doctor in white coat stands in front of room of diverse male and female nurses in scrubs and masks, one nurse has hand up
News January 7, 2016

Nurses Show Strong Interest in Education and Training

nurses interest in educationThe need for nurses with the ability to practice across multiple specialties is at an all-time high, which makes it particularly promising that the AMN 2015 Survey of Registered Nurses shows there is a strong interest among nurses to further their education and training.

The survey of nearly 9,000 registered nurses shows that In fact, nearly one third are interested in entering new and emerging roles in the nursing profession, and half plan to seek a higher degree. Among nurses younger than age 40, more than three-quarters said they will pursue a higher degree in the next one-to-three years.

Landmark Report Called for Higher Education

With an impending wave of retirements among Baby Boomer nurses, the gap left in patient care—and the knowledge that these nurses take with them—will need to be filled. The positive response to further education suggests that nurses may embrace the need for training to fill vacancies. The survey found that of nurses who are interested in moving into an emerging role, a distinct majority would enter a training program for the role, if one was available to them.

The need for highly educated nurses was stressed in the landmark 2010 report entitled The Future of Nursing: Focus on Education from the Institute of Medicine (IOM): “As patient needs and care environments have become more complex, nurses need to attain requisite competencies to deliver high-quality care…To respond to these increasing demands, the IOM committee calls for nurses to achieve higher levels of education and suggests that they be educated in new ways that better prepare them to meet the needs of the population.”

Years later, this rings even truer. The need for expanded patient access to primary and specialty care will only increase, and the development of programs to help nurses attain the education and training needed to fill these rolls is essential. Specifically, the IOM recommended that the number of nurses with a baccalaureate degree should increase to 80% by 2020, and the number of nurses with a doctorate should double by 2020.

Training Needed for Changing Roles

Furthermore, the eighth annual report from the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice states, “To stay current, new nurses must be educated and equipped with relevant and appropriate competencies, knowledge, skills, and attitudes.” The report notes that the demanding role for nurses of the future will require that an RN possesses an expanded knowledge base to manage complex patient care in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team.

“We understand the importance of furthering education in the nursing profession—not only for the career benefits it brings to nurses, but for the sake of the growing and aging patient population,” said Marcia Faller, Chief Clinical Officer at AMN Healthcare, which includes The Center for the Advancement of Healthcare Professionals. The Center offers customizable programs for healthcare providers to train nursing and other clinical staff in needed competencies.

“We know this will, in turn, lead to successful outcomes for health systems, healthcare professionals and, most importantly, the patients they serve,” Faller said.