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Emerging Health Care Roles Impact Nurses

Written by Rose Torrento on Thursday, March 02, 2017 Posted in Industry News

nurse roles

Patient advocate, nurse apprentice, as well as patient and nurse navigator roles present opportunities for trainees, new nurses, and lifelong caregivers looking for more career options. Here’s the latest on how these emerging health care roles present traveling nurse opportunities you may have not considered.

As health care continues to evolve, those in the industry create new roles to enable nurses to function as part of interdisciplinary teams for better patient care. The industry has grown this way for a while, but some insiders don’t immediately integrate these roles into common practices due to financial and workforce availability constraints. For instance, although patient advocates have been around since the early 1900s and grew in numbers in the 1970s, patient and nurse navigator positions are only now more regular features in modern health care. Today, they fulfill important roles and make it easier for other nurses to provide excellent care.

Health care facility leaders often hire nurses to fill nurse navigator positions. These navigators guide patients through treatment processes and their various complexities. This role is especially important in oncology in which patient care involves several professionals. Not surprisingly, cancer patients can become overwhelmed. After learning of life-changing illnesses, patients have many questions about their diagnoses and extensive care plans. Navigators possess specialty communication and collaboration skills. They educate their patients as well as provide better, clearer outpatient care scheduling, treatment, and post-surgery recovery explanations.

As a result, navigators ease burdens on other team members, allowing them to focus on care delivery. This often results in better patient outcomes while cutting down on service duplication and improving providers’ bottom lines.

nurse trainingAnother emerging health care role is that of nurse apprentice. This support position involves on-the-job training for future nurses and represents an alternative path into the field. Many providers take advantage of apprenticeship programs, combatting nursing staff shortages at some hospitals while allowing these nurses-in-training to obtain necessary job skills.

Patient safety nurses have also found more opportunities as patient care protocols grow more stringent. Patient safety nurses are licensed nurses with additional patient safety training who support their teams by ensuring other staff members follow these safety protocols properly.

Emerging nurse navigator and patient safety roles provide new opportunities for traveling nurses while nurse apprenticeships aid those entering the field and allow tenured nurses to mentor them to enhance their skills. As more health system leaders employ navigators and patient safety specialists, nurses who want to travel to new locations might want to test out these opportunities.

Nurse and patient navigators, nurse apprentices, and patient safety nurses are among those transforming health care. Although their positions present them with unique challenges, they also provide opportunities for advancement, especially for those who are willing to travel.

HPC is here to help you navigate the evolving world of nursing. Contact us online or give us a call at 888-299-9800 for access to answers to all your career questions.

About the Author

Rose Torrento

Rose Torrento

Rosemarie Torrento has worked in health care for more than 26 years, beginning as a registered nurse in 1988. Early in her nursing career, Torrento worked as a freelance contract nurse before accepting a position in nursing administration. During her 17-year tenure in that role, she oversaw nursing employment and travel nurse contracting at a Level 1 Trauma Hospital in Michigan. Understanding the challenges travel nurses faced, Torrento founded Health Providers Choice Inc. (HPC) in 2003. Through Torrento’s extensive experience and her role as President and CEO, HPC provides travel placement of registered nurses and allied health professionals to hospital systems nationally.