is to go the online route.
Studying 100% online allows working nurses to stay in control of their full-time positions, family care and other responsibilities by choosing when they’re free to study and by going through a program t their own pace.
For the nurses that remain hesitant of this commitment or why they should take this huge step in their nursing career, consider the following reasons to pursue an BSN. Look beyond the opportunities for career advancement; higher nursing education prepares nurses for better patient outcomes and diagnoses. It increases a nurse’s chances in switching to exciting specialties such as pediatrics, oncology, gynecology, psychiatry and many more, other than the basic floor patient care that you are limited to as a Registered Nurse. More importantly, earning a BSN has become easier than it used to be with online programs offering nurses flexible learning schedules.
Most RN to BSN program are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and many medical regulatory bodies such as the AACN are strongly encouraging RNs earn a BSN before 2020.
If you are yet to start, the best time is now.