The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly reshaped the healthcare landscape, presenting a myriad of issues that the industry is desperately trying to overcome. Having been railroaded with mass resignations and staffing issues, widespread infections, and a lack of resources, we’re all still reeling. Given the ever-changing nature of nursing and healthcare, it's natural to wonder whether we are again at the cusp of change. This article will discuss the healthcare and nursing trends experts expect in 2022. Keep reading to find out what could be on the horizon for the rest of the year.
The Nursing Shortage Will Continue
The nursing shortage has been a topic of widespread debate for the last couple of years, and it's not expected to go anywhere anytime soon. There are a few factors that have driven the nursing shortage, and they include:
- An aging population in need of skilled care.
- Retiring nurses exiting the industry.
- Stress and burnout among current nurses.
Though COVID-19 exacerbated stress and burnout and may have encouraged some nurses to retire early, the truth is that these three drivers of the nursing shortage will remain. Experts are convinced they won’t disappear as the pandemic abates. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing shortage will continue at least until the year 2030. Therefore, it could take years to bounce back from the nursing shortage.
Nurses have been the main subject of the shortage, but this shortage also includes other healthcare professionals, like healthcare educators, physicians, midwives, and more. Many of the same drivers of the nursing shortage affect these professionals as well.
Healthcare Workers Will Have Many Job Opportunities
Given the nursing and healthcare worker shortage, there's a huge demand for healthcare workers. Because of this, healthcare organizations all over are looking for talent to fill these open positions. As a result, healthcare professionals like physicians and nurses will continue to have a wealth of job opportunities available to them in 2022. This unmet demand results in increased salary negotiation power among candidates who are hard to come by.
To attract the best talent, you’ll need to offer highly competitive pay and benefits packages. Without those, you’ll probably be looking for talent for an extended time.
Healthcare Staffing Agencies Will Be in Demand
Finding good talent, even while offering high pay and good benefits, is still a challenge for many healthcare organizations. Why? There just isn’t enough talent to go around.
Consequently, in addition to executing aggressive hiring efforts and pushing competitive employment packages, many organizations have utilized healthcare staffing agencies. These firms have access to a network of nurses and other healthcare professionals who are qualified and ready to work. Find a staffing agency you can depend on and use their services to remedy urgent staffing issues.
Online Learning Won’t Be Going Anywhere
In the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the virus spread like wildfire, many institutions were pushed to hold virtual classes. While it was not the most welcome change in the moment, students and institutions have begun to see the merit in online courses. Here are some of the benefits that inspire institutions and students to continue utilizing virtual technology in the classroom:
- Students can complete online classes quicker than they can in in-person courses.
- Virtual classes have minimal overhead costs, which is a boon for institutions.
- The education industry was already geared towards implementing online instruction. The pandemic just expedited the process.
So, as you run your nursing facility, you may come across more and more professionals who have received their BSN through an online program. To remain adequately staffed, institutions that don’t ordinarily welcome online-educated talent may need to relax their expectations in this regard.
Healthcare Staff Will Demand Good Treatment
Healthcare staff are in incredibly high demand, and they know it. And many of them have no problem demanding that their working environments are conducive to their well-being. So, it’s on the part of the healthcare organizations that employ them to ensure that the work environment doesn’t spawn stress and burnout. Take extra care to ensure that your staff feels appreciated, is not constantly overworked, and feels like their concerns matter. They’ll be much more likely to stay with your facility long-term.
As you can see, this year's healthcare and nursing trends don’t seem to deviate very much from how things have been. The pandemic has been a driver of swift change, but it will take the healthcare system some time to bounce back. Until then, we will continue to see staffing-related issues and extreme demand for healthcare professionals. We hope that this article has been helpful to you and wish you the best as you navigate these unprecedented times.