More Nurses Seeking Careers in Leadership

Whether you visit clinics, hospitals, or rehab facilities, you will find that nurses make up the largest group of healthcare professionals. Throughout the country and the whole world, the largest sector of healthcare providers is made up of nurses. Regardless of their overwhelming presence, not many of these nurses are included in important policy discussions that could shape the future of patient care.

A two-year study analyzing nurses’ roles in re-shaping the current healthcare system was conducted by the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Among the findings from the study was a 600-page document, providing a closer look at nurses’ education. Additionally, the report offered suggestions for assigning leadership roles in enhancing the healthcare system.

medican and nurse staffing

Currently, new nursing graduates are being encouraged by their educators and nursing associations to serve as competent leaders in the healthcare industry. Aside from empowering nurses, these efforts aim to increase nurses’ leadership roles, all while promoting change within the industry.

Cathy L. Rozmus, associate dean for academic affairs and assistant vice president for Institutional Assessment and Enhancement at UTHealth School of Nursing, views education as a crucial component to nursing leadership. At the very least, Rozmus said that nurses should have a bachelor of science in nursing in order to prepare for a leadership role. However, she also said that many larger healthcare facilities call for a master’s degree, either in a nursing specialty or nursing administration.

Rozmus offered plenty of advice for new nursing graduates pursuing a leadership role in the healthcare industry. She said that the most effective way to prepare for a leadership position is to offer volunteer services for various committees. Furthermore, she believes that by working in interprofessional groups, nurses will gain invaluable experience that will help prepare them for a leadership role.

Nurses May Face Challenges Finding Hospital Jobs

Throughout the recession, nursing was a thriving career field sought after by students who were searching for a stable, long-term opportunity. However, nurses may have a harder time coming across hospital jobs in today’s job market, as many major hospitals across the country are cutting tens of thousands of jobs.

Nurse in hospital

As the number of hospital admissions declines, many hospital chains are receiving lower reimbursements from the government, as well as insurance companies. Nevertheless, although many hospital jobs are being eliminated, other opportunities for nurses and other healthcare workers are opening up in other places, ranging from outpatient clinics to rehabilitation centers. Although these jobs offer slightly less pay than what nurses typically expect, these settings are fueling growth for the field of nursing, according to healthcare experts.

Nurses and students who had hoped to work in a hospital setting are now contemplating their future. In the past, finding a hospital job after college never used to be an issue for nursing students. Nursing students used to receive several job offers before they even completed their degree, and hospitals would constantly be on the hunt to fill plenty of nursing positions.

Nevertheless, patient admissions and overall revenue continues to decline. As a result, many hospitals say that they are forced to cut down on jobs, consolidate labs, and even abandon some programs. Meanwhile, nursing jobs are still plentiful in other settings, such as patient homes and walk-in clinics. Furthermore, the nursing industry is experiencing a shift from high-acuity care, which involves specialized staffing and pricey equipment to treat seriously ill patients, to lower-acuity care, which requires less intensive treatments.

Despite nurses’ concerns about their future, many continue to work in hospital settings. Currently, about 60 percent of the country’s 2.7 million registered nurses are employed by hospitals. However, unlike past years, national experts say that nurses should not just assume that they will receive several job offers.

Luckily, there is still good news for nursing employment. According to a news release issued last week by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, nursing students who obtain a bachelor’s degree are much more likely to receive job offers upon graduation than the national average among all other professions. Hospital staffing may be slow at present, but the industry expects a wave of retirements in the near future. Not to mention, nurse staffing ratio laws and the Affordable Care Act may boost demand for nurse staffing.

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