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Nursing School Interview Hot Topic: The Future of Nursing

Overview

Whilst the future of Nursing beyond the next ten or twenty years might be hard to imagine, there are certain themes that we will see over the next few years, that will undoubtedly carry into the future beyond. In this article, we will examine some of these themes to see where the profession is headed.

Nurses will specialise and seek further education

With Nurse Practitioners becoming more common, and the government pushing physician associates and NPs as a way of dealing with shortages of doctors in some areas, it is likely that a general shift toward nurses becoming more specialised – and better educated – will take place over the coming years. In America, most nursing schools require teachers to hold PhDs – which less than 1% of staff have – meaning that many schools are having to turn away too many applicants due to a shortage of staff. In the UK, as the government tries to train 50,000 extra nurses over a five year period, the need for teaching staff will also be felt. Therefore, expect nurses to have to seek higher qualifications – be they Master’s degrees to specialise as an NP, or even PhDs to teach.

Nurses will remain in demand

The UK is facing a shortage of nurses – as are other countries like the USA. With a million nurses retiring in the US by 2030, the Journal of Nursing Regulation has explained that healthcare organisations will find themselves facing a loss that ‘will be felt for years to come.’ In the UK, the government’s decision to remove the nursing bursary in 2015 – despite the subsequent replacement of it with a similar scheme – has led to reduced applicant levels. With an ageing population across first world countries, the demand for qualified caregivers will continue to increase throughout the next years and decades.

More men will become nurses

In the 1960s, men made up only two percent of nurses in the US – today that is 13%. In the UK, only around 11% of nurses are male. In fact, men made up 10.8% of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register, according to the 2016/2017 annual equality and diversity report, versus 11% in the years 2015–2016. Therefore, expect to see more men entering the profession, looking for a job that allows them to provide care for others, learn throughout their lives, and make a positive change. Stigmas around gender roles and gender-associated jobs are being largely washed away by Gen Z, and this will no doubt be borne out by all jobs becoming more gender balanced – not just Nursing.

More need to specialise in geriatrics

With an ageing population, we should expect to see the number of nurses working on geriatrics wards to increase, and thus the likelihood of nurses being required to train additionally to specialise in geriatrics, or to teach geriatrics.

Technology and Remote Health

Telehealth providers will become more common, reducing the need for one to visit a doctor in person. For practice nurses, this could mean that they will increasingly become reliant on technology to see patients and speak to them – and mean the same for other specialists like health visitors. Telehealth at the moment is in its infancy – what will happen next remains to be seen. However, one should assume that patients will become used to a patient portal system where they can see their health information, and health professionals can access the information. Nurses will have to become used to these formats, and to ever more ways of sharing and storing digital

Holistic Care

Already a buzzword for the health service – and something that health professionals aim for – we should expect holistic care to become ever more common, and demanded, throughout the next years. Nurses will have to treat the ‘whole person’ and promote health through a myriad of different methods – standard health promotion measures like exercise, mind and body activities like yoga, meditation, alternative diets, etc. With Millennials and Gen Z preferring an approach like this – preventative, focusing on health promotion – the future will be shaped by holistic care.

Potential questions which may be asked in the interview

  • What do you think will happen to Nursing in the next 20 years?
  • What big changes are on the horizon for Nursing?
  • What one change will have the biggest impact on the Nursing profession in the next decade?
  • How will technology change Nursing?
  • What is holistic care?

How to answer questions on this topic

Think about an area that interests you in particular, and research it. Reflect on it and how you can prepare yourself for changes in the field of Nursing. Consider what area you might want to specialise in, in context of the changes that will shape Nursing in the future.

Further Reading....

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