Preparing DNPs to Work in Future Hospitals

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Doctor walks alongside nurse up a staircase while having a conversation

Today’s healthcare providers face exciting and challenging new developments — including revolutions in healthcare systems, alterations to Medicare and Medicaid, different approaches to hospital debt, changing patient expectations, and advancing technology.

Hospital professionals deliver care to people in need, and they must evolve along with the communities they serve. By earning an online Doctor of Nursing Practice, you may help lead the way in envisioning the future of hospitals.

What will future hospitals look like, and how they will operate? What roles will future doctors of nursing practice (DNPs) play, and what competencies will they need? How will today’s medicine adjust to new technology and tailor services to patient needs and desires? How will the hospitals of the future make strides toward accessibility and effectiveness? These questions and more will shape the future of the medical industry.

Healthcare changes occur at a rapid-fire pace, and the industry continues to boom, with an expected 18 percent growth between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Professionals with advanced skill sets are stepping up to play an important part in the innovation of healthcare.

New Trends for Future Doctors of Nursing Practice

The medical professionals of tomorrow, including DNPs, must adapt to an exciting future. Compassion remains one of the core characteristic of their profession, but emerging healthcare professionals must gain new competencies that speak to the demands of the modern marketplace.

As hospitals change, providers need to be well-versed in how to implement technology, communicate across a variety of platforms, and deploy data science expertise. The latest trends in the field calling upon these skills include:

Alternatives to Traditional Inpatient Facilities

A push for value-based healthcare will influence many aspects of future hospitals, including alternatives to traditional inpatient facilities. As part of this general trend, more hospitals are likely to introduce smaller facilities (dubbed “micro hospitals”) with more focused services, same-day surgery centers, and free-standing emergency rooms that are easier to navigate and can nimbly and swiftly respond to medical emergencies.

This shift to alternative facilities both saves money and improves care. If you’re a DNP who works at a micro hospital, you’re part of a growing trend. One report by Goldstein Research shows an increase in micro hospitals of approximately 6.1% by 2024.

Digital and AI Technology

Artificial intelligence (AI) has already introduced many positive changes into healthcare, and that trend will continue. For example, hospital systems collect a massive amount of data — a report by Healthcare IT News references one hospital’s 5.1 billion data points, indicating a growing need for AI to step in and take care of analysis. The huge uptick in data requires more effort to compile and analyze it than humans unaided by technology can comfortably shoulder. Today, hospitals use AI to automate these tasks, and they likely will continue to do so in the future as they collect even more data. AI can also examine X-rays and CT scans, and even serve customers directly through digital consultations.

Large medical centers in major U.S. cities have pioneered AI. This technology has already automated many basic tasks, freeing up DNPs so they can spend more time with patients. New tools, like apps that provide patients with digital consultation, empower users to navigate the system and gain insight into their own health.

The Rise of Value-Based Care

If you’re a DNP or an aspiring DNP, you’ll likely experience a shift in how care is perceived. According to Modern Healthcare, an online healthcare and industry news publication, the rise of value-based healthcare has reorganized the hiring landscape in hospitals. Future hospitals that adapt to the practice of value-based care will emphasize patient satisfaction and improved health outcomes instead of the number of individual services provided.

Value-based care helps reduce medical costs and improve quality of care, allowing patients to experience a more transparent process. A study conducted by ORC International and reported on by HIT Consultant found that close to 80 percent of those surveyed saw improvements in their care quality under a value-based care system. Even better, this process is more closely aligned with the inherent value system of many who enter the healthcare system, with a focus on helping others and leading with compassion.

As a result, the field needs more highly educated healthcare workers with more robust people skills. Already in high demand, experienced and highly trained DNPs will likely see a greater need for their abilities in coming years.

Shape the Future of Hospitals and Healthcare

As the healthcare system becomes increasingly innovative, professionals and patients alike are likely to see changes. Future hospitals, with their emphasis on patient-centered care that leverages technology, will need well-educated professionals who can lead the way.

If you are called to create a profound impact in the lives of patients in the modern world of healthcare, consider advancing your career as a DNP. This is your opportunity to put patients first and lead with compassion in a cutting-edge field. Online degrees in nursing from Maryville University offer programs that embrace the future of hospitals and healthcare as a whole. Discover the breadth of Maryville’s online programming and how it can help you prepare for your own future in the exciting world of healthcare.


Healthcare IT News, “Artificial Intelligence Fueling the Need for a Digital Workforce in Healthcare”

Healthline, “What Will Your Hospital Look Like in Five Years?”

HIT Consultant, “The State of Value-based Care in 2018: 10 Key Trends to Know”

Modern Healthcare, “Value-based Healthcare Models Require a Better-Educated, Patient-Centered Workforce”

The Medical Futurist Magazine, “Peek into the Future of Hospitals”

The Wall Street Journal, “What the Hospitals of the Future Will Look Like”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Healthcare Occupations

U.S. News, “How Hospitals Are Changing”

WhaTech, “Micro Hospitals market is set to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% by 2024”