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5 Healthcare and Nursing Trends to Watch

By Bisk
5 Healthcare and Nursing Trends to Watch

Healthcare and nursing exist in an ever-changing landscape. New inventions, studies and opportunities arise practically every day. Here are five trends to keep an eye on.

Preventative Care

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” a phrase coined by Ben Franklin, holds true today. Nurses are the ounce of prevention. Patient education is important for many healthcare initiatives because nurses can help identify patients with risk factors and work with them to limit and/or prevent disease.

Nurses are trained in primary prevention – identifying risk factors and teaching their clients how to combat every day chronic health issues. In today’s healthcare environment, chronic care can be costly, while preventive care is the next wave.

Nursing Education Initiatives

The Institute of Medicine has called for 80% of the nursing population to have a BSN by 2020. In response, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation partnered with the AARP to help improve the health of Americans by transforming the nursing profession. Some of the programs introduced or supported include:

  • Pooling public and private funding
  • Encouraging healthcare organizations to encourage diploma and associate degree registered nurses to join BSN programs within five years of graduation
  • Expanding loans and grants for second-degree nursing students

Demographics and Diversity

One inevitable trend in healthcare is an aging population. By 2020, it’s estimated that more than 20% of the nation’s population will be 65 or older. Greater life expectancy may affect the healthcare system’s ability to provide quality care, so nursing education and practice must adapt to these changes.

The nursing population is also shifting. Ethnic and racial diversity of nursing schools have increased, and many students are returning to school at an older age, many of whom already have a full-time job and a family to provide for.  

Nursing schools and healthcare facilities must prepare to meet challenges of a more mature student body. By reflecting patient and provider changes in curriculums and clinical settings, educational policies and research priorities, schools can continue to provide quality healthcare.  

3-D Printing

This technology has been around for a couple of years and some areas of healthcare have embraced it. Manufacturers of hearing aids and joint implants have been working with 3-D printing to develop replacement ears for children born with a congenital deformity called microtia. Using 3-D printing, doctors can make replacement ears that are practically identical to a human ear. 

Researchers are also exploring developing other replacement body parts primarily made of cartilage because it does not require blood supply to survive.  This could potentially be a game-changing healthcare initiative for people who are missing body parts due to physical injuries or deformities.

Online Nursing School

Online education can serve as a great opportunity for nurses to grow in their profession and further their careers. The BSN is quickly becoming the baseline for employment at many healthcare facilities, but most nurses likely can’t afford to quit work and go back to school.

Attending classes online can solve that dilemma by allowing students to attend courses adhering to their schedule. Online education offers a convenient and flexible way to attend school, while still allowing time for work. Students can take courses on their schedule and work at their own pace.

Nurses can complete an RN to BSN degree completion program from Villanova University through its renowned College of Nursing. Students can attend online courses taught by the same distinguished faculty at a flexible pace that suits each individual’s needs and lifestyle. Coursework is presented in an interactive classroom and curriculum covers a variety of nursing areas, including public health, leadership, ethics and nursing practice. Clinical nursing rotations are held at the student’s place of employment or nearby healthcare facility.

Category: Nursing