- 12 July 2021
- 9 min read
New Nursing Trends & Roles In A Post Covid WorldSubscribe To Advice
Clara Bowe, Team Leader of TTM Healthcare’s Permanent Division UK writes about the new career opportunities for Nurses today.
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In 2020, our world changed forever.
Few events have touched the lives of so many at one time as the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has heralded transformation on so many fronts.
New ways of working, the evolved importance of technology, a fresh realisation of what is truly important to us – health, friends and family.
In many industry sectors, some of the ‘COVID-19 changes’ we’ve seen will be here to stay – from working-from-home to a rise in online shopping – and the nursing profession is no different.
How Has The World Of Nursing Changed?
As a Nurse you’ve been tested like never before, and the world has a growing appreciation for the valuable part you play in society.
In the UK, the first COVID-19 death was recorded on 5 March, with lockdown imposed on 23 March, and in just a few weeks, nursing changed.
Community and practice nurses were redeployed to roles and called upon to employ new or seldom-used skills.
Many nurses moved into remote consultation roles and by 17 April a total of 10,823 nurses and midwives who had left the profession up to five years ago, as well as those registered overseas, chose to help tackle the pandemic and joined the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s emergency.
What’s more, almost 19,500 student nurses and midwives from universities signed up to help.
At the same time, the first five of seven emergency ‘Nightingale Hospitals’ were built, and ‘Hot hubs’ were established around the country, run by general practice staff and dedicated to diagnosing and advising people with COVID-19 symptoms.
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What Is The ‘Nursing Climate’ Today?
As the world starts to calm, the industry is starting to see a shift in the direction of many nurses.
On the back of enduring increased physical and mental demands at work, many nurses are looking at professional options that take them away from the high-pressure clinical setting.
Concerns about their emotional wellbeing, and their financial stability, is introducing a trend of nurses wanting to move from high-pressure shift-work to a regular 9 to 5 working day, as well as the type of nursing opportunities that allow them to work-from-home.
What New Nursing Roles Are Coming Online For Me?
At the same time as many nurses are looking for change, so too are new opportunities emerging.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme means many nurses are taking up vaccinator roles – and there are plenty of openings in this sphere.
Occupational Therapy Nurses are also in great demand because of the pandemic and is another avenue for you as a nurse to consider.
Corporates and organisations are seeing the need to have an in-house COVID-19 specialist – to test staff if necessary and advise on and provide their team members with current COVID-19 information.
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What Is The Role Of Technology In Creating New Nursing Opportunities?
Necessity really is the mother of invention: the pandemic has been the catalyst for change in the way many nurses carry out their jobs.
More and more, only essential contact appointments have been taking place, such as antenatal visit and baby vaccinations, and consultations by phone, Zoom or video call have come into their own.
This paves the way for many new possibilities for you as a nurse…
Many Nurse Advisory roles are perfectly suited to remote working – giving nurses the option to work from home and enjoy regular office hours.
Advisory Nurses who assess patients for disability is one example of this, while many Fortune 500 companies are taking on Nurse Advisors to provide a hotline for employees, giving them access to COVID-19 guidelines and up-to-date information in real time.
Similarly, companies are using Nurse Advisors to handle their medical emergencies remotely – providing rapid response when they need it most.In addition, many hospitals and private companies are working with the NHS to manage patients with specific, ongoing medical conditions – such as diabetes.
Health Promotion Nurses are employed to check in on patients remotely, set tasks and exercises, and monitor progress.
It’s another way you as a nurse can branch out into a different world of nursing.
“In 2021, there was a shift in how American’s interacted with healthcare, and that included a massive 20% of medical visits being conducted virtually. The widespread adoption of telemedicine has created nurse task automation and easier access to patient care. Doctors or nurses can be accessed via virtual appointments, saving both patients' and clinicians’ valuable time.”
How Can I Work Remotely As A Community Nurse?
Right now, around 70% of nurses in community roles are working from home.
While before they would be spending their days travelling to and from patients, they now only visit if it is essential.
Again, this gives nurses the freedom of working from home, remotely – with the benefit of being able to consult with more patients, in less time.
What About A Completely Different Way Of Nursing?
You love the world of healthcare, but you’d really love a break from practice – perhaps use your knowledge in a different way?
Many companies are realising the value of healthcare professionals and are utilising them in many roles.
For example, there is a growing demand for medical writers – people with a nursing background who choose to branch into writing for medical or pharma companies, producing product information material and marketing and advertising collateral.
What Does This Mean For Traditional Nursing In The UK?
Alternatively, if you are happy remaining as a nurse in a clinical setting – know that there will be demand for your skills.
As nurses move on to ‘9 to 5 based jobs’, they will leave vacancies that must be filled.
Will The World Need More Nurses?
Most definitely yes.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 28 million nurses worldwide, but that number is nowhere near enough.
Is The World’s Attitude To Nurses And Nursing Changing?
We are seeing a transformation in respect for and appreciation of nurses – and COVID has accelerated this.
According to Elsevier, this positive shift in the perception of nurses is taking place in countries like Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, and is spreading globally.
“Leaders in healthcare today need to recognize nurses’ impact on our communities and their potential to drive meaningful change. It is a commitment we should all make to empower nurses in their mission to care.”
As a result of the pandemic and the stress placed on nurses, there is a much greater understanding of the need for self-care for nurses as a responsibility.
Can I Expect Nursing Salaries To Increase?
How Can I Prepare Myself Better For The New World Of Nursing?
There are many ways you can equip yourself for new nursing opportunities in today’s world.
Being technologically-savvy is an important one: whichever role you pursue, computer technology will play a growing part of patient care.
You will have a good advantage if you are bilingual or multi-lingual, while pursuing further education is key.
More and more colleges and universities will be providing online nursing education programmes – allowing you to fit studying into your work schedule.
Without a doubt, this decade is going to alter nursing as we know it, as it will the healthcare system in its entirety.
Modernisation is here, while we will also see greater collaboration between healthcare professionals and different disciplines – a much more holistic, patient-centred approach.