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Current Trends in Nursing Education

Nursing is constantly evolving and changing, with nursing education following suit. Current nursing practices must adapt to disruption from external factors like the pandemic, technological advancements and sociocultural issues. These and other factors are driving today’s trends in nursing education.

The online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Nurse Educator program at University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) places emphasis on current trends in the field. This degree program integrates the study of social, cultural and technological developments, emerging instructional techniques and tried-and-true nursing education theory and practice. Through comprehensive study, students can enter the profession prepared to meet the challenges of modern-day nursing education.

How Has the Pandemic Impacted Nursing Education?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “The world needs nine million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.” Given the drastic shortage of nurses and numerous other factors, the World Health Assembly (WHO’s decision-making body) designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

At the time of this designation, the COVID-19 pandemic had not yet ravaged the globe. With the onset of the pandemic, the need for nurses worldwide skyrocketed, amplifying the shortage and illuminating the vital role nurses occupy in healthcare systems. The pandemic also highlighted the importance of quality nursing education programs to train new generations of nurses.

The online design of UNCW’s MSN Nurse Educator program also allowed students to keep studying virtually, learning and — importantly — continuing to work in the field throughout the pandemic.

How Are Technological Developments Affecting Nursing Education?

Technology is a crucial component of the healthcare field, helping educate nursing students online and enabling the practice of telemedicine. UNCW’s online MSN Nurse Educator program will train students in the technology competencies they need for the industry.

An online master’s program is a practical option for nurses who wish to advance into careers as instructors while they continue working. Plus, UNCW’s nurse educator MSN allows students to familiarize themselves with online teaching and effective distance learning methodologies.

Advancements in online communication technologies have also aided in the development of telemedicine in recent years. Telemedicine has played a vital role in keeping nurses and patients safe during the pandemic, specifically, and its widespread adoption will surely continue. Today’s nursing educators must therefore be competent in the use of telemedicine technologies in nursing practice.

Future nursing professionals must be technologically savvy as these information systems and technologies help providers and organizations improve efficiency, consistency across healthcare systems and patient care outcomes.

What Kinds of Social and Cultural Factors Are Driving Nursing Education Trends?

Nursing educators play an important role in overcoming systemic, sociocultural inequities in today’s healthcare systems. The pandemic has only emphasized these disparities, with some racial groups impacted by COVID-19 to a much greater extent than others.

Racial minorities, rural populations and some disadvantaged groups have historically had limited access to quality, affordable healthcare. They are also underrepresented in the professional healthcare community. Providers’ biases can negatively impact quality of care, and cultural stigma and financial concerns can drive hesitancy in seeking professional care.

Nurse educators have an opportunity and responsibility to combat these inequities. Anti-bias education and cultural competency development for nurses, community outreach and public health education initiatives are important components in engendering equity. Enabling access to affordable, quality care in diverse urban and suburban communities, as well as rural areas, is a pressing priority, as well.

Nursing education programs must also strive to foster diversity in the nursing workforce. Healthcare organizations would do well to recruit, train and support a new multicultural generation of nurses. A more diverse, representative workforce can foster inclusive change in healthcare systems.

How Is Nursing Instruction Evolving?

As in clinical instruction, nursing educators are increasingly valuing the importance of instructional methods that support active, engaged, experiential learning. Case-based and problem-based learning are examples, deepening the knowledge gained from didactic instruction through application to real-world scenarios. Technology is advancing these instructional practices as well, allowing students to apply what they learn in simulated environments.

Innovative teaching methods foster real-world, case-based competency, a core component of the forthcoming Next Generation National Council Licensure Exam. UNCW’s nurse educator courses reflect diverse forms of instruction, learning modalities and emerging innovations in modern nursing education. The program curriculum focuses on both in-person and online learning.

The COVID-19 pandemic, evolving technologies and changing instruction theories are all factors that will affect the future of nursing educators. Students in an MSN Nurse Educator program can maximize their future impact as teachers, advancing the nursing profession amidst the dynamic environment of modern healthcare.

Learn more about the UNCW’s online MSN Nurse Educator program.


Daily Nurse: Nurse Educators and Where the Future Lies for Nursing Education

My American Nurse: Partnerships and Innovation: The Future of Nursing Education

National Center for Biotechnology Information: Case-Based Learning and its Application in Medical and Health-Care Fields: A Review of Worldwide Literature Clinical Nurse Instructor

UWorld Nursing: What Now? Current Trends and Issues in Nursing Education

Wolters Kluwer: The Secret Strategy that Promotes Active Learning in Nursing Ed

World Health Organization: Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020

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