I am a second-degree nursing student who is deeply passionate about critical care . I aim to work in the challenging yet rewarding field of emergency healthcare . My nursing journey has been a unique one . Every step has further cemented my commitment to the art and science of nursing . In my journey , I ’ ve come to realize that many nursing students may not be fully aware of the diverse opportunities within advanced nursing . There ’ s a vast landscape beyond the basics ; each specialization brings unique challenges and rewards . I believe that nursing programs should incorporate education about advanced practice nursing careers to encourage students to pursue further education after graduation . I decided to examine the question of incorporating education of advanced nursing careers using the research protocol of background , study methodology , statistical results , and discussion
BACKGROUND : Need for Advanced Nursing Education to Combat the Nursing Shortage Crisis
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing , the shortage of registered nurses is projected to escalate in the coming years . The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an annual average of 203,200 job openings for registered nurses until 2031 ( American Association of Colleges of Nursing , 2022 ). This shortage is driven by several factors , including the aging nursing workforce , inadequate enrollment in nursing programs due to insufficient nursing faculty , and the increasing prevalence of chronic illnesses requiring specialized care ( American Medical Association , 2022 ). The shortage of healthcare workers has led to strained facilities , longer wait times , and challenges in maintaining patient care quality and safety . To effectively address the shortage and enhance the overall quality of healthcare , the need to recognize and prioritize the role of advanced nursing professionals has become critical .
Advanced practice nurses , such as nurse practitioners , clinical nurse specialists , certified registered nurse anesthetists , and midwives , possess unique skills that extend beyond traditional nursing roles . However , undergraduate nursing students need more awareness of these advanced clinical care opportunities , healthcare leadership roles , and specialized services . Plunkett et al . ( 2010 ) found that a lack of understanding about the value of graduate education was a significant barrier to pursuing it . A study by Gorczyca ( 2013 ) found that nurses from different levels expressed that they would have been more inspired to explore the possibilities of advanced nursing and increase their chances of obtaining higher education if they had been introduced to it earlier in their academic journey . As we face these challenges , we must bridge the gap between the