Education and knowledge are essential parts of healthcare delivery and provision as they affect healthcare providers’ skills. Nurses need skills and expertise to ensure that they promote safe and quality care to patients. The Institute of Medicine report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” contains nursing education and training as part of its major messages. The Institute and all healthcare professionals believe that education is a vital part of creating safe care and that nurses should be given the opportunity to pursue higher education levels. This paper will be an overall examination of the importance of education in the nursing field and also act as a personal review of educational goals in a nursing career.
Nurses have different opportunities in the job market based on their educational levels. Registered nurses (RN) with a degree in nursing could have the following opportunities in the job market: Mental health nurse; Nurse case manager; Nursing informatics specialist; Research Nurse; Institutional nurse (such as in schools, or clinics); Pediatric Nurse; Hospice Nurse; Public health nurse and; Critical care nurse among others. The above are but a few job market opportunities that RNs could take advantage of. Nurses can work in any setting that requires patient care, as that is what nursing is all about. The Institute of Medicine advocates for improved nursing education, in their report, by offering educational opportunities that are progressive in the nursing career(Altman et al., 2016). A higher level of education means that as nurses, one could progress higher on the career ladder and have better skills to solve healthcare issues.
An individual has to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) to become an RN. A BSN degree takes 33 months to 4 years to complete, after which an individual could work as an RN. One has also to pass the National Council Licensure Examination to work as an RN. Continuing with education would ensure that I get fresh knowledge and skills to improve my patients’ outcomes. The nursing practices are dynamic, and
thus nurses need to be up to date with such standards. It is achievable through continuous learning and education. Higher nursing education has been proven to impact the safety and quality of care to patients positively. I would also like to further my education in the nursing career to create more opportunities, such as being part of policy and decision-makers in healthcare. Participating in policymaking is the best way for a nurse to improve the way care is delivered in the country. Education thus leads to the development of new skills and the know-how in the administration of medication, effective communication about care, and proficiency in using new healthcare technologies, among others ( Miles & Scott, 2019). I want to pursue further education and attain a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) and also a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP). The above qualifications are important to a nurse’s career if they aim to progress.
RNs move a level higher after attaining such certifications and qualifications. With a DNP or MSN, I could advance to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). APRNs have great opportunities in the career market as they can work independently or collaborate with physicians. They also perform all the tasks of RNs but have more extensive tasks that RNs nurses are not qualified to perform. It takes 15 to 24 months to get an MSN when studying full time. It takes longer if one is working and thus takes part-time classes. A DNP program takes 2 to 3 years of course work before attaining the certification. An individual must be an RN to pursue MSN and DNP degrees. Increasing my education levels will increase my competitiveness in various ways (McKenna & Brooks, 2018). The first way is that I will be up to date with nursing skills and knowledge. Such knowledge in the nursing sector affects how a nurse delivers care to a patient. The field of nursing is adopting technology at a high rate, and nurses have to be conversant and understand such technologies to make a change. With a higher education come better skills and thus a more competitive nurse. The nursing job market is also
filled with professionals that have a Bachelor of Science in nursing degrees, and thus a higher level of education makes one stand out in the crowd. The increasing of an aging population has also led to the rise of more complicated healthcare issues and the need for better-educated professionals to deal with them. Having a higher level of education makes an individual the best option in solving such problems. Nursing is also increasing its reliance on technology. The growth of telemedicine and telenursing leads to an increased need for skills in the use of such technologies. Such skills are attained through increasing the competitiveness of nurses by increasing their access to higher education opportunities.
Continuing with nursing education increases nurses’ competency as they can handle more medical issues with the gained set of skills and knowledge. Nurses are also up to date with changes in the healthcare industry and thus more competent. Higher education is an all-around phenomenon in that it focuses on all aspects of nursing, from patient care to standards and ethics acceptable in the industry. Higher education boosts the morale of nurses and increases their esteem and attitude towards their work. With higher levels of competency come better attitudes that improve how nurses deliver care and overall patient outcomes. A higher level of education also guarantees greater knowledge in the field of nursing. Continued education helps meet the ANA Scope and Standards of practice in relation to the competencies of nursing professionals (Marion et al., 2016). It also influenced the nursing codes of ethics in that nurses are required to only act in accordance with their knowledge and competencies. Education thus widens the scope of practice and competency for nurses. Nursing standards and ethical codes of conduct dictate what nurses can or cannot do in delivering patient care. With higher education, nurses are less limited to the scopes of competencies and can offer more and better services that improve patient outcomes.
Continuing nursing education should be made mandatory. The rationale behind the suggestion is that the nursing and medicine fields continuously change and advance at high rates. Medicine delivery and administration are changing, and nurses have to be up to date to with such changes to ensure patient safety and quality of care (Black, 2019). Therefore, nurses should be required to further their education to avoid trial and error instances in human life. It will reduce medical risks and errors that may be caused by the lack of appropriate information. In conclusion, continuous education for nurses should be mandatory but supported by employers and the government. Education is the only way to increase the efficiency and competency of health care providers.