Nursing: The year 2020 was a nightmare for almost everyone, and through common consensus, the public wants to forget that it happened. But that wasn’t the case for healthcare professionals, especially nurses. Their role during the pandemic cannot be dismissed as their services shed light on how important healthcare is to keep the world running. In this aspect, nurses played a major role when the world was on the brink of collapsing and needed help; nurses came to their aid. It didn’t matter if the nurses had been retired or out of practice or worked in another profession. All of them showed up at the scene to support the healthcare system to keep the world upright.
It is safe to say that the pandemic has changed the way that we look at nurses. The primary reason was that all the barriers and weaknesses in each country’s healthcare system became evident in the face of such significant adversity. But at the same time, it also highlighted the strength of healthcare providers and their relentless hard work to provide the best care to their patients. To fill the gaps, nurses came out of their retirement and joined the force again during times of crisis. At the same time, applications for nursing school also increased in the past year than it has ever before in history. As a result, the nurses in practice started to opt for higher education to take the role of nurse educators. To assist the career progress of these nurses, nursing schools made advanced courses like DNP for nurse educators more accessible, giving them a choice to learn more skills and expertise needed for the job.
Nurses: A Vision for Future Healthcare
The International Council of Nurses declares nurses as the largest profession in healthcare. For this reason, nurses must play an integral role in the future planning of all aspects related to the healthcare systems around the globe. In the future, nurses aspire to become a leading voice in the healthcare system that is responsible for giving a vision for the future. It involves different aspects such as:
Being the frontline workers of the industry, nurses deal with patients all the time. For this reason, they are the natural leaders that can introduce innovation and changes for the betterment of the industry. A prime example of this claim is that in the past year, during the pandemic, nurses introduced innovative solutions that helped address the needs of patients in critical condition.
As the world slowly transitions towards a post-pandemic state, nurses are now turning towards opportunities to progress in their careers through training programs. That is because the demands of the current healthcare system are constantly increasing, and to fulfill these demands, nurses must focus on improving their innovative development capacity.
Apart from that, the pandemic also caused a significant shift in the traditional problems and barriers that used to limit a nurse’s work abilities to deliver effective healthcare. A clear example of that was how many states issued waivers to many retired nurses so that they could return to practice and help during the current conditions. In addition to that, the state also relaxed many restrictions on the nurses who weren’t part of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). Relaxation allowed them to practice through telehealth and across the state line. These initiatives and their results showed us that nurses require working flexibility that allows them to find innovative solutions to future emergencies.
- Diversity And Inclusion
The latest survey by the Nation Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) shows more racial diversity in the current nursing workforce that ranges between the ages of 19 to 49 years. This shows that the nursing field is now more racially diverse than any other profession. However, the issue of matching the workforce diversity levels to the population is still there, but it shows that the healthcare industry is taking initiatives in the right direction. In addition to that, the survey also showed that as many nurses reach retirement age, the industry will face a great loss of expertise and workforce. To deal with that, the healthcare industry is trying to implement several succession plans to minimize that loss.
- Dealing With The Stress Factors During The Pandemic
Nurses are the frontline workers dealing with the harsh brunt of the pandemic first-hand. Almost every nurse in practice can attest at this point that they have spent almost the whole year working in an emergency. Not only that, but nurses worked with Covid patients despite the shortage of protective gear to keep them safe. They sacrificed their health, time with the family and isolated themselves solely for the sake of healthcare service. For this reason, 2020 saw the loss of many precious lives, which included many nurses. For nurses, their lives turned completely upside down during the pandemic. Dealing with such stress was not an easy task. Yet, nurses still had to stand their ground and fight the battle against the virus and the battle going on inside their minds and bodies.
In times like these, many nurses opted for holistic care techniques such as including spiritual care, mental care, exercises, etc., in their routine to stay grounded and healthy. Such tough times really emphasized the importance of nurses’ mental and physical health, and now healthcare systems are finding innovative solutions to that problem.
It is evident that nurses have always played a crucial role in the healthcare sector. However, their efforts and hard work were often overshadowed by others in the past. The recent worldwide health crisis has made it clear that nursing is one of the most important professions in the healthcare setting. Without them, it would have been almost impossible to handle the big masses of patients flooding in when the patient curve was at the top during the pandemic. Then, nurses were the un-applauded heroes of the industry, but now, their hard work is being recognized all over the world.