I attended the AONE 2019 annual conference last week. It being in San Diego made it easy, since I’m just up the road.
There were lots of Ah-ha moments for me.
- “The future of digital belongs to you.” Did you know that the nurse made Helpsy App won the 1st level innovation award at HIMSS?
- The future of healthcare is looking very different. Roy Simpson talked about the impact of Big Data research at Emory University by nurses. WOW
- The level of research and innovations by nurses in healthcare organizations – WOW
- And more …
The presentation that really heartened me was by Peter Buerhaus, the mega nursing trends researcher. Here we go …
Nursing Workforce Strengths
Here are 10 nursing workforce strengths Buerhaus identified based on his research:
- Nurses are increasingly educated- the numbers of BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD nurses has steadily risen since the 2010 IOM Future of Nursing report
- Steady growth in employment and diversity – There has been a 30% growth in RN jobs since 2011. Diversity in nursing is becoming same as population distributions.
- Hospitals have linked value to BSN-prepared RNs – lots of research on this
- Nurses’ contribution to inpatient quality and safety has become firmly engrained in quality improvement initiatives – growing research and recognition for nurses impact in medical literature.
- Consistently positive public perceptions of nurses – we all see this. Amidst the current social, technological, demographic, political and healthcare disruptions, the public still holds nurses in esteem.
- Strong public and private support of nurses – more industry recognition and funding
- Improving projections of the future supply of RNs – Current speculation is that there is enough inflow of nurses to offset the outflow; a large national shortage is unlikely.
- Millennial surprise – Millennials are fully engaged; not leaving nursing at record numbers!
- Lack of adoption of patient to nurse staffing ratios- recent win in MA was big progress. Buerhaus bases his resistance to mandated ratios on trends in research and his writings: ‘Ratios are short sided, often divert funds in wrong places- not equitably, create too much regulatory oversight.’
- Steady advance of the Advanced Practice Nursing workforce- in 2010=90K; in 2017=190K
For more details, access here his article, Peter Buerhaus et al, 2017 Nursing Economics article
Nursing Workforce Weaknesses
Here are areas that need attention:
- Uneven growth of RNs per capita – Example, there is no RN growth expected in the NorthEast, NY, Penn, NJ, where several SouthEast and western states are having increasing growth.
- Baby boomer patient populations – 2-3 more decades of patients with chronic diseases.
- Baby boomer RNs – 1 million are leaving and taking their brain trust.
- Shortage of physicians is more severe and uneven by 2030.
- Many or most nurses are unprepared for value based care related to faculty’s lack of preparedness.
… All of this is landing on the Millennial RNs.
What CNOs Need To Do
- Know your hot-spots in your organization
- Emphasis on organizational leadership – senior RNs mentoring and coaching millennial RNs
- Facilities to increase the productivity capacity of RN graduates – see Macy’s 2016 annual report
- All nurses to learn how to focus on value-based practice. If school faculties sent students who knew how to use VB practices, schools would not have clinical placement problems (hmm, true?)
- Avoid staffing ratios – diverts focus and resources to regulatory
- Barriers to using NPs- not all NPs are created equal; develop residency programs.
- Too many poor quality APRN programs? They may need to be shut down.
These challenges require hospital leaders, educators and policy makers, working together, to be successful.
One more thing …
AONE is now AONL
Professional Conferences are Good for the Soul
I am grateful.