The demand for nurses is at an all-time high, and there is a need for more qualified professionals in this field. In 2024, expect this demand and other trends to continue. Here are some nursing trends to watch in 2024.

The Nursing Shortage Is the Top Priority

We are experiencing the most significant nursing shortage the U.S. has ever experienced. There is a rising need for nursing staff to care for patients, and the supply of nurses is not keeping pace. Nursing programs and states are coming up with solutions. States are reviewing nurse staff requirements and increasing funding to healthcare institutions. Some states are investing in nursing education to increase the number of new nurses.

Expect Reliance on Travel Nursing Staff to Continue

In recent years, healthcare institutions have relied on travel and per diem nurses to cover the gaps in staffing. As travel nurse salaries rose, the number of nurses quitting their full-time employment to make more money traveling increased. It is financially draining healthcare facilities and putting patients’ lives at risk.

A Renewed Focus on Nursing Mental Health

If anything positive comes out of the nursing shortage, it has focused on nurses’ mental health and all the stress, fatigue, and burnout that are taking a toll on nursing staff. Yes, there are countless resources available for healthcare workers. However, healthcare institutions can do a better job of letting workers know these resources exist. Digital access to resources can simplify the process, help protect mental health, and decrease burnout rates.

Hiring Bonuses Will Be Common

One welcome trend is that employers are increasingly offering signing bonuses to nurses. Remote communities, in particular, have tremendous difficulty filling nursing jobs and provide substantial bonuses. Some facilities are paying retention bonuses and bonuses for working extra shifts. Competition for nurses is fierce. Incentives include free lodging and tuition assistance.

More States Will Regulate Staffing Levels

Nursing unions and professional organizations have been voicing concerns over unsafe staffing levels for a long time. Only California and Massachusetts have addressed staffing ratios with a set of regulations. As an example, here are the California guidelines:

  • 6:1 patient-to-nurse workload in mental health
  • 5:1 patient-to-nurse in medical-surgical units, telemetry and oncology
  • 4:1 in pediatrics
  • 3:1 in labor and delivery
  • 2:1 in intensive care units

As we head into 2024, 12 states have passed laws addressing hospital nurse staffing levels. Seven states require hospitals to form staffing committees to help implement optimal staffing levels.

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Projected Nursing Trends for 2024: Insights and Implications was last modified: by



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