10 Nursing Trends to Watch in 2022

Nursing trends 2022
Nursing trends 2022

Calm, committed, and compassionate.

Efficient, encouraging, and effective.

Diligent, determined, and decisive.

These positive qualities and hundreds more define the role of the nurse, a role that rises to the top of a variety of charts. Did you know that nursing has ranked as the most ethical and honest profession for 19 years in a row? And that health care workers are one of the most in-demand jobs?

As science advances and the nursing shortage continues, opportunities for nurses to find meaningful, well-paying work only continue to grow. In this post, we’ll identify 10 nursing trends to look for in 2022.


1. Online Nursing Programs Will Continue to Be Popular.

Over the years, online education has continued to grow in popularity. Students, especially working ones, enjoy the flexibility of online programs, along with other benefits. For many who live in rural areas, an online education has opened up learning opportunities that would have been unthinkable before the internet.

They’ve also become steadily more mainstream, and have been regularly featured in articles from influential publishers touting the many benefits of virtual learning.

For nurses, online education should only increase in significance. Online programs have long been used to further education, create new opportunities, and advance careers. As technology continues to advance and become even more prevalent in our everyday lives, new nursing trends in online education are emerging with increased emphasis on:


2. Nurses Will Make More Money.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, nurses made a mean salary of $75,300 in 2020. In hospitals, registered nurses earned an even greater annual wage, taking home a mean salary of $80,010. Since that’s $2,000 more on average than nurses were making in 2019, there’s a good chance those numbers will continue to grow in 2022.

How do these figures compare to the national average? Across all occupations, the annual mean wage is $56,310 a year, meaning nurses earn nearly $20,000 more than the average worker.

With these favorable statistics, it’s safe to say growing salaries will be a nursing trend of 2022.


3. The Nursing Shortage Will Increase.

America is in the middle of a nursing shortage, and the problem continues to worsen. Several factors contribute to the shortage, including:

  • Nurses are reaching retirement age. Roughly one-third of the current nursing population could retire in the next 10 to 15 years.
  • An aging population requires more care. The last of the Baby Boomers will reach retirement age in 2029, resulting in a 73% increase in Americans over 65.
  • Burnout. Nurses experience a high turnover rate, and the stress of COVID-19 could exacerbate the problem. (If you think you may be experiencing burnout, learn how to recognize the signs and process through it.)

Since none of these realities are going away anytime soon, high demand for caregivers should be a nursing trend in 2022.


4. Job Opportunities Will Be Plentiful.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) reports that more registered nurse jobs will be available through 2022 than any other profession in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of RNs will grow 9% across the country through 2030, faster than the average occupation.

Every year, over 200,000 openings will need to be filled over the next decade, so RNs having their pick of positions will be another nursing trend in 2022.

Nurses working together


5. More Nurses Will Earn a BSN.

As health care systems work to increase the number of nurses with bachelor’s degrees, nurses seeking higher degrees through online nursing programs will remain a solidly popular nursing trend in 2022.

Why The Demand For More BSN Holders?

In 2010, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation published a report about the future of nursing, in which they recommended more nurses hold a higher degree than an associate’s. The original goal was for 80% of registered nurses to have a bachelor’s by 2020.

While the revised target is to meet that number by 2029, it may happen as soon as 2025. The 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey found that 65.2% of RNs have attained their baccalaureate degrees, which reflects a 7.8% increase between 2013 and 2020.

RNs with BSNs enjoy more job prospects, higher salaries, and better patient outcomes. Nurses who hold BSN degrees qualify for roles like nurse manager, nurse educator, and clinical research nurse.

The average salary for nurses with an Associate Degree in Nursing is $70,700. That number increases significantly to an average earning potential of $86,520 for a nurse with a BSN. In terms of patient outcomes, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing cites studies that have found a 5% decrease in the risk of patient death and failure when hospitals increased their employment of BSN-holding nurses by 10%. If a BSN isn’t already on your New Year’s Resolution list, the reasons to add it are clear as can be!


6. More Nurses Will Specialize.

You already know that registered nurses can work in hospitals and clinics, but that’s only the beginning of available job options. By specializing in a specific area, even more doors can open for nurses, as well as potentially higher salaries.

What kind of specialties are available? Here are a few possibilities, along with average salaries: 

We expect increased interest in programs that qualify nurses to enter advanced nursing roles to make the list of 2022 nursing trends.

