Until recently, there has never been change in Washington that so directly affected a profession as the new healthcare reform bill will affect nurses. Politics and the nursing profession will go hand and hand in 2010, as many realize that they can affect change for citizens in their communities. Nurses will begin speaking out to their members of Congress and participating in debates as the voice of experience.
In addition, the health care reform has brought to light the need for nurses to be ready to deal with the thousands of individuals who never previously had health care. Nurses will no longer be on the sidelines; they will play a broad leadership role in developing new types of health care and promoting prevention within local communities.
Even with the success of online nursing programs to train nurses, staffing will be a major issue in 2010. As the economy continues to recover, the need for nurses will grow but the amount of actual registered nurses will decrease as many leave the profession once their own economic situation stabilizes. The US has been looming on the cusp of a nursing shortage for many years, and with the baby boomers preparing to retire, the focus will continue to remain on massive hiring. It will be difficult to keep up with the demand for new recruits.
The entire model of how nurses perform their job must change, and the focus will be on organizing specific tasks and attempting to reprioritize so that nurses are not torn between many different tasks at once. New students who have recently taken the RN career path will be the leaders in new and innovative change to both quality and safety in the profession.
For those entering educational institutions to pursue nursing, the current employment situation is one of good prospects. Most students are able to secure employment immediately, although some have predicted that the application process will drop slightly as finding a job becomes more difficult. The desire for more academic faculty in Universities is a growing concern, as an influx of students requiring teachers will become a prominent concern.
The economic crisis and health care reform has caused true concern and the desire for change within the nursing profession in 2010. As more nurses stand up and make their voices heard with regard to the politics of health care, they are positioning the profession and the country on the path to a strong future.
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