Nurses are in high demand because they play a vital role in the healthcare system and serve as the backbone of patient care. They are responsible for administering medication, monitoring vital signs, and providing education and support to patients and their families. They also collaborate with other healthcare professionals to develop and implement patient care plans. Nursing World describes nurses as the glue that holds patient care together. This is true in all aspects of care and nurses are often the most visible point of care for patients and families.
The nurse is expected to follow the instructions of the doctor; reach out to the doctor as needed for support, guidance or orders; and have the knowledge to push back on a doctor if they believe that something is incorrect for the patient – all while performing bedside care for patients at the same time.
Nurses must stay up to date on education, licensing and new techniques. Nurses must be trained in life-saving tools in the most advanced way possible, as when something negative happens with a patient, the nurse is usually the first person on the scene to help or begin CPR or another important measure. They must also be able to provide this care, administer medications with precision, and see to the patient and their family while answering questions. Nurses in an inpatient setting often have several patients assigned to them, and they must balance the care of those patients with a careful and delicate precision as mistakes could mean life or death.
In other cases, the nurse may be giving a baby a shot in a routine well-child visit. They need to have the skills to comfort the baby and the parents if needed while doing so. They will also educate the parents on any risks associated or any other important information.
Role of nurses in the community
Nurses play a vital role in the healthcare system and in communities. They provide essential care to individuals and families, promote health, prevent illness, and educate and support patients and their loved ones.
When visiting a clinic, hospital or practice, a nurse is usually the first medical professional with whom a patient interacts. This means that they set the tone for the visit while taking vitals and understanding the patient’s symptoms.
The nurse is also the one doing the majority of patient care in an in-patient hospital setting. They are monitoring vitals and pain, staying in contact with the doctor on the patient’s behalf, seeing to the patient’s comfort, answering call bells, and administering medication. Doctors still have an important role, but for the most part, the nurse is performing the role of bedside care. A doctor will visit and check on their patients. They are not removed from the care of the patient, by any means. However, the doctor is providing instructions for the nurse on medication and other things related to the patient and the nurse is actioning this.
Nurses also triage patients by doing more than just vitals. In gathering details about why you are being seen and how you are feeling, nurses are making notes for the doctor and determining if your visit needs to be prioritized.
Another one of the main ways that nurses benefit communities is by providing access to healthcare. Nurses work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics and community health centers, and they often serve as the first point of contact for individuals seeking medical attention. They triage patients, assess their needs, and provide care and treatment. They also help connect patients with other healthcare providers and resources as needed.
Another way that nurses benefit communities is by promoting health and preventing illness. Nurses educate patients on how to maintain their health and prevent disease – for example, by encouraging healthy habits such as exercise and good nutrition and providing information on screenings and vaccinations. They also work with communities to identify and address health issues, such as by conducting health assessments and working with community partners to develop programs and interventions.
Nurses also play an important role in supporting patients and their families during difficult times. They provide emotional and psychological support, and help patients and their loved ones navigate the healthcare system and understand their treatment options. They also advocate for their patients and work to ensure that they receive the care they need.
Nurses benefit communities by providing access to healthcare, promoting health and preventing illness, and supporting patients and their loved ones. They are a vital part of the healthcare system and play a crucial role in improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.
Diversity in nursing
The diversity in nursing also provides a level of care that makes patients more comfortable through familiarness, culture, or even language support. The need for nurses also makes the job flexible, and nurses can travel to other areas to work, bringing that culture and diversity with them.
Carson-Newman, which offers online FNP programs, provides a list of demographic nursing statistics showing data from 2020 compared to 2017. The report reveals the following racial demographics within the nursing field (2017 statistics in parentheses):
- 80.6% White/Caucasian (down from 80.8%).
- 7.2% Asian (down from 7.5%).
- 6.7% Black/African American (up from 6.2%).
- 2.3% Other (down from 2.9%).
- 2.1% More than one race category selected (up from 1.7%).
- 0.5% American Indian or Alaska Native (up from .4%).
- 0.4% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (down from .5%).
- 0.2% Middle Eastern/North African (2020 was the first survey with this category).
The diversity in nursing also means that as a nurse, you get to work with many different people from many different backgrounds. This can be a chance to make new friends, learn from peers, and grow as a person, not just as a nurse.
You can learn or even teach others how to be a more effective nurse through observation. Approaching different populations may need different skills from the nurse. It is important to learn these skills as much as you can. Don’t undervalue your own information as there are also things that people can learn from you.
High demand for nurses
One of the main reasons why nurses are in high demand is the aging population. As the baby boomer generation continues to age, the demand for healthcare services increases. As a result, the need for nurses to provide care for older adults, who often have chronic health conditions, continues to grow. This is especially true in long-term care facilities, where nurses are responsible for providing daily care for residents.
Another reason why nurses are in high demand is the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases. Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, are becoming more common in the US. Nurses play an important role in managing these conditions, providing education to patients, and helping them to manage their symptoms. In addition, with the increasing focus on preventative care, nurses are needed to educate patients on how to maintain their health and prevent the development of chronic diseases.
