Free «Societal Trends in Nursing and Patient Education Paper» UK Essay Sample

Societal Trends in Nursing and Patient Education Paper

This millennium has brought the unexpected challenges as well as opportunities for the nursing profession. Such trends have also affected the academic institutions associated with preparing the future generation of nurses. Today, the population growth rate of all persons in the United States has increased tremendously. Thus, numerous trends emerged that could pose serious problems to the nursing profession. This essay discusses the changing demographics and increased population diversity societal trend, relating it to the nursing professional standards and competencies and outlining the strategies for minimizing the negative effects of this societal trend.

Description of How the Society Trend Will Affect Nursing

Population variations in the US have affected both the healthcare priorities and the practice of nursing. Because of the advancement of public health as well as clinical care, the average life span of people in the nation is increasing rapidly. By 2020, more than 20 percent of the US populations will be 65 years and above. Among them, those over 85 years of age will make up the fastest growing age group in the nation (Ortman, Velkoff, & Hogan, 2014). A higher life expectancy of persons suffering from chronic as well as acute conditions will be challenging to the healthcare system and its ability to issue efficient and effective life continuing care.  

Substantial increase in the diversity of the US population has affected the nature and incidences of diseases. This issue demands some changes in the nursing practice, which reflect and recognize diverse values, cultures, and beliefs. Disproportions in morbidity, mortality rates, as well as access to health care services among population sectors have heightened. This phenomenon has partially been contributed by the socioeconomic factors, which have caused an increased occurrence of violence and substance abuse. For this reason, the nursing practices, research and education should embrace and react to these shifting demographics. Nurses will be mandated to focus on the spiritual, physical and psychosocial health of the growing population.

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The student demographics in the US are also changing. In the past few years, ethnic and racial diversity among nursing schools in the nation has increased enormously. As a result, most of them have a rich cultural environment for education today. Learners are entering nursing schools at a more mature age, bringing changing college and working experiences in the schools. For this reason, nursing schools today must be prepared to combat the challenges associated with the current educational methods, policies, curriculum, and case materials (AACN, 2015). At the same time, the nursing schools must focus on the recruitment efforts for the more traditional, younger nursing students.

Relation of the Issue to the Appropriate Professional Standards and Competences

There are two primary nursing standards that will be affected by the trend of changing demographics in the society. The standards provide an overall framework for the nursing practice in the form of guidelines and competencies (College of Nurses of Ontario, 2015). The standards include the following:

 
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Standards of Professional Performance

They describe the competent level of nursing behaviors that are considered fit for the nursing profession. Such standards are inclusive of activities such as quality of practice, resource utilization, nursing education, environmental health, and evidence-based research (AACN, 2014). With the changing population demographics in the nation, all RNs will be mandated to improve their quality of practice. It will be achieved by attaining a quality nursing education that will arm them with the knowledge of dealing with patients from diverse cultures and beliefs.

RNs in the nation will also be required to attain the skills of efficient resource utilization when serving the increasing number of patients visiting the health care facilities. Some of the resources that should be considered include patient wards, patient beds and ultrasound screening equipment among others. There is also a close link between an increased population and challenging environmental health conditions. For instance, if the population number in the nation rises, associated challenges such as the development of slums will arise. Bad housing facilities can contribute to the rise of food and waterborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid among others.

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Standards of Professional Nursing Practice

These standards characterize the competency levels of nursing care that are represented by the nursing process. The components of the process include assessment, patients’ diagnosis, results identification, planning, implementation, as well as evaluation. The changing demographics trend in the nation will affect the standards of professional practice by RNs. For instance, patients from different cultures and religions will require different approaches in all the steps of the nursing process. For instance, a Pakistani woman living in the US might be uncomfortable to have a cervical examination test when screening for cervical cancer. This issue may concern problems at the assessment stage.

Nursing standards of professional practice could also be affected during planning and implementation phases. For instance, a South-African-born American may prefer to use traditionally prepared herbs to treat a condition instead of using contemporary clinically tested drugs. In such an event, an RN must possess the knowledge of helping the patient in his/her recovery process. The implementation of a clinical decision in such an event may require a high level of intelligence. It may pose a major challenge for the nurses as they try to uphold and implement their professional standards of practice. 

Strategies to Enhance the Positive Effect or Minimize the Negative Effect of the Changing Demographics Trend

In light of the challenges posed by the demographics trend in the nursing profession, several essential strategies could be used. The strategies will either enhance the positive effects or curb the negative effects of the emergent trend. The first strategy is to change or reinvent the curriculums of all the nursing schools in the nation. This way, the future generation of nurses will have sufficient knowledge of dealing with patients from diverse multicultural backgrounds. Also, good leadership and management skills in the healthcare sector will be essential.

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Good leadership will facilitate efficient available resources allocation to all patients regardless of their socio-cultural backgrounds. It will also improve the access to healthcare services for all the members of a culturally diverse society. Good leaders will be in a position to handle different critical nursing cases involving patients from differentiated communities. It will also help the RNs in making a solid, informed decision when handling patients during the implementation stage of the nursing process. It will also guide un-cooperating patients in taking the clinically approved and certified medications in treating their medical conditions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the population of the US is increasing at a rapid rate. This tendency has given rise to the changing demographics and increased population diversity societal trend that has affected nursing and standards of nursing practice. The two nursing professional standards and competencies that will be affected by this trend will include the standards of professional nursing performance and the standards of professional nursing practice. There are two strategies that will either enhance the positive effects or curb the negative effects of the emergent trend. They will include changing of nursing education curriculum in all the nursing schools and the adoption of good leadership skills.

 

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