Registered nurses (RNs) play a crucial role in the health and well-being of a community and are a prevailing resource for meeting expanded demands and filling new roles in healthcare. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2,751,000 registered nurses in the United States in 2014.
Because of an aging Baby Boomer population, a shortage of primary care practitioners, and a greater emphasis on preventative care, the demand for RN’s is expected to increase at a rate of 16% between 2014 and 2024. As the demand for RNs grows, several careers are primed to mature as a result.
Individuals who are hospitalized or receiving ongoing outpatient treatment for various illnesses often require the valued services of a patient care coordinator. This professional acts as a liaison between patients and the medical staff to ensure optimal care is given and received. Patient care coordinators offer supportive and personal attention and may act as advocates, assisting a patient’s family in dealing with their loved one’s illness.
Registered nurses are a great fit for this role because they are naturally inclined to work in teams, possess a natural ability to build relationships with both colleagues and patients, and have an inherent desire to advise communities on best health practices.
With the increase in demand for registered nurses, and constant modifications being made to voluntary and mandatory RN continuing education, the faculty team leader position becomes crucial to a smooth-running organization. As a faculty team leader, an RN can aid in coordinating interdisciplinary education teams and be a main voice in preparing RNs for increasingly community-based roles. As a liaison between classroom and clinical practice, RNs make great candidates to take on this essential responsibility.
According to the American Nurses Association, nursing informatics is a specialty that combines nursing, computer science and information technology in an effort to manage and use data more effectively within the healthcare field. The main objective of the nursing informatics specialist is to use data more effectively to support patients and medical staff in making better decisions.
Looking toward the future, informatics will likely play an increasingly important role within the healthcare industry. As a consequence, there will be a growing need for RNs to participate in the research and development of new software and information systems so that the technology can effectively use the data to produce optimum patient wellness.
The nurse/family cooperative facilitator is a registered nurse who leaves the medical setting and goes out into their community to connect with patients where they live and work. This particular RN role is crucial in overall community health, as they are able to address immediate health concerns and issues such as substance abuse, poverty and violence.
The nurse is able to see the patient in their everyday environment and provide help and suggestions to overcome their healthcare issues.
As primary care partners, RNs assist in improving the quality of care that patients receive while increasing the number of patients a practice or clinic can care for, which in turn can increase overall community health. These professionals are responsible for intake screening, preventative medicine, patient education and personal coaching to those who battle complex illnesses. This role can possibly be filled by RNs without advanced certification.
For many years the principal role of registered nurses has been to provide individuals, families and entire communities with support and preventative information to gain greater health and wellness. These emerging RN careers show just how versatile and skilled RNs can be, and how necessary their varying roles are in the health and well-being of the overall community.