What will, and won't, change about nursing in 50 years

Melissa Kline

The technology healthcare will use in 50 years is impossible to predict, but nursing leaders agree that the one thing that will not change is the importance of caring individuals at the bedside.

Many leaders predict nurses will mostly leave the hospital setting to do more community work and hospitals will be used only for the sickest of the sick.

Here are seven nurse leaders on other ways nursing will change over the next 50 years.


Melissa Kline, DNP, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at MetroHealth (Cleveland): I think we will see more nurses embedded in settings that we don't typically see them in. There's a bit of a movement in schools recognizing how important nursing and healthcare is to the well-being of their students. So many school systems have decreased the number of staff nurses they have, but I'm starting to see that number go up a little bit. 

Going back a little bit to our roots with public health nursing, I think we'll see more nurses out in the community doing preventative work to prevent people from having to go to the hospital and working on those social determinants of health. I think on the hospital side, it is only going to continue to get more technical with technology and advances, and will continue to be the only the sickest of the sick in the hospital. So I think nurses will spend more time in people's homes, providing support to families, providing some virtual care. It's hard to even imagine what kind of devices we'll have in 50 years.

Read the full article in Becker's Clinical Leadership.