The nursing field is constantly changing, and with changes in the field of nursing come changes in nursing education. Understanding the changes and trends that can affect the field of nursing allows a potential or aspiring nurse to know about the shifts and changes that may occur in their education. Here are five crucial emerging trends in nursing education that are already taking place.
1. More data collection and analysis
With the ability to collect and track a variety of cases and types of illnesses and other healthcare-associated measures, there is a rising need for increased data analysis. More data being collected and analyzed means a better healthcare system in the future. When nurses can collect and analyze data, it allows conclusions to be made about how to best handle a variety of cases and decisions.
Because of the increase in data collection and analysis, nursing education has included additional coursework in collecting and analyzing data as well as reporting this data to management and other healthcare professionals.
2. The rise of consumer knowledge
With the increase of consumer knowledge, a patient doesn’t merely ask what is wrong with them. Instead, a patient could have a complete list of their symptoms, possible causes, and their own diagnoses that they have found on the Internet. Many patients go as far as to research the best medications and even prepare for surgeries that they may or may not need.
Because of the rise of consumer knowledge, nursing students are being taught how to handle and manage the increase in patient awareness regarding the healthcare industry. While a nurse from thirty years ago could simply tell the patient a diagnosis without question, a patient in the modern age could question everything and believe in their personal diagnosis whether or not it is true.
3. Preventive health is on the rise
A rise in preventive health measures is already taking place. With a rising population and many people being able to afford healthcare services, one of the most significant trends taking place is the implementation of preventive health.
While preventive health has always been important, today it is more crucial than ever before. Being able to prevent health problems before they happen allows other critically ill patients to receive healthcare promptly. Increasing the output of preventive care information to patients will enable people to manage their health to be able to decrease the number of hospital visits.
4. A rise in continued education
With the increase in nursing careers and the need for highly competent and knowledgeable nurses, the trend is on the rise for continued education. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing explains that quality patient care relies on having a well-educated workforce of nurses. Studies have shown that hospitals that hire nurses with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing led to fewer medication errors, lower mortality rates, and an increase in positive outcomes.
Besides better healthcare at hospitals that hire well-educated nurses, it is a trend that more nurses want to increase their education and have higher goals than previously reported.
5. An increase in technology utilization
The rise in technology has only increased the amount of additional knowledge that nurses must have upon entering the field. Nursing schools and programs are now utilizing more technology into their curriculum because of this increasing trend.
Technology has helped increase the quality of the healthcare system as a whole, and nurses are finding it more beneficial to understand a variety of computer systems and medical records systems. The increase in technology utilization at the educational level of nursing will lead to more technologically competent nursing staff at hospitals across the country.
If you were to combine all of the emerging trends in nursing education as well as the nursing field as a whole, you would see that it all comes down to an increase in knowledge. Patients are more knowledgeable, as are nurses, doctors, healthcare professionals, and technological advances. All of these improvements to the healthcare industry has required nurses to be more competent and smarter than they ever were before.
A well-educated nurse will have a significant impact on not just the hospital they work for, but on the healthcare industry as a whole.