Nurses who specialize in a specific niche have the opportunity to become experts in their field and influence practice, education and healthcare outcomes. Each specialty is a leadership designation, though specific qualities and interests shape the area in which a nurse advances professionally. Pursuing a specialization is not only beneficial for career advancement but also for shaping the future of the health care industry.
As one of the most in-demand professions, nurses cater to the growing population of sick, elderly and addled patients in the United States. Not only is there a call for nurses, but a call for nurse leaders, nurse educators and nurse administrators to teach and guide the next generation of nurses in multiple settings. With this intricate field, growing population and ever-evolving technology, it is vital to stay at the forefront of efficient care, while keeping compassion intact.
Even in the early cradles of civilization, societies used nursing to care for the sick. However, what began as a caretaker role born out of religious duty and charity, transformed over centuries to encompass highly specialized skills used in leadership positions to shape society wellness.
For more than 20 years, Magnet hospitals have been synonymous with excellence in nursing and patient care. Launched by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Magnet Recognition Program quickly became an industry trailblazer demonstrating the undeniable links between an empowered workplace, quality patient care and the retention of nurses.
Now more than ever, our economy governs the direction of today’s nursing careers. An aging baby boomer population means an RN retirement boom on the horizon and an influx of aspiring nurses. Health care employers are demanding more expertise from their nursing staff and these economic realities represent a plethora of factors indicating the need for advanced, continuing education degrees in the healthcare field.
Slow economy has done little to ease nursing shortage
Health care reform will change nurses' roles, responsibilities and education according to report
A report by the Institute of Medicine says the nursing profession must evolve significantly to deliver on promises made in the Affordable Care Act of 2010, and expectations for nursing education must change as well to ensure nurses are up to the challenge.
A survey by the Connecticut League for Nursing reveals where new registered nurses plan to seek employment, and the findings suggest many new nurses may be ignoring career paths that industry watchers believe could be the most rewarding during the next several years.