7 Growing Trends in Nursing Education

Top 7 Emerging Trends in Nursing Education to Be Aware of

Over the past decade, the nursing profession has undergone tremendous change. Impacted constantly by external factors—such as a sudden and unexpected pandemic—nursing practices have been forced to adapt their pedagogies in order to train the next generation of nurses to work in a field that’s become more dynamic than ever before.

And for those considering pursuing their online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), understanding the shifting trends that will affect their career trajectory is vital for success, which is why UC places an emphasis on driving forces in the field. Through our top-ranked online programs, you’ll enter the profession prepared to meet modern-day challenges head-on, because we’re driven to provide you with the tools and resources you need to make a difference in your community—both within a healthcare system and outside of it.

Below are seven emerging trends impacting nursing education today.

Key Takeaways

    • Nursing education increasingly focuses on data collection and analysis, empowering nurses to make informed decisions for better patient outcomes.
    • The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical need for well-prepared nurses, driving the demand for quality nursing education and training
    • Trends in nursing education include preparing nurses to prioritize preventive healthcare and utilize telehealth technologies to enhance patient care and accessibility.

#1 Data Collection and Analysis

In the healthcare system, data and quality care go hand-in-hand. To make informed practice decisions, nurses need to have access to collective patient data that they know how to interpret. This skill ensures faster and more accurate diagnoses, preventive measures, more personalized treatment, and more informed decision-making.

To teach students how to make practical conclusions about empirical data, our MSN programs include coursework centered on the interpretation of data analyses for the selection and use of best evidence.

#2 COVID-19 Pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) was not expecting a global pandemic to strike when it declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. But with the onset of COVID-19, the need for nurses worldwide steeply rose, amplifying the nursing shortage and illuminating the crucial role they occupy in healthcare systems.

In fact, according to WHO, “the world needs nine million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030”—a number that can only be achieved through quality nursing education across the board. UC’s online graduate nursing programs, ranked Top 40 nationally for Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs by U.S. News & World Report, aim to meet this demand by enhancing the knowledge, skills, and expertise of practicing nurses through courses taught by clinically practicing faculty.

#3 Preventive Healthcare

With an increasing population—and more individuals being able to afford healthcare—one of the most significant trends taking place is the implementation of preventive health. Increasing the output of preventive care information enables individuals to manage their own health, leading to fewer hospital visits and freeing up space for critically ill patients to receive care promptly.

As one of our MSN students, you’ll learn to improve the health of your patients through evidence-based recommendations such as screenings, counseling, physical therapy, and precautionary medications.

#4 Patient Knowledge

For better or worse, patients have access to a massive amount of information and misinformation relating to their health. What’s more, because of treatments being advertised online and on television, they often come to healthcare systems with a complete list of their symptoms, a diagnosis in mind, and possible causes and medications. To manage this, our doctorally trained and clinically practicing faculty will train you to remain confident in your knowledge and abilities in order to help patients look beyond the information overload and accept the best possible care.

#5 Continued Education

With the vast variety of nursing career paths—and the ever-present need for highly competent nurses—continued education is crucial in keeping you up to date on the latest advances in care and treatment. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing explains that “quality patient care hinges on having a well-educated nursing workforce,” and that lower mortality rates, fewer medication errors, and positive outcomes are all linked to nurses prepared at the baccalaureate and graduate degree levels.

At UC, we offer six online MSN specialties and two post-master’s certifications to not only help enhance your clinical competency and care delivery, but to help you find your individual passion.

#6 Online Nursing Education

While the pandemic necessitated the use of distance education and highlighted its learning value and benefits, online education isn’t new. For more than 20 years, technology has allowed UC’s nurse educators to reach their students in a virtual format that offers the same degree as their on-campus counterparts — meaning you can maintain your personal and professional commitments without relocating, or even commuting to classes.*

(*There is 1 skills intensive that takes place on campus for MSN Nurse-Midwifery students.)

#7 Telehealth

Telehealth is the remote delivery of healthcare services — including medical information and healthcare education — via telecommunications systems. Built to support long-distance clinical health care and support the day-to-day needs of staff, the use of telehealth services experienced dramatic increases in 2020 due to the pandemic.

So, whether the goal is to focus on streamlining communication, make consultations more convenient, or create a patient database full of detailed medical information, telecommunications systems can help your organization achieve its most pressing goals. Here at UC, we know firsthand the importance of increased accessibility; in fact, it’s built into our mission and values.

Want to Become a Better Nurse?

The nursing profession is constantly evolving, and with changes in the profession come changes in education. To find success as an advanced-practice nurse, it’s vital to enroll in a program that not only recognizes the present trends but prepares you to work through them as they impact your career. At the University of Cincinnati, we pride ourselves on the success of our online MSN graduates who are trained to tackle any challenges that come their way, because in the end, we’re about one thing: making you a better nurse.

So — are you ready to learn more? Explore our online MSN programs to discover how you can overcome obstacles to make a difference in your community with a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Cincinnati, or take the first step in advancing your career by beginning your application today.

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