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3 Favorite Nursing Trends of 2013

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, December 17, 2013

Some nursing leadership trends emerged quietly this year, but are nonetheless provocative for how they force us to think about nursing and how they force nurses to think about themselves as caregivers and healthcare leaders.

Nearly a year ago, I played fortune teller. With the help of ANA president Karen Daley, I predicted the top nursing issues for 2013, forecasting that the safety of nurses, the rise of APRNs, advancing nurse education, and increasing emphasis on care coordination would dominate the consciousness of nurse leaders. Indeed, those topics were, and continue to be, among nursing's most important, overarching issues.

But in reviewing the past years' worth of nursing columns—I wrote 49 of them—some other trends have emerged, too, ones that challenge the way we think about nursing and, maybe too, how nurses perceive themselves. Here are my picks for the three most compelling under-the-radar nursing trends of 2013.

1.Empower Nurses; See Results
Ask nurses whether they think their hospitals' patient safety programs are actually effective, and you might be surprised by the answer: Only 41% of nurses describe the hospital they work in as "safe." And barely more than half (57%) believe that the patient safety programs in their hospitals are effective, a survey of 900 practicing registered nurses by the ANA and GE Healthcare found early this year.

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2 comments on "3 Favorite Nursing Trends of 2013"


Amy (3/3/2014 at 6:07 PM)
I have been involved in nursing for 30 years, and I have loved the opportunities I have had to educate myself. ABLS, ATLS, FNTC, PALS, ENPC, conferences, etc. I have been a member of AACN for 28 years. Working for a "Magnent" hospital, I have a voice but only if I say what the administration has "coached" me to say in sessions we were required to attend prior to our magnent recertification. I am a PALS instructor and as the newer nurses have come through my class I have been shocked to find that our new nurses do not know how to prepare equipment for intubation, they do not know how to bag-valve-mask a patient. These are respiratory therapy responsibilities. There are many nurses in our intensive care units that have never placed a PIV. Skin care consists of a wipe down with a wet wipe. What happened to turn, cough, and deep breathing? I am worried about the nursing profession. I feel we as nurses have are loosing the ability to give our patients safe care.

Cora Butler (12/30/2013 at 6:31 PM)
I very much appreciated this article and applaud the leadership that is empowering nurses to make a difference by thinking outside the box. Setting the expectation that nurses will become critical thinkers and contribute to patient outcomes is key to cost effective, quality care. It has long been my observation that almost everyone does what they are incented to do and all we have to do as leaders is be wise enough to build the incentives in such a way as to elicit the desired behavior. From this piece it appears that is what some enlightened leadership is doing and I am anxious to hear more about the results. As to the bullying issue, nurse's have characteristically "eaten" their young. There are no doubt many reasons for this, but I suspect among them has been the lack of respect and authority that has accompanied the nursing role in many care settings. Thank you for sharing your 3 Favorite Nursing Trends of 2013. Cora Butler, JD, RN, CHC