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Well, it’s a new year, and the last one was quite a ride. We started the year 2020 with hope and anticipation of the World Health Organization’s proclamation for 2020 to be the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. We also wrote a post predicting nursing trends for 2020.

With 2021 already underway, we’ve taken a look back and reviewed what we know, and are now looking forward to. Here’s our list of anticipated trends for the nursing industry for 2021.

2021 Trends in the Nursing Industry For PRN, Travel & Staff Nurses

1. Nursing Employment Opportunities Will Continue to Rise

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to project a higher than average growth rate for the industry. Last year we saw a rise and then fall and then another continued rise in nursing employment, and we anticipate we’ll see continued growth this year. The slight dip in nursing jobs last year was primarily due to the lockdowns and their restrictions on medical facilities and hospitals preventing them from providing any non-urgent or non-emergency services. That was, however, temporary, and once those restrictions were lifted, the nursing shortages continued to cause issues the rest of the year.

This year nursing employment opportunities will continue to rise in part due to our continued battle with COVID-19. Another factor will likely be experienced nurses retiring, leaving vacancies to be filled by newer nurses.

This affects PRN nursing directly. As more staffing shortages occur, more hospitals and medical centers will be turning to finding per diem nurses to cover shifts. We fully expect the nursing opportunities on NursaTM to expand even more this year.

2. Further Emphasis on Outpatient Care

There has long been underway a shift toward more outpatient care. This shift is in part due to managing healthcare costs, but with the pandemic still a threat, further efforts, and emphasis will be placed on outpatient care to minimize unnecessary potential contagion and to leave inpatient resources available for those in need, and to account for COVID patient influxes.

This trend could result in more PRN opportunities being available to nurses through home health care, outpatient surgery centers, or other healthcare clinics.

3. Telehealth Nursing Services Will Grow, Including PRN Jobs

The use of technological means to provide medical care and consultations grew in the last year by necessity. In fact, it’s openly encouraged by the U.S. government as a result of COVID-19. Policy changes for “during COVID-19” are in effect and have been made to not only make it easier for patients to access telehealth but for the telehealth services to be implemented more easily. Some experts have reported they anticipate telehealth to ultimately become a standardized part of healthcare and eventually account for as much as 40% of healthcare based interactions.

Telehealth is experiencing a growth spurt. PRN nurses may find themselves called to use telehealth more in rural areas this year as COVID-19 continues to harass the population.

4. Increase in Nursing Specializations

This was a trend last year, but we anticipate it again this year. As the population continues to age, the need for more specialized nurses rises as well. Factor in the increased need we’ve seen for nurses with specializations in Emergency Department, Critical Care, Intensive Care, and Emergency Response and this trend isn’t going anywhere. Due to the sudden boom in telehealth, we just might see it becoming a new specialization all its own.

PRN shift opportunities are available to nurses with all sorts of specialties and certifications. On our app, you may find that certain specialties offer higher compensation rates than others.

5. Nurses Pursuing Continuing Education Opportunities

Nurse.com released their nationwide survey 2020 Nurse Salary Research Report near the end of last year, and in it, 40% of nurses indicated a desire or plan to pursue further education, certification or training. Of that group, 28% reported interest in an additional degree. Online options, flexibility, and cost were cited as the top three factors for this decision.

RN-to-BSN degree programs, Master of Science in Nursing programs, and even Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are becoming available online at more and more universities as nursing programs work to accommodate the needs of working nurses.

By working PRN shifts with NursaTM, the flexibility of creating your own PRN shift schedule makes it easier to have time for other important duties and interests in your life, including education.

6. Home Health Job Growth for Nurses and Assistants

This one is good news for certified nursing assistants (CNAs), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the home health industry is growing at a rate of 34% which is much faster than average. Compare that to the BLS’s projected growth for nursing which is 12% (officially considered faster than average). Those numbers are definitely exciting, for CNAs and CNA hopefuls.

Many older Americans are actively looking for ways to stay at home to mitigate the costs that typically coincide with residing in retirement home facilities. Moreover, the desire to be able to stay in their own homes as long as possible is very real for many. Long term care facilities are preparing for this trend to move into the home health sector.

CNAs can look to NursaTM for finding more diverse PRN opportunities. Facilities, medical centers, hospitals, and more home health.

Nurses & CNAs Should Practice Self-Care to Avoid Burnout in 2021

Some experts say they hope hospitals will trend this year in prioritizing mental health and well-being for their staff. Last year was hard on all medical clinicians and burnout continues to be a concern in the industry.

Per diem nurses and nursing assistants can avoid some issues that commonly contribute to burnout by the very nature of working PRN nursing jobs. The ability to create your own schedule (by selecting the shifts you want in our app) and the opportunity to work in a variety of workplace settings instead of the same one day in and day out help mitigate some burnout. But those mitigating factors alone might not be enough.

Make your own trend for 2021: find a few things you can do to take care of yourself when you aren’t working. Furthermore, if you find yourself struggling this year, take steps to get help.

Written by Miranda Booher, RN

Miranda is a 13-year registered nurse with a healthy background in travel nursing and healthcare marketing. She brings an interesting combination of stellar copywriting skills and first-hand nursing experience to the table. Miranda understands the industry and has an impeccable ability to write about it. And speaking of travel - Miranda currently lives in Uruguay, though she maintains an active Registered Nurse license in the state of Ohio and stays current on the latest healthcare news through her writing. When she is not creating killer copy, or serving others through her work as a nurse, you can find her hanging out on the beach with her devoted husband, three beautiful kids, and their guardian Shepsky, Ashes.

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