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Experts Predict Future of Registered Nursing Will Include Evolving Skill Set and Broader Work Environment

As opportunities in the nursing field are evolving, so too are the skills and work environments associated with the field, says an article published September 12 on the online industry portal Nurse.com.

In her front-page feature, Nurse.com staff writer Cathryn Domrose details some of the notable shifts predicted for Registered Nurses (RNs) and the nursing field as a whole.

According to Domrose, these desirable and versatile skills include: the talent to shift between working independently and in collaboration with other health personnel; critical thinking abilities; training and expertise in elder care and knowledge of the healthcare system operations.

Domrose quotes industry expert Linda Tieman, RN, MN, FACHE, executive director of the Washington Center for Nursing and board president of the Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers, who anticipates growth in the area “community health” work field.

Domrose article also cites figures provided in the 2010-2011 edition of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, including 22 percent expected growth in the RN industry from 2008 to 2018; however, the rate at which nurses are hired is likely to vary specific among healthcare industries.

For example, Domrose says that while “hospitals employ about 60% of all RNs,” this number is predicted to drop due to anticipated factors like “technological innovations,” “healthcare reform,” and “cost-cutting trends” that “provide incentives to take care of more people in the community.”

The article identifies several sectors that the BLS expects will offer increasing job opportunities for nurses. Specifically, RN jobs are expected to increase in physician’s offices by 48 percent, while home health positions are predicted to offer a 25 percent increase. By comparison, RN positions at hospitals are anticipated to grown by just 17 percent.

Domrose also addresses the effect of the country’s expanding population of aging baby boomers on the nursing field. In particular, she points to “nursing workforce researchers” who say a larger segment of older Americans with “multiple chronic conditions” will likely create an increasing number of community care and hospital patients.

Finally, Domrose describes how some industry-insiders are analyzing the role of recent healthcare reform, including how its focus on “coordinated care” and prevention may produce similar priority shifts in the country’s healthcare model—from hospital to more community-based care.

Changes in the country’s population and healthcare landscape will require more specialized and trained professionals, such as Sacramento RNs and San Francisco registered nurses. Learn more about training for a role as a Santa Clara RN at Unitek College, today!

For additional information on Cathryn Domrose’s article for Nurse.com, please visit:

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