Nursing is a dynamic profession that must continually adapt to new medical research, new technologies and new healthcare challenges. It is important for practicing nurses and those who aspire to become a nurse to stay on top of the latest trends in nursing. This allows you to better serve your patients and lead your fellow nurses to strive for clinical excellence.
The nursing field is continually evolving in response to healthcare developments, patient needs, new research-based findings and emerging technologies. There are many current trends in nursing in 2022 that are continuing to affect the profession from years past, as well as some new trends emerging.
Current Trends in Nursing Education for 2022
The year 2022 and those that follow will throw a diverse range of challenges at nursing professionals, and these nursing trends aren’t always easy to predict. Nurses with advanced degrees can be positioned well professionally to address future trends and healthcare challenges.
One current trend in nursing that’s expected to continue is the push toward encouraging nurses to earn graduate degrees. Nurses with a master’s degree are prepared to lead their organizations and pursue advanced credentials, such as the advanced practice registered nurse designation.
Consider the following benefits with a Master's degree in nursing:
- More job opportunities that offer higher salary ranges
- Potential to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN)
- Potential to specialize in a specific area of nursing
- Ability to take on more job responsibility
- Greater capacity to meet the emerging challenges in the nursing field
- Potential to step into leadership roles in healthcare organizations
When nurses in 2022 decide to head back to school, they have more flexible options for continuing their nursing education. Many universities offer online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree programs, allowing nurses to live and work anywhere while completing their degree on a schedule that works for them. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of remote flexibility in education, and this is a trend that is likely to endure.
Furthermore, many MSN degrees can be completed almost entirely online. Nurses will need access to a clinical practice for the completion of field experience/practicum hours, however. The average MSN degree program may take about two years of full-time study to complete, or longer if learners intend on continuing to work while earning their degree.
What To Expect in a Post-COVID Nursing Environment
There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the nursing landscape, both in the U.S. and around the world. This pandemic has created an even higher demand for nurses, and high-quality professionals at that. As the backbone that helped many of us and our loved ones recover and stay healthy, nurses have been hailed as “healthcare heroes” throughout the pandemic and have gained a newly elevated respect in the eyes of the public.
The pandemic also had a plethora of unforeseen consequences, such as worsening nurse staffing shortages around the country. This nursing shortage, while critical, has opened an opportunity for a new group of potential nurses who want to discover new passions and wish to fulfill a calling to help people.
The COVID-19 pandemic also created a type of transparency for the nursing profession. If you were not directly affected by the pandemic health-wise, there’s a good chance that you know someone who worked in the healthcare field and dealt with it first-hand. Getting a glimpse at what healthcare workers, especially nurses, encountered during this time demonstrates their resilience and dedication to their profession. It also, most importantly, emphasized the necessity for highly trained, qualified nurses in the field.
It is imperative to take care of our nurses and understand the repercussions that a crisis such as COVID-19 can have on mental health. The combination of nursing shortages and a high demand for nurses may lead to many nurses feeling burned out or overwhelmed. However, because of this, many healthcare organizations (and many individual nurses) have chosen to prioritize mental wellness.
The Physician Hotline and the American Nurses Association (ANA), for instance, have begun offering hands-on programs that are aimed at improving mental wellness in healthcare professionals. Other organizations are also offering programs intended to build resiliency and encourage self-care, such as peer support groups, referral services and mental health hotlines.
Nursing Career Opportunities are Widely Available
Job opportunities for qualified nurses are on the rise. The ANA expects that there will be more jobs for registered nurses through 2022 than any other type of job in the country.1 Furthermore, as of September 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates about 194,500 openings for registered nurses are projected each year, on average, over the decade.2
Due to increased need during the pandemic, there is also growth in the nursing career opportunity of travel nursing.3 Travel nurses take assignments in different locations depending on what facilities need the help. Becoming a travel nurse can be a rewarding career that allows you to help people, positively impact multiple communities and experience living in various locations across the country.
Telehealth Visits Have Stabilized
Telemedicine and virtual care have been available for a while. However, the pandemic underscored its importance, and telemedicine became more widely used and available, as it was the only option for care in many places. During the last week of March 2020, for instance, there was a 154% increase in telemedicine appointments compared to the same week during 2019.4
However, a 2022 report from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) found that telehealth visits have stabilized as the pandemic weans away and patients now have the option to return to in-person medical visits. This same survey found that telehealth is not replacing or overtaking office visits, and that nearly 62% of care visits were conducted in person. The same study found that of the patients that did conduct visits via telehealth, 31% of those visits resulted in an office visit.5
Telemedicine may still play an important role in the healthcare system, keeping costs lower and giving patients greater access to care. However, telemedicine is now being viewed as more of a complement to in-person healthcare, rather than its replacement.
Prepare for 2022 Challenges With a Graduate Nursing Degree
You can prepare to meet the challenges of 2022 and beyond when you further your nursing education at Grand Canyon University. GCU offers a variety of nursing options for those wishing to begin or continue their nursing careers, including:
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing – jumpstart your nursing career and broaden your horizons with your BSN degree, offered through an RN to BSN program, traditional program and accelerated program
- Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Health Care Quality and Patient Safety – empowers nurses to serve as effective clinicians and patient advocates who lead and inspire others in their department
- Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Nursing Education – learn to educate future nursing professionals to meet the needs of the dynamic nursing profession in a variety of settings
- Post-Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate – advance your nursing practice and be confident in your knowledge while providing exceptional care through applying evidence-based research to your patients
Click on Request Info at the top of your screen to learn more about earning your nursing degree in our modern and dynamic learning community.
1 National Library of Medicine, Nursing Shortage in May 2022.
2 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is based on September 2021, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses
3 Retrieved from Advisory Board, Why Travel Nursing Will Likely Outlast the Pandemic in May 2022.
4 Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Trends in the Use of Telehealth During the Emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, January–March 2020 in May 2022.
5 Retrieved from Jones Lang LaSalle, 31 percent of telehealth visits result in a physical office visit in July 2022.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.