Find the job you don’t have yet.
As healthcare evolves, so do nursing roles. In many ways, the pandemic intensified the focus on addressing already existing issues, such as workforce shortages, burnout, and mental health. Are you ready for what’s next?
According to experts and 2021 surveys, the healthcare field can expect to see the following shifts in nursing:
- Dramatic decline in the healthcare workforce. Between February 2020 and February 2021, the healthcare workforce declined 3.5%, from 16.49 million jobs to 15.92 million, according to the American Hospital Association’s 2022 Health Care Talent Scan.
- Nurses leaving current positions. According to a McKinsey & Company survey, 32% of RNs indicated that they might leave their current position within the next year, citing insufficient staffing levels as the top influencing factor. Where will these nurses go? Are you one of them?
- Increased demand for caregiver roles. During the next decade, growth is expected to be 30% higher for home health aides, surgeons, mental health providers, social workers, pharmacists, nurses, technicians and paramedics. Factors include pandemic resignations and the aging population.
- Care moving beyond hospital walls. Outpatient sites of care, especially hospital-at-home, continue to boom, resulting in higher demand for nurses in ambulatory settings.
- Technology creating jobs. However, technology also may reduce the need for certain jobs, including medical assistants and transcriptionists.
- The aging workforce. The extension of our life span suddenly forces us to consider the lengthening of our work lives. How many more as-yet-unknown jobs will you hold during an extended lifetime of work?
Upskilling and reskilling to your future role
These shifts drive the need for skills that support new care roles. As healthcare evolves, new and evolving roles must meet changing needs, especially in specialties (such as telehealth and lifestyle medicine) that didn’t exist until recently. Nursing roles with growing demand include care coordinators, navigators, health coaches, virtual care nurses, legal nurse consultants, nurse researchers, forensic nurses, and several roles related to informatics and outcome-focused use of healthcare data.
How do you prepare for jobs that are new to healthcare or don’t even exist yet? How do you personally shift from a chaotic, overwhelming role to one that better matches your professional goals, rather than just quitting your job?
Look for new and evolving roles. Seek colleagues who are in the know, and find a mentor. Prepare yourself for the future in front of you, where you are, or where you will be next. You’re worth it.
Lillee Gelinas, DNP, RN, CPPS, FAAN