According to the WHO, there are about 29 million midwives and nurses globally.

This notwithstanding, there is a shortage of nurses due to the high retirement levels, an aging workforce and burn out among other reasons.

Still, nursing remains one of the most satisfying and exciting careers.

Here are the top nursing trends for 2019 to watch for and all the opportunities therein.

1. Nurses Will Be Looking To Take up More leadership Roles

While nurses do take up some leadership roles, they remain largely underrepresented in hospital boards.

The US has already started an active drive to ensure more nurses sit in the boardrooms. Australia is unlikely to be far behind.

A JCU online Masters in Nursing is structured to equip nurses for these challenging roles. The online nursing masters degree empowers nurses to understand research better and take up leadership roles in hospitals.

2. Increased Use of Technology

Numerous health studies attest that Information Technology has increased patient satisfaction, lessened clinical errors and decreased paperwork for nurses.

There is also a new focus on data gathering known as NI, or Nursing Informatics.

If you are interested in data science and communication technology, this is a field that perfectly merges with nursing.

Roles like Nursing Informaticists are only going to increase in demand.

3. More demand For Specialists

Registered nurses who specialise in different fields are in more demand than generalist Licensed Practical Nurses. Specialist nurses in oncology, pediatrics, renal and operating departments are on the rise.

While the need for LPN’s is there, RN’s are in more demand and get better remuneration.

If you have been wondering whether specialising is really necessary, the job market shows that it is.

Certification is also important. Certified nurses reportedly feel more fulfilled, empowered and earn more.

4. Work-Life Balance

Nursing is taxing. No doubt. And the hours can be treacherous.

However, your biggest resource is always yourself. It’s okay to forego those extra shifts and hit the gym or go for an occasional swim.

At the end of the day, you do owe it to your patients to be in good shape physically and mentally.

5. Bilingual Nurses Are on the up and up

As the world gets more dynamic, the need to speak other languages is increasing.

Being bilingual is not only something you will need at the hospital, but you can take up medical translation services on the side as well.

The best thing about learning a new language today is that you do not need to sit in a class. With an internet –enabled device, any language is in your hands.

6. Staying Connected

Nurses realise that they can no longer operate in a vacuum.

This means joining and being active in nursing and other healthcare professional associations.

This is among the best ways to stay on top of cutting edge research, best practice and trends.
It’s also a sure way to find mentors, build support systems and become aware of opportunities.

7. Increased Focus on Preventative Care

Aside from triage, administering medication and assisting physicians, preventive care is becoming a central role in the nursing profession.

Preventative health refers to strategies that health care practitioners encourage their patients to implement in order to stay healthy.

Preventative measures include screenings, immunisations and lifestyle changes.

8. Music Therapy

Patients with Alzheimer’s, cancer, veterans and people that just had surgery are benefiting from music. This therapy is delivered by trained and Board Certified Music Therapists.

Studies have shown that music therapy reduces anxiety, increase patient positivity and general satisfaction with the quality of life.

For a practising nurses looking to expand your scope, music therapy certification is yet another avenue to explore.

9. Increased Demand for Geriatric Care

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation recommends that seniors receive 4 hours and 18 minutes of care every day.

They further allocate this time to care workers, registered nurses and enrolled nurses.
These specifications create a need for geriatric or gerontological nurses. Again for practising and aspiring nurses, this is another specialist, in-demand and exceptionally fulfilling career path.

Be Ready

There is no doubt that nurses are some of the most marketable professionals in Australia and indeed the world over. However, with the rapidly changing medical world, nurses must be ready to take on emerging roles or risk losing relevance.

Author's Bio: 

Author, Freelance writer