The future of nursing: falling from grace?

Let me just dive into this post full speed ahead. If you’re a bedside nurse these days, I’m sure you’re wondering how nursing will be in 5-10 years. Between the economic recession and health disparities, America is facing unprecedented healthcare trends, which at the current state, are downhill trends. People are getting sicker. While the government is sharpening its eagle eye on Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies, we healthcare workers struggle to keep up mentally and physically. If you work at any healthcare institution, you hear words like reimbursement, JCAHO, HCAHPS, CMS, protocol, to list a few. What a flurry of confusion. “You didn’t chart that you gave a piece of paper about smoking cessation; therefore, your hospital will NOT get reimbursed.” Sounds crazy, right? Well, these things happen all the time. Then, if the hospital isn’t getting reimbursed, where do you think the cuts will be made? If you guessed cutting staff as one way, you win the $1 prize (we’re poor, remember?).

We’re entering a state of crazy. Nurses themselves might not get scaled back primarily, but nursing techs, respiratory therapists, physical therapy techs, and other ancillary staff might. More responsibility will fall on the nurse, and simply stated there are not enough hours in the day for just one primary person to accomplish everything needed for quality healthcare. I consider myself resilient, but the more and more I work, I feel like a rock getting slowly eroded by the elements. Some days I come home from work and am dead tired, but I still feel like there is so much more to do and I have failed. I grow tired of the work that takes away from actual nursing care. Any bedside nurse can attest to the growing amount of paperwork and charting mandated by the government and institutions. Most nurses enter the profession with hopes of making change, creating hope, giving love and life, but the reality of those hopes are slipping away as we grow task-oriented.

Nursing, where are you going? Don’t leave me dumbfounded and heartbroken.



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