Five Predictions for the Near Future of Nurse Training and Education
February 23, 2021
Nurses have been on the frontlines of caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic like few other clinical professions. For many isolated patients, they have been the primary source of human company and day-to-day support. It’s no wonder that many nurses are feeling burned out or at least the burden of extreme stress. That pressure, coupled with the likelihood that many nurses may feel the need to leave the profession once the crisis is over, means that nurse training and education are going to be even more important in the near future. Here are some predictions that nurse leaders and experts are making about new directions for nurse learning for the next few years, and possibly beyond.
- Online Nurse Training Programs Will Continue to Increase in Popularity.
According to Carson Newman University, the proportion of licensed nurses with a BSN degree is going to continue to grow. As a result, “the motivation for nurses to pursue higher education is stronger than ever.” Nurses needing to advance their degrees while working will have little option but to pursue degrees online. Carson Newman anticipates that “online MSN-FNP and online Post-Master’s FNP Certificate programs to increase in 2021, especially while COVID-19 limits in-person learning.”
- Higher Education degrees that Prepare Nurses to Support Better Outcomes Will Become the Norm.
In addition to the growing requirement for BSNs among licensed nurses, Carson Newman shares that “the number of RNs holding at least a BSN degree decreases the risk of patient mortality. With such strong evidence that more education leads to better patient outcomes and nursing degrees trending upward, expect higher education to become the norm for Registered Nurses moving into 2021 and beyond.”
- The Specialization Trend Among Nurses Will Continue.
Carson Newman reminds us that “Nursing is a career where there is greater demand at higher levels of practice than the lower ones. Nurses who choose to specialize find that they are in higher demand and can often command higher salaries.”
- Geriatric Nursing Is an Important Specialization with Particularly Acute Shortages.
Carson Newman reports that even though we are swiftly approaching 2050, when “one-fifth of the U.S. population will be 65 or older… ,’ fewer than 1% of registered nurses and fewer than 3% of advanced practice registered nurses are certified in geriatrics.’” The U.S healthcare industry needs many more of these specialists to deal with our aging population, which will consume a large proportion of our healthcare resources.
- Nursing Schools Need to Focus More on the Team Nursing Model.
In addition to promoting nurses’ specialization, Denise Ray RN, Chief Nursing Executive of Piedmont Healthcare suggests in Becker’s Hospital Review that nursing schools need retool their training focus on emergency management and critical care to incorporate a team nursing model. For Ray, “the pandemic has demonstrated gaps in our ability to adapt as quickly utilizing a team model where nurses lead and direct care teams.” She adds, “By implementing a team model and enhancing education in the areas of emergency management and critical care, nursing can adapt quickly to the ever-changing environment.”
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