Nurses form a fundamental and critical part of the healthcare system. Due to the shortage of nurses actively working in healthcare facilities, hospitals and the like have experienced a decrease in patient care and this has put more pressure on the nurses that are working. Many hospitals, private practices and other healthcare facilities are taking this into account and trying to provide more agreeable working conditions and vacancies for nurses.
You could see the shortage of nurses as a representation of the field as challenging, or you could see it in a different light, which is a lucrative and well-timed opportunity to get into the occupation of becoming a nurse. With any industry that suffers shortages, the employees suddenly hold the power as employers are desperate for them. Having the upper hand as a nurse means that there are exciting nursing career outlooks to be enjoyed during this time.
Furthermore, many factors have contributed to nurses being more in demand than ever before, which will be outlined below:
An Aging Population
According to the World Health Organization, the number of people who reach the age of 60 years old and older will double by 2050. This will have a massive impact on healthcare facilities globally. The elderly often present with chronic illnesses or symptoms of their age like arthritis, low or high blood pressure, decline in eyesight and other ailments that are common with age. For these symptoms, nurses are required to take care of them during this vulnerable period of their lives.
Nurses have a major impact on the well-being of elderly patients, as they don’t always need big surgeries but rather constant supervision. This is especially true in old-age homes. Given that the number of the elderly over 60 is set to double by 2050, as mentioned above, this in turn means that old-age home occupancy will most likely be at an all-time high by then. These facilities rely on the knowledge, care and kindness of nurses to help see the elderly through their days. Nurses are also put in place to ensure the elderly take all their medication and do not put themselves moving around the home, which is a very rewarding job to have.
Increasing Complexity of Medical Procedures
The heart surgery, which was first performed by the doctor dubbed ‘the doctor who dared’, Christiaan Barnard in 1967 in the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town South Africa and it was a ground-breaking procedure back then. However, now heart surgeries are common practices and performed in the hundreds of thousands a day across the globe. The reason for this is that research and technology within the healthcare profession have improved greatly.
Surgeons now know more about the human body than they ever have before and still say that so much is still unknown. This means that more hands on deck are needed in the operating room, meaning that nurses are more and more in demand. A doctor cannot operate on his own, he heeds a group of nurses to assist him. This in turn means that the rise of information and understanding of the human body has given rise to the demand of nurses.
Shortage of a Skilled Healthcare Workforce
There is a huge amount of courses, diploma’s and degrees out there for nurses. However, there still seems to be a shortage of a skilled workforce. This could, in part, be because the nursing profession is notorious for long work hours and for being a challenging environment. However, this isn’t always the case. The more educated and experienced a nurse is, the more enjoyable the working environment might be.
The great thing about this profession is that nurses can take it all the way and receive their own Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) to establish themselves as leaders within the nursing community. Of course, the first step to that is becoming either a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) with a diploma course or to become a Registered Nurse (RN) with a bachelor’s degree. Thereafter, you can study to become a Nurse Practitioner after you have completed your master’s degree in nursing. The options to acquire more skills and credentials are endless in this exciting profession and give anyone interested in this occupation many interesting pathways to choose from.