What Nurses Need to Know: The 2020 Healthcare Forecast

Sydnee Logan
By Sydnee Logan  | 
What Nurses Need to Know: The 2020 Healthcare Forecast

What’s next? Faculty experts share trends shaping care in 2020 and beyond.


Big data and artificial intelligence will continue to dominate the conversation in research and health IT. Can progress keep up with the hype?


Primary care will continue to evolve in ways that can readily be met by nursing. We’re seeing more functional and integrative medicine, social determinants of health are included in routine clinical screening, and trauma-informed care is becoming part of the established framework.


With the incidence of chronic pain rapidly increasing, the opioid epidemic continues to be a public health challenge. Non-pharmacological treatments are growing in popularity for pain management.


We will continue to develop systemic responses to burnout, as well as interventions to build clinician well-being and resilience.

We must explore ethical implications of social injustice on health care delivery—think homelessness, substance use disorder, mental illness, poverty, and beyond.

We will continue to develop an ethical framework for balancing patient centered-ness with staff safety. We must understand the influence of racial bias, patient concordance and preferences with norms for respectful treatment by health care workers.


The health care workforce must support a population that is rapidly aging and that suffers increasingly from chronic illness. We must enroll and train new nurses, but it is difficult and costly as preceptor placements become increasingly competitive. Are hospitals and health care clinics being asked to place more students than they can reasonably accommodate?


Using point of care ultrasounds to assist with diagnosis is the number one innovation to advance nursing anesthesiology care in 2020.

Machine learning algorithms used to predict health care events will continue to be a research trend. For example, the Anesthesia Information Management Systems (AIMS) with intraoperative monitoring device connectivity will provide decision support tools with real-time clinical guidance.

We will continue to explore non-invasive monitors to assess advanced hemodynamics like cardiac output and systemic vascular resistance at the beside. This will become a routine vital sign we use in preoperative testing, intraoperative monitoring, in the post-anesthesia care unit.


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Sydnee Logan is the Social Media and Digital Content Coordinator for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She shares what’s going on with the world.

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