Nurses have a front row seat to the many exciting and innovative changes in the health care industry. Between new legislation, technology, and educational opportunities, nursing professionals are important players in quality patient care.
The demand for nurses to act as the decision makers and caregivers for our nation's health is evident. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022.
For nursing professionals using RN to BSN programs to expand their knowledge, identifying the trends and hot topics in nursing today can promote a better understanding of the industry's future.
Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) gives 30 million previously uninsured Americans access to health care. Medicare coverage has increased so that more Americans over age 65 can remain with their providers. Americans can now receive insurance through an open enrollment government program if their employer doesn't offer insurance. Tax credits to help ease insurance costs are also available to families. These factors translate to a greater demand on the nursing education and competencies.
The legislation also outlines provisions to improve student loan, retention, and advanced education programs for nurses. The Advanced Nursing Education Expansion Program is intended to encourage nursing enrollment while providing an accelerated education path.
The impact of the Affordable Care Act on the nursing profession may not be fully realized until all of its provisions are rolled out in the next few years, so it will continue to remain a hot topic. The American Nurses Association (ANA) encourages nursing professionals to collaborate with legislators to continue to improve the proper implementation of these laws.
A BSN Prepared Workforce
The term "BSN in 10" began through legislative proposals that originated in New York followed by New Jersey. The legislation outlines that states must require their nursing workforce to obtain a BSN degree within ten years of their initial license.
The demand for education may be rooted in research that directly links the leadership qualities, expanded competencies, and specialization of nurses to better patient outcomes. The Institute of Medicine's report found that nurses with a BSN are critical to accommodate public health needs and maintain quality care measures. The IOM also recommended that 80 percent of the nursing workforce should have a BSN by 2020.
The New York model, "BSN in 10," continues to gain momentum in other states and remains a hot topic for nurses because employers and schools may need to help facilitate these educational opportunities. The increased prevalence of online RN-BSN programs could help professionals smoothly translate into a BSN role through the convenience of classes that can be seamlessly integrated into a work-life schedule.
The benefits of technology in clinical settings are increasingly accessible to patients. As a result, nurses are expected to navigate the front lines of the latest advancements in hardware devices and information systems to improve workflow, documentation, and care.
Consumer technology and health care are also developing a stronger connection. The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show featured an unprecedented number of health care IT vendors. New devices and programs may facilitate better care with more ease. Developments such as electronic drug interaction alerts, immunization reminders, and secure connection clinical messaging help to merge network documentation with clinical decision-making.
The federal government also recognizes technology's vital role in the industry by investing billions of dollars to improve electronic health records. These factors demonstrate the need for nurses to develop the experience and skills to apply devices or information systems to quality patient care.
Stay Updated on Nursing Trends
The Affordable Care Act, "BSN in 10," and technology will continue to impact modern nurses. They directly impact how nurses achieve their education and how they will apply skills to their career. An online nursing program can address all of these issues to ensure that nurses can be armed with the best skills and information needed for quality patient care.
With an RN to BSN or a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Saint Mary, online students will be prepared as nurse managers or health care administrators to heal and shape the evolving role of nursing. The university's RN to BSN and MSN programs prepare you for the growing challenges of today's health care environment with a rigorous curriculum that reflects the modern world. Learn more about these programs at http://online.stmary.edu.