A group of RNs, nurse practitioners and doctors


7. Support for Nurses’ Mental Health Will Increase.

Nurses work long shifts and often go without breaks for hours on end. The truth is, many nurses love the quick pace of their work. But that pace, and the emotionally draining task of caring for ill people, doesn’t always lend itself to thriving mental health.

The good news—more and more individuals, organizations, and health care systems are recognizing this fact and responding to it.

Here are just a few examples of the recent focus on nurse mental health:

  • The Happy App is a platform designed just for nurses that offers a 24/7 support team.
  • A Nursing State of Mind is a podcast hosted by two veteran nurses who provide encouragement and practical tips.
  • The Therapy Coalition provides free and low-fee short-term therapy to essential workers.

Thanks to nurses sharing their stories and organizations stepping up to meet their needs, a heightened focus on mental health for nurses should continue to be one of the trends in nursing.


8. Nursing Informatics Will Be a Growing Specialty.

The American Nurses Association defines nursing informatics as “the specialty that integrates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage, and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice.”

Nursing informatics is an attractive, growing field that provides nurses who are also interested in technology with a perfect fit. As electronic medical records and telehealth capabilities continue to grow, the need for qualified informatics nurses will as well. The American Medical Informatics Association estimates that as many as 70,000 nursing informatics specialists or analysts could be needed over the next five years.

Take a look at just a few indications of the rise of the nursing informatics specialty:

Resources like these, with more popping up regularly, point to greater societal awareness of the mental health burden nurses carry. As more and more people begin to understand it, and more resources become available, it’s likely that greater mental health support will be an ongoing nursing trend.


9. Delivery models will continue to shift and expand.

The capabilities of telemedicine and other remote platforms have increased tremendously over the past few years. This will only increase as individuals and organizations imagine how technology can further benefit patients and lead to greater job satisfaction for nurses who desire remote work options.

In their recent Future of Work in Nursing Survey, McKinsey found that nurses are excited and willing to try different care delivery models. American Health & Drug Benefits reports that at-home patient care delivery is increasing. Given these shifts, the American Nurses Association encourages nurses to:

  • Embrace technology to deliver excellent nursing care virtually.
  • Revolutionize education by incorporating virtual reality and team-based learning opportunities made possible by technology.
  • Accept the flexible, autonomous, and support-minded workforce.

Experiencing new technology, adapting to an increasingly digital landscape, and embracing virtual trends in nursing will be essential to—and exciting for—the future of health care.


10. Demand for Traveling and Bilingual Nurses Will Increase.

The past few years have changed the nursing landscape in many ways, and the need for both traveling and bilingual nurses is one of them. Bloomberg reported that job openings for travel nurses through SimpliFi had increased 30% between winter 2021 and August 2021. SimpliFi also stated that while travel nurses have typically made up 3-4% of nursing staff, they now make up 8-10%.

As for the demand for bilingual nurses, Canopy reports that the Hispanic population in the United States has quadrupled since 1980. Simultaneously, only 36% of Hispanic individuals who were not born in the United States speak English fluently. In order to provide excellent health care to all who call America home, the need for bilingual nurses continues to surge.

Step into a Bright Future with an Online BSN from Marymount University. The field of nursing is growing exponentially as nurses retire, baby boomers require more medical care, and technology expands health care’s horizons. With a BSN, you can improve the lives of real people while bettering your own life through meaningful work, the comfort of job security, and good income potential.

Marymount University Online can help you step into your nursing future. Clinical placement is a crucial part of earning a nursing degree—hands-on experience can’t be replaced, and clinics can only host so many students.

That’s why Marymount offers free clinical placement services for online students. We want to make sure our online nursing students can focus on working and studying while a team of professionals secures an appropriate clinical placement and preceptor for them.

Following your dreams is a nursing trend we can get behind.


Marymount Will Continue To Educate Caring, Compassionate, and Committed Nurses.

One nursing trend we can promise: we’ll be here, providing our nursing students with a quality education right outside the nation’s capital. We love nothing more than empowering our students, equipping them with tools they need to make a difference on a local, national, and international level.

Whether you’re looking to make a career change through our ABSN program, earn an advanced degree such as the MSN-FNPMSN-PMHNP, DNP-FNP, DNP-PMHNP, MSN to DNP, or Post Master’s Certificate FNP, Marymount University is ready to provide you with a values-based education focused on holistic care and servant leadership.

We need nurses like you to be trendsetters in the industry—so if you’re ready to learn how, get more information about our online nursing programs. Then, contact us to discuss a program that is just right for your career goals.