What is the Future of Nursing? 5 Top Nurse Trends in 2024

smiling nursing professional in blue scrubs holding tablet looking into future

The future of nursing is here. Ask any nurse with a few decades of experience under their belt, and they’ll tell you: While the heart of nursing remains unchanged, the profession has seen significant shifts over the years.

Plus, with the boom of AI to flourishing nurse specialties, how do these new trends impact your career prospects and goals? Explore how to how to unlock the best opportunities for your career with the top five trends shaping nursing in 2024.

Change can feel uncertain, but it always brings opportunities with it. However, by understanding these nursing trends and shifts, you can set yourself up to take advantage of the biggest opportunities to come in the future:

The Nursing Shortage and Future Job Openings

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that there will be 193,100 job openings for RNs every year through 2032. Unfortunately, only 177,400 RNs are expected to enter the workforce by 2032 — which isn’t even enough to meet one year’s worth of projected openings.

What this means for you: With higher demand for nursing professionals, the future is bright for your career outlook! For instance, you’ll likely have even more options when looking for your next position. Increase your pay by seeking out high-demand specialties and settings in nursing.

Every industry is changing due to technology, and healthcare is no exception.

Telemedicine is growing faster each year, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Electronic health records (EHRs) and similar tools are becoming the standard at most facilities, changing the ways nurses gather, store, and share patient data. And, of course, you can’t talk about nursing trends and technology without addressing AI.

Artificial intelligence is making its way into healthcare, from risk prediction to patient monitoring. As time goes on, it’s likely only going to become more and more standard.

What this means for you: Some nursing tasks may become automated or facilitated using technology. This means technological skills will become even more important for your success in the future of nursing.

The demand for all types of nurses is high, but it’s growing extra fast in certain specialties and roles, such as:

  • Behavioral and mental health nursing (estimated 31% growth in recent years)
  • Nurse midwives (estimated 38% growth in recent years)
  • Nurse practitioners (estimated 38% growth in recent years) and more.

Pus, with the aging population, skilled nursing facilities and long-term care centers are continually in need of nurses.

What this means for you: When applying for nursing jobs, consider the demand of the specialty and setting. You may find more opportunities within these growing areas in the future of nursing.

Contract Roles & the Push for Work-Life Balance

One of the biggest nursing trends is the push toward flexible assignments like contract and per diem nursing.

For instance, per diem and PRN nurses work on an as-needed basis. They have more control over their schedules and earn more on average than staff nurses. It only makes sense that the benefits of these roles have gone viral as the latest nursing trends.

Of course, some of these same benefits ring true for travel contract nurses, too.

What this means for you: If you’re craving more flexibility in your nursing career, check out contract or even travel nursing roles. These opportunities are becoming more and more common as the future of nursing advocates for work-life balance.

The Need for Strong Nursing Leaders

Lastly, nurse leaders help keep facilities, teams, and units functioning. As recent crises have shown us, nurse leadership is necessary in providing quality care, especially in times of need.

As a nurse leader, you can help shape the future of nursing and lead the way to nursing trends, policies, and procedures that support the success of both patients and nurses.

What this means for you: Consider pursuing a path of leadership as a nurse. Talk with your supervisors or nursing recruiter and ask them about the different paths and opportunities for growth as a leader.

Tips to Succeed in the Future of Nursing

Let’s face it: Change can be scary. But it becomes much less scary when we embrace it and evolve with it. Here are ways you can lean into trends and find the biggest opportunities in the future of nursing:

Build Your Tech Skills

Participate in continuing tech education and get familiar with the latest nursing trends, tools, and technology. Additionally, stay up to date on any privacy and security policies, especially surrounding patient informatics.

Become a Leader

You don’t need a formal title to be a leader and example to your fellow nurses! Build nurse leadership skills, seek out opportunities, and take advantage of resources that can put you on the path to nurse leadership as you make a difference.

Explore New Roles in Nursing

If you want to ride the wave toward work-life balance, look into per diem nursing roles near you. Or, if you’re up for an adventure, check out travel nursing roles for flexibility, career growth, and new experiences!

Know Your Nursing Goals

Finally, there will always be opportunities waiting for you in nursing. But to take hold of them, you need to know your end game. Develop SMART nursing goals so you can seek out the opportunities you need to get there.

Grow Your Career in the Future of Nursing

The future of nursing is a world of boundless possibilities! With CareerStaff, you can embrace the latest trends, explore countless opportunities, and find your dream job right where you are.

Get Started: Search hundreds of find flexible, in-demand nursing jobs nationwide now, or Quick Apply below to start the conversation and make your goals happen today.