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ARTICLE Center for Nursing Advancement

UnitedHealth Group Center for Nursing Advancement

Learn more about the UnitedHealth Group Center for Nursing Advancement

Listen to audio program on changing role of nurses

Did you know? Nurses comprise the largest group of health care professionals in the United States. Today there are more than 2.5 million nurses nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. And that number is expected to grow. Registered nurses are projected to generate about 587,000 new jobs by 2016, making nursing the nation's top profession in terms of projected job growth.

One of the reasons for this growth is that the role of nurses has expanded over the years. Nursing is much more than providing bedside care. Today, nurses often serve as care advocates, nurse informatics specialists and clinical consultants. Plus, many nurses are also executive leaders who govern strategic planning and financial analysis, and manage large budgets and teams.

In addition to the evolving roles of nurses, the U.S. is currently facing an increase in its aging population – more people are living longer with complex and chronic diseases. This requires a new definition of the health care team and more effective models to address care needs in the home and in the community. The nation's growing need for care is occurring in tandem with a nursing shortage.

Recognizing the evolving role of nurses and the changing dynamics in our country's health care needs, UnitedHealth Group established the Center for Nursing Advancement in August 2008. The Center for Nursing Advancement will act as a conduit for UnitedHealth Group's focus on nurse engagement strategies and the training, coaching and mentoring of its nurse professionals. As a result, UnitedHealth Group nurses will be better positioned to meet and support the evolving demands of health care consumers. Additionally, UnitedHealth Group nurses will be part of a team of colleagues that lead the design of new care-delivery models necessary to solve the challenges facing the nursing profession and vital to achieving health care modernization.