4 Current Policy Trends Shaping the Future of Nursing

By  //  July 17, 2023

The world of nursing moves fast and has many specialties. It is also constantly affected by the policy landscape. Particularly through the last few years of the global pandemic, new problems arose, and new technology was adopted.

Both of these things contributed to a changing focus for healthcare organizations, and throughout this article, we will discuss four of the most important policy trends in nursing to be aware of.

Nurse well-being

As we mentioned in the introduction, nursing is a fast-paced industry. The health of nurses is a top priority for healthcare organizations, and the policies that address nurse well-being are continually evolving. One trend in the policy space is ensuring that all nurses have adequate access to both physical and mental health support.

For physical health, many hospitals now offer programs such as on-site gyms or healthy eating incentives that cater specifically to nurses’ needs. Some employers even invest in ergonomic equipment like adjustable desks or chairs that optimize workspaces for comfort and productivity. 

On the mental health side, many healthcare organizations now provide counselors specializing in stress management for their employees. They also provide educational resources about ways nurses can manage stress in their own time.

The nurse shortage

The nurse shortage is not new. It’s been a problem for some time, and it’s still having a negative impact on the medical industry. With an aging population, we are going to need even more nurses in the future, so it’s a very important issue that must be addressed by policymakers — at the state and national levels.

Measures have been taken to address this issue at the state level. Some of them include offering more incentives for new nurses as well as paying for their education costs. Some states have even increased the autonomy of nurses in certain roles. In these states, nurse practitioners can often practice without physician oversight in certain circumstances.

On a federal level, there is a range of policies and grants being introduced to help address the shortage. Federal policies are focusing on keeping nurses for longer rather than simply attracting new ones. The aim of these types of initiatives is to improve workplace cultures and foster career growth. The idea is that nurses can grow and develop within the nursing profession rather than outside of it in other disciplines.


Telehealth is another area that saw huge growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients can now get help from their healthcare provider in a safe and remote setting by using phone calls, emails, and video consultations. This is proving to be a game-changer in nursing practice as it broadens access to healthcare services and provides nurses with more opportunities for patient engagement.

For nurses specifically, telehealth offers many benefits. These include reduced travel times between patients’ homes and practices, improved communication with patients, and greater flexibility when building a patient’s care plan. The challenges here are mainly around regulation. Things like varying laws from state to state or legislation around areas like data security must be considered.

Home healthcare

In the same way that telehealth has grown in recent years, so has home healthcare. It offers a safe and convenient option for patients requiring ongoing medical care without needing to travel. As these fields grow and evolve, the skillset of nurses will need to as well. 

The MSN-NHSL program offered by the University of Indianapolis is a good example of this. The coursework of this program is done 100% online, and it’s designed for working nurses — meaning that it can be completed part-time. The course is wide-ranging in its content and aims to connect nurses with the evolving healthcare situation.

During home healthcare practice, nurses will typically be tasked with assessing patients physically and providing basic treatments like wound care or medication administration. They also teach patients self-care techniques and provide emotional support for patients and their families.

In response to the increased demand for home health services, states across the country are developing new policies in different areas. This includes things like reimbursement rates for nurse practitioners (NPs) working in these settings as well as imposing stricter regulations around safety protocols. 

As you progress in your nursing journey, it’s important to keep an eye on new policies and initiatives. The field has seen a lot of change in recent years, and this is sure to continue. Nursing is an extremely rewarding career choice, and by keeping on top of how things are changing, you will be in the right place to succeed.