South Florida Hospital News
Friday May 14, 2021

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May 2010 - Volume 6 - Issue 11

Nursing Trends and Challenges

As we reflect on the past few years, 2010 may prove to bring some of the biggest changes to this countryís healthcare system. Many of the current nursing trends and challenges have come to fruition because of the passing of the Healthcare Reform Bill. The natural and perhaps most obvious challenge will be the increase of patients visiting the hospital. Because of the new bill, more people without insurance will be able to have medical attention.

As the number of patients increases, so must the number of nursing professionals. However, with more people vying for nursing jobs, the competition for employment can also rise. To secure a job may mean that hopeful applicants will have to go above and beyond to make themselves stand out. New nurses need to be proactive: higher education, additional training, etc.

Another factor that will contribute to the demand for jobs is the fact that many nurses will not retire at the traditional age. Due to our current poor economy, many individuals who normally would have left the workforce are now being forced to continue working, resulting in fewer available job openings.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 22 percent (from 2008 to 2018), much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will be driven by technological advances in patient care, which permit a greater number of health problems to be treated, and by an increasing emphasis on preventive care.

Whatís important to remember is that while we are being faced with new challenges, we need to also think of them as new opportunities. This can be a time for different generations to not only work together, but to build upon each otherís strengths. More experienced nurses must work with the newer nurses to share their skills. As the medical community turns more and more to electronic records, the recently graduated nurses will have the advantage of knowing these new systems. And, conversely, the more experienced nurses can mentor recent grads to help guide them through every day hospital life. At the end of the day, our goal is the same: to cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always.

Michelle Sutton-Epps, Director of Nursing at Delray Medical Center, can be reached at or (561) 495-3303.
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