Health care is evolving and growing at a rapid pace. New developments in technology, a growing body of medical and scientific knowledge and expanding access to health care are just a few factors fueling the field’s growth. Technology is being used in many new ways to help patients and health care providers. Health care providers are also gaining a better understanding of diseases and have access to new treatments, thanks to innovation.
The nursing profession influences changes in health care and is also affected by them. Change and growth create new issues, and adapting to change can be tough if nurses aren’t prepared to accept the challenge of resolving them. By furthering their education, such as with a Master of Science in Nursing, nurses gain the edge they need to be part of the solution to problems in health care, and to promote better outcomes for patients.
Increasing Complexity of Care
The increased complexity of patient care means that nurses need to stay sharp when it comes to technology and new developments in evidence-based practice. Nurses who return to school to improve their skills with an MSN have the opportunity to take classes in evidence-based practice. Nurses gain experience identifying issues, then can evaluate and appraise evidence before integrating it into care.
Online MSN students at Spring Arbor University take a course in information management and patient care technologies, which explores the relationship between IT and nursing. Students learn how to integrate information systems with clinical decision-making. This course also informs nurses about the legal issues concerning the use of technology in health care. Students are prepared to address complexities found in the evolving nature of patient care.
The Shortage of Health Care Providers
The shortage of health care providers, especially primary care providers, is a prominent issue in nursing. A study conducted on behalf of the American Association of Medical Colleges reported that by 2030, the depth of the primary care provider shortage will increase to between 14,800 and 49,300 providers.
Many patients, especially those in rural locations, are unable to obtain care in a timely manner. Some patients may also have transportation issues that make accessing health care difficult due to the need to travel long distances.
The nurse practitioner’s role is an expansion of the nursing profession that helps alleviate the healthcare provider shortage. In just eight years, between 2008 and 2016, the numbers of rural physician practices that employed nurse practitioners increased by over 10 percent.
The Need for Nurse Educators
Physicians aren’t the only ones in the midst of an increasing shortage. As many nurses retire and the average life expectancy increases, more nurses are needed to care for the aging population. Nurse educators are nurses who hold a Master of Science in Nursing Education, and who teach the current and future generations of nurses how to provide safe and competent patient care, build on their skills and focus on continual improvement.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) found that in 2018, 75,029 nurses who applied for bachelor’s or graduate-level nursing programs were denied admission due to a lack of nursing education faculty, clinical sites, budget constraints or classroom space. The AACN also found that in 2018, the vacancy rate for nursing faculty was 7.9 percent. Future nurse educators have plenty of exciting opportunities ahead and are in high demand due to the nursing shortage.
Nurses with a passion for their profession and its growth can find a rewarding career as a nurse educator. Nurse educators are in high demand and can enjoy simultaneously advancing their nursing career while helping advance the entire profession.
Studying for Success
Completing a Master of Science in Nursing will take both your career and the nursing profession to the next level. As medicine and nursing become increasingly complex, higher levels of education are important for success. Nurses who earn their MSN can answer the need for primary care services as nurse practitioners and help bridge the provider shortage gap. Those who become nurse educators can inspire and lead the next generation of nurses. MSN degrees allow for more nursing administrators to create change and progress by filling many important roles that are fundamental to solving problems in nursing.
Spring Arbor University is committed to the advancement of nurses through quality education. Our convenient online MSN programs provide dedicated nurses with the ethical values necessary to lead compassionate care. Courses can be completed online with no mandatory login times, providing busy nurses the flexibility needed to balance home life, work and study. Our staff is also ready to support you along your journey as you broaden your scope of influence within the nursing profession.