Healthcare Technology Featured Article

July 21, 2023

Nursing in the Post-pandemic World: How Is It Different?

The COVID-19 pandemic was an eye-opener in more than one way. While it made health a priority for the world, most businesses and professions changed for good. From restaurants to gyms, banks, and retail stores, most business verticals mastered the art of running online. However, healthcare professions were impacted the most because they were at the center of the crisis.

Nursing deserves a special mention in this context, as the field went through a roller coaster ride during the pandemic. On the one hand, nurses were revered as heroes and saviors. On the other, they felt overworked and underappreciated. According to a survey by the American Nursing Foundation, thousands of nurses felt stressed (75%), frustrated (69%), and overwhelmed (62%) during the phase.

As the dust settles, it is clear that nursing is not the same in the post-pandemic world. Although statistics show that it continues to be one of the most trusted professions, nurses joining the workforce have a fair share of concerns about what the future looks like for them.  Before getting a sneak peek into what lies ahead, it is crucial to understand the present scenario.

Let us share some insights into how nursing has changed in the post-pandemic world.

Better Career Prospects

Registered Nurses are among the largest segments of the American workforce. Nursing is also one of the highest-paying occupations in the country. Things look good ahead, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 194,500 average annual openings for registered nurses in the decade from 2020 to 2030.

You need to invest in your career to make the most of the opportunity. Since the demand for family nursing practitioners is surging, adding the specialty to your portfolio makes sense. Enrolling for an online post-masters FNP degree is a good idea for nursing professionals with an MSN in another specialty. The additional degree opens new opportunities and higher income prospects in 2023 and beyond.

Rockhurst University notes that the online mode is ideal for professionals already in the workforce because it does not require them to leave their jobs to pursue continuing education. Learners get the best of both worlds with a 100% online curriculum and clinical hours with an online program.

New Roles in Nursing

Besides the growth and income prospects, another significant development for nurses is the advent of new roles in the field. More and more nurses are considering leaving the bedside and exploring non-patient-facing roles in training, administration, and management. A 2022 survey showed that 32% of registered nurses were keen to opt out of their current direct-patient-care roles and move to another role.

The mindset shift may worsen the staffing crisis in the field, and a large part of the workforce approaching retirement compounds the problem. However, job security and flexibility are good reasons for professionals to stay in the field. There are many unconventional options to explore, with flexible roles such as travel nursing and provider-type roles like nursing anesthetists and practitioners.

Going further, pediatric and geriatric fields have a broad scope for professionals looking for different roles. Education is key if you want to exit bedside care and fit into a new role in healthcare administration or elsewhere.

Focus on Self-Care

Another thing that has changed for nurses after the pandemic is a growing focus on self-care as they realize that nursing is more than just taking care of patients. As the nursing shortage was rampant during the worst global health crisis, countless professionals in the field experienced burnout and stress.

According to a 2021 survey on nursing professionals, 95% of the participants accepted going through burnout within the past three years. Additionally, 48% of them considered looking for a less stressful position or leaving the profession altogether. Although things look up after the pandemic is over, the continuing shortage still makes nursing a stressful job.

Fortunately, self-care awareness has increased among nurses, and there is a greater community among the workforce. As a nurse, adopting self-care might seem challenging when you are invested in looking after others. But you must embrace it as a part of your role to stay physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy in the new normal.

What Next

The future of nursing in post-pandemic times looks different, but it is clear that the demand and income potential in the field will continue to grow. Making the most of the opportunities is about upskilling with education and adopting the right approach. You may consider changing roles and trying something different. That’s a wiser move than leaving the industry all set to thrive in the future.

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