As the U.S. economy sputters along, some new nurse graduates can’t find jobs. In fact, even amidst a nursing shortage, some can’t even get an interview. This paradoxical reality stifles commonsense, but it’s true nonetheless.
In the times of yore, nursing was the land of flowing milk and honey. If you were a nurse, you were almost guaranteed a job, but with increased competition, new nurse graduates must look for nursing jobs outside hospitals.
Instead of med-surge, new graduate nurses must consider long-term care, hospice, and informatics.
The nurses of the future mustn’t be the jack of all trades, but the master of one. The future of nursing – just like most everything else – requires professional specialization.
In the past, nursing schools approached their curriculums with a shotgun approach, teaching students a little of everything.
This approach – albeit useful – doesn’t prepare today’s students for the nursing jobs of tomorrow. At some point – most likely – new nurse graduates will be expected to specialize, just like medical students.
Due to this, university nursing programs will need to expand their content in breadth and width; instead of an associates or bachelorette, nurses of tomorrow will need advanced degrees.
They will need to – like the other members of the healthcare team – specialize in something other than nursing, like pulmonary or cardiology.
The future of nursing isn’t today’s status quo; the needs of the industry are shifting, new skills are needed, and average just won’t cut it.
If you’re a new nurse graduate, pursue your passions, but hedge your bets; if you’re a new nurse, strategize, anticipate the needs of tomorrow. And once you’ve pinpointed a need, fill it.