The health care industry has undergone several changes in historical times and will continue to rapidly change in the next 20 years.   These changes will both affect workers and patients.   Cost concerns, increasing competition, technological advances and aging of an increasingly diverse population are a few changes that I predict will take place as nursing continues to evolve.
Changes are already starting to shift to an outpatient basis.   Care is being moved from hospital based care to more care on an outpatient basis and in nursing homes; the move to managed care; an increase in for-profit health care providers.   More patient care is taken place in doctors’ offices, outpatient clinics and in the home.   As patients get admitted to the hospital they are treated for the acute situation not the overall problem and discharged quickly.   This results in hospital re-admissions with more advanced problems.   I feel this shift will only continue in this direction to contain costs.   Healthcare will be more prevalent over the internet and or mobile based.
As technology advances diagnostics and treatment measures will only get better.   More research and studies will be readily available on how to treat disease process, with new treatment modules and prevention strategies.   With these advances I feel the overall spread of infection and diseases will be better controlled.
The healthcare system already faces a nursing shortage, and once the baby boomer population increases in healthcare the shortage will possibly worsen with time.   It’s like supply and demand.   Hopefully with ongoing nursing recruitment and incentives this will not take place, but the nursing shortage has occurred since nursing history.