NursesRx: The Top Healthcare Trends for 2016

By Nanette Wiser

In 2015, we saw a broad uptick in healthcare employment and increasing demand for services due to declining unemployment and increased admissions propelled by the Affordable Health Care Act, especially in states that expanded Medicaid. As the healthcare system evolves, nurses must adapt to changes in technology, patient care and medical breakthroughs. With that in mind, NursesRx presents some of the top healthcare trends nurses will encounter on the job in 2016.

Healthcare Trend: Travel Nurses in Demand

Seasonal demands for travel nurses for snowbird states (retirees flocking to Florida and California) continue to drive the growing need for RNs in intensive care, emergency departments and other specialty areas. According to FierceHealthcare, 63% of hospitals are using more travel nurses and Nursing Times reports that 80% of RNs report being short-staffed.

An ANA September 2014 study says that a 1.13 million additional RNs (20.2% increased need) will be needed through 2022. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 28 states project a 15%-20% annual new job growth rate, primarily in the West, South, Southwest and Southeast. The good news for nurses? As the economy improves, compensation rates will increase ($69.23/hr. in 2015) and bonuses/benefits will be more negotiable.

Top healthcare trends for nurses include tech savvy RNs and patients

AMN Healthcare, the parent company of NursesRx, indicates that that demand for travel nurses will continue to rise, increasing up to 10% this year, 15% in 2016 and 17% in 2017.

Click here to search for a travel nurse opportunity now.

Healthcare Trend: Patients Want Information

Educated patients want helpful information from their health practitioners online, in person and in collateral. 72% of Internet users look online for health information, searching for information about their doctor, hospital and medical concerns before they book an appointment. There will be continued demand for educational healthcare content in the form of blogs, social media, white papers, checklists, videos, podcasts and email to create a personalized experience for the patient. As a nurse, you need to know what’s available from your facility and how to answer patients’ questions.

Keeping patients educated also improves patient outcomes, according to Press Ganey research. The importance of the nurse-patient relationship also translates into driving referrals to the hospital as word of mouth marketing (family and friends talking about the hospital stay and nursing staff) guide people in future decisions. As a nurse, you’re the ambassador of reputation management. It’s not just knowing your job; it’s knowing the hospital’s brand.

Healthcare Trend: Tech Savvy RNs

You know your specialty. But do you know about the latest technology? Better update yourself on EMR conversion, implementation and staffing; e-prescribing software; PHR online records; mobile health apps; telehealth; updated MRSA/patient safety methods; new imaging tools; 3-D medical developments (casts) and more.  For example, at Cleveland Clinic, patients can see their medical information online and MotherKnows PHR allows parents 24/7 access to their children’s medical records by smartphone or computer.

It’s important to stay up-to-date on both your specialty requirements and news. Continuing education makes all the difference when competing for the top paying travel RN jobs. Notes iHealthbeat, “as the healthcare industry moves away from cost and focuses on value, technology is the first brick in bridging the gap between the patient and provider.” New developments and technologies require continuing education and training.

Health Care Trend: Diversity & Culture Training

Hospitals are focusing on promoting cultural competency to meet the needs of a diverse patient population.Nurses can expect an increase of alternative medicine patient requests in 2016 NursesRx offers free training on this topic through its partner Travel nurses will need to know their facilities’ protocol in this arena and what resources are available when dealing with patients from different ethnic groups or LGBT communities. For example, DuPage Hospital has a “Guide to Culturally Competent Health Care” which describes the communication style, family roles and views on nutrition for 30 different cultures.

Healthcare Trend: Integrating Complementary/Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Nurses will see an increase of alternative medicine patient requests and integration of mind/body wellness practices as part of traditional care, from herbal supplements/vitamins to yoga, breathing exercises and massage/touch. Hospitals that offer CAM improve patient experience/outcomes, according to a recent Kaiser study. Two thirds of medical schools teach CAM and many integrate culturally diverse best healthcare practices into treatment.

Other Healthcare Trends 2016

  • Consumer empowerment demands transparency on patient charges, medications/side effects, procedure alternatives.
  • Medical tourism is on the rise; more Americans are going abroad for medical treatment.
  • The rise of retail clinics in drugstores (CVS, Walgreen’s, Rite Aid) and even insurers (Cigna) are staking their claim.
  • The graying of America: By 2030, more than 70 million Americans will be over the age of 65.

For more nursing news, click here.

About NursesRx, an AMN Healthcare Company
NursesRx recruits temporary nurses, in all types of nursing careers and specialties, who can travel to locations all over the U.S. and fill in for 13 weeks or longer. As a traveling nurse, you earn top pay and great benefits, choosing when and where you want to work. Your NursesRx team takes care of all your needs: transportation, housing, licensure, even continuing education. NurseRx offers more positions within every nursing specialty than any nurse staffing company (including dialysis, home health care, jobs for retired nurses). Click here for NursesRx traveling nurses’ testimonials.

© 2016. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

© 2013 AMN Healthcare, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction and distribution of these materials is prohibited without the expressed written authorization of AMN Healthcare, Inc.