I started to write a short essay about what I thought needed to happen for the role of nursing to advance. Science, medicine, specialization, higher entry requirements, residencies,... Then I got to thinking (always a dangerous thing this late at night), I doubt that nursing will advance much further as time rolls on.
Hospital nursing is going to become a victim of technology and budgets. UAPs are taking over many of the functions of nurses. Almost anyone can be taught to draw blood, hang an IV and punch in a few numbers(or the iv will be preprogrammed for the patient), take vitals and hand the TV remote to the patient. Med techs can pass medications. CNAs can fetch water or a blanket, clean a patient and distribute meals. Robots are becoming evermore common roaming the floors. In the (closer than you think) future, virtually all aspects of a patient will be monitored, with supreme accuracy, from a central site. I can easily see a time when any MedSurg floor can be staffed with one RN whose role will be to oversee the other personnel and equipment and take care of emergencies.
Eventually, charting will be akin to the automatic log created by an automobiles' computer. Just punch in the patients ID# and everything that that patient has experienced from the moment they were admitted will be printed out. Doctors will not need a nurse to call them about a change of condition, the computer monitoring the patient will digest all the info being gathered and using incredibly complex algorithms will be able to text immediately the new condition of the patient.
"Now, wait a minute", you may say. "Nurses have a scope of practice that only they can perform." Scope of practice can be changed legislatively. And when the hospitals start to realize the saving$, do you really think nurses can battle them in the legislature? Especially when it will be presented as a means to cut healthcare costs?
Hospital nursing is going to be vastly reduced. The way this profession will survive will be in ICU, ER, home health, hospice, satellite clinics, industry, nursing homes, and advanced practice, (that as time goes by will be less and less like traditional nursing).
I, undoubtedly, have some of these things wrong, but the general belief that technology and budgets will force a reorganization of the profession will still hold true.
As mentioned, nursing is considered to be part of the room decor, and you know how easy it is to replace a flower pot.
Maybe I should have stuck with the first essay, it might have been shorter and stayed with the original spirit of the thread.