The role of nurses has also expanded beyond traditional inpatient settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes, to include community-based care. Nurses are increasingly working in clinics, schools, and other community settings, where they provide primary care and support for patients. This shift toward community-based care has increased the need for nurses who are able to provide care in a variety of settings, and who can work effectively as part of a team.
In addition to providing direct patient care, nurses also play a vital role in the community. They often serve as advocates for their patients, working to ensure that they receive the care they need and that their rights are protected. They also work with community organizations and government agencies to improve the health of the community as a whole.
Nurses serve the community by working to improve access to healthcare. Nurses understand the barriers that prevent some people from receiving care, such as lack of transportation or language barriers, and work to address these issues. They also work with community organizations and government agencies to develop programs and policies that promote health and prevent disease.
Another way that nurses serve the community is by working to improve health outcomes. Nurses use their knowledge of health promotion and disease prevention to educate individuals and communities about how to maintain their health. They also work to identify and address health disparities, which are differences in health outcomes that are related to social and economic factors, such as race and income.
Why become a nurse?
Nurses have the ability to make an impact in so many lives. The opportunity to build relationships with patients, even short-term ones, can have an impact that you may never know about. However, positively impacting someone’s day is beyond value.
Many people have different reasons for going into the nursing field. They place value on the work they will be doing no matter why they started their path.
There are also many different paths in nursing, from a licensed practical nurse (LPN) to a registered nurse (RN) or a nurse practitioner (NP). There are also leadership roles in nursing, such as a director of nursing (DON). With any of these roles, there are several career choices open to you.
You could choose to work in a fast-paced environment, such as the emergency department, or opt for something a little bit slower-paced and work in a clinic or doctor’s office. You could even choose to work as a school nurse and help sick children and contact their parents.
There are also many options for nursing school. You can find a nursing program near you, often several, and even hybrid options that allow for some coursework to be completed online. The length of time for your education will depend on where you are at in your education and which destination you choose.
Several large hospital networks also partner with nearby schools to help cover the cost of tuition for nurses in exchange for a contract to work for them for a certain length of time. This can provide the nursing student with a job after graduation and passing of board exams, and allow them to reduce the debt they would be in from school.
Benefits for nurses are great. Usually, a good healthcare package is available, along with sick time, bonuses, shift differentials, and more. These are on top of the pay that nurses receive, which is among the higher-paying positions depending on where you go.
There is even remote, or telehealth, work available for nurses, triaging patients over the phone or on video chats. These opportunities are great for people who want to make a difference with their nursing degree while working from home.
For additional pay, you can become a travel nurse and go to areas that are in need of nurses. This pay is usually significant and covers your hotel stay in exchange for short contracts. You can travel the US while getting to do the work that you love and making a difference.
The options are vast and each provides rewarding opportunities to help others. As a nurse, you will have an impact on the lives of those around you and the opportunity to save them.
How to become a nurse
The first step to becoming a nurse is choosing the path that you want to take. This is an important consideration from the beginning, and allows you to choose a school that meets all of your education needs.
From there, consider the time commitment needed for your goals and how you will fit that into your daily life. Most nursing courses up to registered nurse are primarily in person, with some hybrid options that may be available.
Once you have decided on a school that will meet your needs, look into scholarship and tuition assistance opportunities. Knowing from the outset how you will pay for school is important as these bills can add up over time. If you plan to use tuition assistance, carefully read any contracts or terms associated with that.
Begin your coursework. As with any nursing degree, there will be classroom portions along with clinical placements that are needed to obtain your degree. Consider if your school will help you find a clinical placement or if you need to find one on your own. It can take a while to find a suitable option, so consider this early on to be certain that you are able to complete it in the allotted timeframe.
Nurses are in high demand because they play a vital role in the healthcare system and serve as the backbone of patient care. They are essential in providing care for older adults, managing chronic diseases, and serving the community in various settings.
They also serve as advocates for their patients and work to increase access to healthcare and improve health outcomes for the community. Taking the COVID-19 pandemic as an example, the call for nurses was unprecedented, and many nurses rose to meet the challenge and provide care for patients at a risk to their own health.
The level of care and support that nurses gave was selfless. The outpouring of support from the communities only served to firmly cement the need for nurses overall. Many communities and populations would not have thrived during the pandemic if not for the support of nurses, and they recognized this in any way that they could.
Companies reached out with free things for nurses during that time, and some continue to do so still. Food was provided from restaurants that were only barely supporting themselves early in the pandemic when everything was shut down.
The nurses also had the task of providing family members with updates about their loved ones while no visitors were allowed in the hospitals. These selfless nurses gave all they had to support their patients when no one else could be with them.
It was a trying time for everyone involved and the nurses were the glue holding everyone together. They provided not just the medical support, but also the emotional support needed to help see entire communities through the early and roughest days of the pandemic.
It is important that communities continue to understand the value provided by nurses, not just in a pandemic. Nurses are always needed, and there will always be a place for them in the medical field and the community.
The demand for nurses is expected to continue to grow in the future as the population ages and the need for healthcare services increases. It is important to support nurses and to recognize the vital role they play in the healthcare system and in the community.