Healthcare providers are essential workers in the job market. However, there is a constantly growing demand for healthcare practitioners, and nurses in particular. The shortage of nurses has been an issue in the United States and in the world, especially amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic. According to Haryanto (2019), 1.2 million new registered nurses (RNs) will be needed by 2030 to address the current shortage. There is a variety of complex causes that led to this situation. In particular, the stress of the job itself causes nurses to work long hours and make life-altering decisions, which in conclusion, leads to burnout, decreases the retention of experienced workers, and makes it less attractive to the future generation of nurses. Therefore, the role of nurses in the United States is evolving to ensure that people do not burn out while handling their responsibilities and caring for patients.
Globally, the roles of nurses are divided into three main categories – health promotion & prevention, population health, and healthcare delivery. Nurses deliver a substantial proportion of healthcare services; however, the full range of their responsibilities is often unrecognized. Besides visible contributions to patient care, nurses are also engaged in spheres such as research, scientific innovation, health system, public health leadership, publicity and advocacy, and education (Wong et al., 2015). There are also nurse-driven healthcare models that are flexible and can be interprofessional, function within and outside of traditional healthcare facilities, and be culturally responsive.
Effective management and leveraging of nurses help the healthcare sector to address challenges, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Constant development and implementation of nurse-based models provide opportunities to deliver the highest quality of healthcare to the broadest range of people who need it. Therefore, the role of nurses in the United States and worldwide is vital and constantly evolving.
Haryanto, M. (2019). The nursing shortage: Myth or fact? Orthopaedic Nursing, 38(1), 1-2.
Wong, F. K. Y., Liu, H., Wang, H., Anderson, D., Seib, C., & Molasiotis, A. (2015). Global nursing issues and development: Analysis of world health organization documents: Global nursing issues and development. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47(6), 574-583