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Trends in Nursing, Part 3: What nurses should do to prepare for the future

Nursing is a growing profession. In the United States, there are 2.7 million registered nursing jobs today, and experts predict an increase of 19% by 2022. Both Australia and the United Kingdom are working to address workforce shortages.

As the industry continues to change, nurses can prepare today to make the most of tomorrow’s opportunities.

To help honor the profession during Nurses Week (May 6 – 12), we interviewed nursing leaders around the world. Here are some of the highlights of what they shared on this subject:

What should nurses do today to help them prepare for changes coming over the next 2-3 years?

“I believe nurses have to position themselves to be there very best. What does that mean? Nurses need to have advanced degrees — at minimum a Bachelor’s degree perhaps even a Master’s degree and looking in the future towards a doctorate !   I believe nurses need to be certified in their respective areas. I think that nurses need to be savvy with technology. I think that nurses need to be compensated in many different ways.  Nurses also need to learn to be business people; They need to understand that their profession requires them to be savvy and articulate in many other areas such as finance, healthcare updates, trends of the future and a clinical expert in their own area of expertise.  

“I believe nurses are not as involved in politics and or specifically policy development and they should be. Because any policy that is established through our government to CMS who establish regulations for health care affects the hands-on registered nurses. Finally I think that Nursing needs to understand the value of working with elderly nursing colleagues.

“Nursing is complex and dynamic at the same time. What a great profession.”

Jeanine Frumenti, DNP, RN, Chief Nursing Executive

Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center

Bronx, New York, U.S.A.


“Nurses need to be open minded…and managers need to provide strong leadership and help staff realize the benefits of electronic patient records. Realize that a lot of planning, research, clinician input and ongoing work goes into these systems.”

Helen Carter, Corporate Matron

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Salford, United Kingdom


“Nurses need to understand the continuing importance of their role. By that I mean we’re the only healthcare providers who are trained to keep the whole patient in perspective. We care for the psychosocial, physical and emotional aspects of patients’ well-being. Nurses serve as advocates for patients by helping them navigate the complexities of an illness or a hospitalization.  And sometimes, the nurse is that voice that offers support to patients making critical healthcare decisions or finding peace at end of life.

“With the changes in health care, there is an even bigger role for nurses. They’ll have a whole new series of opportunities with population and community-based health care. I’m excited that nurses get to do something new again.”

Karen A. Grimley, Chief Nursing Officer

University of California, Irvine Medical Center

Orange, Calif., U.S.A.

“We are in the era of smart technology and medical innovations. I believe nurses should be “tech” savvy. To be relevant and well informed, nurses should step up to the challenges and be more proactive in acquiring new knowledge and skills to better equip them. One of the ways to be updated is to read up on medical and nursing informatics journals and also to be updated in basic/intermediate level of computing skills.

“Also we have to keep in mind with the advancement in technology, it will not only streamline and speed up the process on information retrieval, there is also a raising concern on IT security. Such fraudulent acts as stealing identities and bank records are quite common nowadays, soon it could happen to the hospitals too.  So I think more education needs to be given for nurses on IT security, this will help to safeguard the nursing practice and protect the best interest of our patients that we take care daily.”

Khairunnisa Ahmad, Senior Staff Nurse

Singapore General Hospital – SingHealth



“As to how to prepare for changes, the nurses just need to remain flexible and open to what is coming forward. They need to keep educated on the trends coming forward, work with their professional organizations, work with nursing leadership to help with changes needed and just have an open mind as to what the future holds. Obtaining additional education and certification is also needed.”

 Jill Mason, RN, MS, Chief Nursing Officer

Blessing Hospital

Quincy, IL, U.S.A.

 What do you think nurses should do to prepare for the next 2-3 years? Please add your thoughts in the comments below.

Editor’s Note – “Save one life, you’re a hero. Save 100 lives, you’re a nurse.” To share this idea and wisdom from nursing leaders, click here to tweet.

Check out other posts in this Trends in Nursing series: 

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