Nursing profession In India has come a long way; however, a lot more need to be done. Any profession to grow must have respect, job satisfaction and good financial reward. Earlier it was desired to serve that motivated /attracted girl and boys to join nursing. Subsequently, it was more of a compulsion to earn and an opportunity to go abroad that motivated people to join the nursing profession. Now we see that youngsters have multiple career options which are more rewarding than nursing. In future we will see decrement that youngsters opting for nursing. The Time has come to define “Lakshman Rekha” or minimum benchmark for following:
- Dignity: Hospital management & doctors have not given a desired position, respect and financial rewards to nurses.
- Financial Reward (Salary): There is a certain ratio of salary of doctors, hospital managers and Nurses in western countries. If we compare same for nurses in India, it is not as per what we see in US or UK.
- Roles & Responsibilities: If a junior doctor, person from finance or other departments like operations / marketing can become CEO / COO, why not nurses. We see very few such examples in India.
Nurses too are to be blamed for their state of affairs. Most do not put in efforts to upgrade their skills or acquire additional skills in finance, supply chain, IT, management, etc. Some of the evolving career options for Nurses are:
- Management Role: By doing part time or full-time diploma or degree in hospital management or business management.
- Health Insurance: This is the fastest growing area and by doing short certification in Insurance management; nurses can join insurance firms as part of the business development team or part of a back office team.
- Information Technology: IT sector needs domain experts for the health sector. Also huge demand for talent who understands medical terminology by companies providing back office support like bill settlement (revenue cycle management), Medical records compilation and review of medical reports etc.
- Data Analytics: This is among fastest growing, a highly rewarding area in the health sector. This sector will need talent who understands the health care domain.
- Nursing Education: This is an existing option but will see rapid growth as more and more talent will be required and demand for highly specialised talent is on rising.
- Entrepreneur: This is open to all not just to nursing talent. Business dynamic changes with time, we see huge opportunities for a small business like Home care, Wellness Centre, online medical care services, elderly care, group nursing practice etc.
These all are possible only when Nursing professionals have faith in themselves and desire to upgrade and excel.
Dr. Vikram Singh Raghuvanshi is leading authority in the area of Strategy & hospital operations. He has planned, designed and operated over 50 hospitals in India. He is also visiting faculty @ leading management Institutions.