Thanks to new medical breakthroughs, life expectancy is on the rise. From 2010 to 2050, officials expect a whopping 351 percent increase in the population of those 85 and older. By 2050, 16 percent of the global population is expected to be 65 or older.
With this aging population we are also seeing an uptick in the incidence of chronic diseases, which means officials also expect a shift from hospital based care to home based care.
New technologies coupled with medical advances means the state of health care will always be changing---and nurses will need to know and use these emerging technologies.
As an example, nurses proficient in Computerized Physician/Provider Order Entry---commonly called CPOE---can help reduce preventable injuries and medical error, and improve the overall health care experience for their patients. Additionally, Electronic Health Records---or EHRs---can allow for more successful coordinated care between multiple providers as well as improved access to critical patient information. Despite the benefits, presently only 10-30 percent of physicians in the U.S. use EHRs, but this number is expected to rise.
3-d printing is another emerging technology that nurses will soon have to utilize, as providers will soon be able to make customized casts for broken arms, fashion prosthetics, hearing aids, dental fixtures and more.
Genetics is yet another field that can unlock answers about a variety of diseases and potential gene mutations. Nurses who directly interact with patients will need to be genetically competent in order to counsel their patients.
This is great news for those interesting in the nursing field, as 4-6 months after graduation 90 percent of nurses are working full time---and the job prospects only continue to grow!