Top six emerging roles for registered nurses

A research study carried out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that there were more than 2,700,000 registered nurses in the United States. However, the demand for nurses has been expanding at an alarming rate compared to the number of nursing professionals. The challenge is further intensified by the fact that there has been an increase in the number of baby boomers in need of nursing care and nursing services. The health industry is also embracing new technologies for both patient care and patient data. With these changes comes emerging roles that have to be duly filled by nurses. The following are some of the key ones.

Care Coordinator

Care coordination is becoming an essential factor in the process of professional care delivery. Efficiency and cost-efficiency are crucial to the health care sector whether in large hospitals or community clinics. Therefore, a career opportunity has emerged for specialized nurses who will be responsible for ensuring that cost-effective methods are used in providing services. A nursing care coordinator should not only be good at organizing and coordinating but should also exhibit excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they will be dealing with other nurses as well as administrative tasks.

Geriatrics Professionals

Recent research shows that in the coming years, a significant proportion of the United States’ population will be made up of senior citizens. This is evidence that there is a need for geriatric nurses who will be providing multiple health services to this population. It is common knowledge that older individuals are prone to risks and diseases such as osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and cancer among others. As such, there is need for professional nurses to aid the elderly and their families to incorporate preventive and day to daycare for the elderly.

Residential senior care is becoming increasingly popular as most people like the convenience of being able to live in their homes and familiar surroundings. In-home care has been made easier by various equipment that can help seniors function normally in their homes when the caregivers are off duty. These include grab bars, tub grab bars and toilet safety rails. Geriatric professionals can offer training on the use of these aids to ensure more stability and safety.

Faculty Team Leader

The demand for registered nurses is increasing on a daily basis. However, most of the nurses in the job market have different skills and expertise. Unfortunately, these differences in skill sets and knowledge could impede operations and nursing care in a hospital setting.

A faculty team leader is therefore needed to bring harmony and help the nurses to focus their energy on delivering quality services. This can be done through induction, training and other activities that help build cohesion.

Primary Care Partner

For a long time now, nurses have focused on providing nursing services to patients in clinical settings and at community setups. That has remained to be the primary role of nurses. However, there have been other emerging roles that specialized nurses are needed to perform. Some of these roles include providing basic and in-depth primary care to a particular patient. Provision of primary care includes patient education, training on how to handle complex illnesses, and educating on preventive medicine.

Informatics Specialists

Informatics is becoming an important factor in the healthcare sector. This means that the need for specialized nurses who will help in developing various software programs will be needed. Most of the informatics scientists will assist in the designing, development, and application of multiple health information systems. They will also assist in data analysis and interpretation for reliable decision making.

Moreover, informatics will help in understanding and interpreting various factors such as health behaviors, economic factors, environmental factors, and the use of technology to enhance wellness among patients.

Mental Health Nurse

Mental challenges have afflicted many patients. Nurses in this category work with the sole purpose of helping these patients to live a better and more fulfilling life. However, to work in this sector, a nurse has to be trained in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of various mental illnesses. This is an emerging field that has been brought about by the increased advocacy in mental health problems such as stress and depression.

Nursing is a fast-changing field that will see nurses couple their health studies with administrative or IT studies. In time, employers will begin seeking nurses with these added skill sets so as to compete and operate optimally.

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