What to Expect in the World of Nursing in 2022

Changes were happening in the healthcare industry long before the onset of the pandemic. However, COVID-19 accelerated the pace of things that were in the works, and a lot has changed over the last couple of years. The industry continues to evolve, and several healthcare trends will likely shape the world of nursing in 2022. 

The healthcare landscape is evolving at a rapid pace and, as a nurse, keeping up is your responsibility. Whether you are planning to enter the field soon or have been working in the industry for decades, staying on top of the latest trends is crucial. Read on to learn more about a few of the leading trends and what to expect in the world of nursing in 2022. 

Continued Job Growth

Source: JoemanjiArts-ESOS/Shutterstock.com

If you are looking for a career path where you will never have to worry about finding a job, consider investing in some men’s jogger scrubs and becoming a nurse. The United States (and much of the rest of the world) is experiencing a severe nursing shortage, and the problem isn’t expected to go away anytime soon. With the overall population increasing and the Baby Boomer generation continuing to age, the demand for licensed nurses is expected to remain high through at least 2030.

The nursing shortage existed long before COVID-19, but the pandemic has exacerbated the issue. Between the increased demand for patient care due to the illness and more nurses being driven out of the healthcare industry by pandemic-related burnout, there simply are not enough nurses entering the field to meet demand. 

Increased Use of Telemedicine

The pandemic brought about the widespread use of telemedicine. As of April 2021, 84% of physicians were offering online appointments, and the majority would like to continue offering online care. And with more and more patients turning to the internet for both primary and specialty care, telemedicine will remain huge in 2022 and beyond. In fact, there are reports that indicate revenue from telemedicine could triple by 2023. 

Higher Demand for Home Healthcare 

While a lot of medical appointments can be done virtually, some services can only be done in person. As the population ages and more Baby Boomers retire, the demand for home healthcare will grow. Home healthcare has also become a vital lifeline for medically fragile patients who are at high risk of experiencing severe complications if exposed to infectious diseases, including COVID-19. 

If passed, the Choose Home Care Act, which was introduced to the Senate in July of 2021 and the House of Representatives in October of 2021, would expand Medicare coverage for home healthcare and provide access to additional telehealth nursing and remote monitoring services for senior citizens. With more patients choosing in-home care over hospitalization, expect to see an increased demand for licensed home healthcare nurses. 

Increased Demand for Holistic Care

Source: Albina Gavrilovic/Shutterstock.com

Thanks to the internet, patients are learning more about healthcare. They no longer rely solely on their doctors’ advice and recommendations. Instead, they spend hours researching various conditions and treatments before even setting foot in a doctor’s office. They are taking care of their health and actively seeking holistic care. With the demand for holistic services increasing, nurses will need to learn about complementary and alternative treatments, like massage therapy, to meet their patients’ needs. 

Changes in Care Models

Healthcare models are expected to change over the next few years. While staffing must still be based on staff competency and patient care levels, team-based care models with more floating nurses will likely become the norm. These adjustments will help hospitals overcome problems caused by future public health crises and staff shortages. 

Value-based care is also becoming an increasingly popular care model. It aims to provide quality care and improve outcomes at lower costs while putting the patient’s experience at the forefront. Safety, quality, and affordability will be primary concerns in 2022 and beyond. 

Greater Priority on Healthcare Staff Well-Being

Burnout has long plagued the healthcare industry, but the pandemic has shone a spotlight on this all-too-common issue. Stress, burnout, and traumatic experiences all contribute to the ongoing nursing shortage, and healthcare organizations are increasingly prioritizing the mental and physical well-being of nurses and other staff members.

Healthcare leaders spanning the globe are encouraging nurses to practice self-care. Many organizations are even implementing programs to help healthcare workers manage their mental and emotional health. If your employer offers these programs, this year is a great time to start taking advantage of them. If not, commit to practicing self-care on your own as a means of keeping burnout and emotional exhaustion at bay. Whether that means doing yoga, treating yourself to a stylish new scrub dress, or getting a massage, taking care of yourself is crucial. 

Increased Demand for Travel Nurses

Travel nurses are vital when it comes to meeting the ever-evolving needs of today’s healthcare facilities. The pandemic proved this when thousands of nurses left their home cities to care for patients in COVID-19 hotspots. Plus, many nurses are embracing travel nursing as an opportunity to earn a lucrative wage while getting to travel to new places and work with different people. The demand for nurses with the flexibility to travel and adapt to different assignments is expected to experience continued growth throughout this year and beyond. 

More Men Entering the Nursing Workforce

Source: Ruwan Muhandiramge/Shutterstock.com

As of 2019, men make up more than 12% of Registered Nurses in the United States. Compared to less than 3% in the 1970s, this is a huge increase. As the nursing shortage continues, expect to see increased recruiting efforts for male nurses. 

Conclusion

The healthcare industry is always changing. It has seen major changes in the last few years, and you should expect to see more of the same rapid development in 2022 and beyond. As a nurse, there has never been a better time to focus on self-care and working to become as flexible as possible to meet the ever-changing demands of the industry.