Nursing remains one of the most popular careers in the country, employing more than 3.2 million people. The profession has also undergone significant changes in recent years. Among these changes are more emphasis on telehealth, travel nursing, and a prolonged period of nursing shortages in parts of the country.
The COVID-19 pandemic drove some of these changes, although the virus accelerated a trend already well underway in some cases (such as telehealth). As the country slowly puts the height of the pandemic behind, the nursing profession has emerged with more specialization options and career choices than ever.
These latest trends in nursing have made enrolling in an online RN to BSN program more attractive than ever for working nurses. A BSN provides nurses with the skills and knowledge needed to take full advantage of the profession’s career options.
Emerging Trends in Nursing
While many nursing trends have existed for years, they took on new importance as the pandemic swept the country. The virus also led to a renewed appreciation for nurses’ central role in public health and increased demand for their specialized expertise in patient care.
Industry analysts believe the following three trends will continue to impact the nursing profession for at least the next few years.
The pandemic increased a nursing shortage that began years ago. The trend is expected to continue as many nurses from the Baby Boomer generation retire from the profession. At the same time, an aging U.S. population increases the demand for healthcare services. More nurses are needed in doctor’s offices, community centers, hospitals, outpatient care centers, and other medical care facilities.
The combination of demand and nursing shortages makes educating a new generation of nurses even more critical. Current projections call for 175,900 openings for nurses in the United States every year through 2029.
Many doctor’s offices, clinics, and other healthcare operations shifted to telehealth services during the height of the global pandemic. Medical practitioners managed patient health more efficiently without an in-person office visit, preventing staff and patients from exposure to the virus.
Telehealth typically involves a patient speaking with a doctor or nurse through a virtual online meeting platform or a smartphone video call. Even without the pandemic, telehealth saves time for both the patient and the clinical staff. It works well for routine consultations like speaking with patients about blood work and other test results. Nurses working in telehealth require excellent communication skills as well as computer competency.
With the nursing shortage growing nationwide, more healthcare administrators have turned to travel nurses to maintain proper staffing levels. They often bring in nurses in anticipation of periodic patient surges, such as at a hospital during flu season. Travel nurses typically make higher pay than nurses on the permanent staff. They also get to see parts of the country they might otherwise never visit and learn from talented clinicians in various situations.
The Benefits of Online Learning for Nurses
Online learning benefits working adults in all industries. Nursing is no exception. Without the flexibility of online degree programs, nurses face a difficult challenge in trying to attend college while maintaining their current job.
The online RN to BSN program from NMU Global Campus allows nurses to finish their BSN degree in as little as four semesters. The online format provides working nurses flexibility when viewing program materials and watching lectures.
The NMU RN to BSN programs are led by experienced faculty teaching a curriculum that prepares nurses to excel in the modern healthcare industry. Program graduates possess enhanced skills in evidence-based practice, nursing policy, population and global health, leadership, and management.
In addition to the core nursing courses, the program also features optional leadership courses that focus on effective communication, ethical leadership, assessment, and leadership in diverse workplaces.
Graduates from the NMU Global Campus RN to BSN program emerge prepared to immediately take the next steps in their career and the opportunities offered by the latest trends in nursing.