However, that doesn’t mean that the profession hasn’t changed drastically over the years. If you doubt that, just ask a nurse from the 70s what it was like to work as a nurse.
For some nurses, 2014 was a good year, full of influencing management, finding jobs, and making a difference in the profession. Yet so many of our colleagues are still struggling under the burdens of compassion fatigue, nurse bullying, and difficulty finding a job.
It is hoped that 2015 will be a better year for those nurses and an even better year for nurse leaders who are making a difference. Generalizing about a profession that is different in every region is difficult, but these are the issues most likely to affect nurses in 2015.
Increased Need for Nurses
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics is still optimistic about the job outlook for nurses in 2015. They call it the fastest growing profession, and they say the need will exceed all other jobs in the future.
Helping the stats is probably the idea that older nurses are nearing retirement. Many nurses have stayed in the profession past their retirement because they can’t afford not to, but it only stands to reason that some will have to retire this year.
Another possibility for job explosion is that the elderly are becoming more and more common. The baby boomers are making their way through the medical system right now, calling for more caretakers all the time.
An unfortunate need for nurses arises from those who are licensed but not working on the floor. Whether from burnout, bullying, or simply dislike of the profession, not all nurses are working as nurses, and that decreases the ranks.
Competition for Jobs
Despite the need for nurses, 2015 can actually create a competition for nursing jobs. It seems counterintuitive, but it really isn’t when you think about it.
Nursing and medicine are regional phenomena. While one state may need thousands of nurses, other regions may be flooded with all of those graduates who hopped on the nursing train.
In these situations, it may be difficult for a nurse to get a job, despite the nursing shortage. For some workers, it may require moving away from their hometown to get a job in a different state.
Of course, not many are going to want to do this, which means that certain areas will be flooded and certain areas needing help. This will cause fierce competition in the flooded areas, and that could lead to nurses out of work despite the shortage.
Increased Focus on Education
In addition, the New Year will likely focus on an increased need for nursing education. Associates degree nurses will be encouraged to get their BSN, and the nurses who are already there will get paid more.
Nurses should not overlook the importance of certifications, either. A nurse with a BSN and certification in Med-Surg is sure to earn more, get more respect, and have leadership roles over an ADN with no certifications.
It doesn’t seem fair, but the scales have been tipping this way for a long time. Professional development is important to magnet status of hospitals, and this means that education will be rewarded.
Not all nurses can pursue more training, and not all want to. Unfortunately, it is the wave of the future, and 2015 is sure to prove that education in nursing is the currency for those who want to advance in the profession.