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Harris 1

Nursing Education: Important for the Care of Patients

Tifenie Harris

English 101 Instructor: Greta Skogseth No em!er 1"# $011

Harris $ Nursing Education: Important for the Care of Patients %edical ad ancements are !ecoming more comple& and occurring e er' da'( There are ne) technologies# medications# procedures# and e*uipment changes all the time( %an' medications that )ere de eloped to treat one condition# after more research and testing# the' are no) !eing used to treat man' conditions( Some of the procedures that nurses and doctors perform are !eing changed after ne) research and education comes out( The' are constantl' finding ne) diseases and treatments in the medical field( +ll of the medical staff must !e a!le to keep up )ith these ad ancements and changes( The more educated the staff is# the easier it is for them to follo) )ith these changes( Nurses are the frontline caregi ers for patients( The' are the e'es and ears for the doctors caring for the patients( The nurses are the ones gi ing direct care for the patients e er' da'( Nurses ha e more hands on duties )hen caring for the patient( The education a nurse recei es is crucial to the care that the patients recei e( Patients, li es are in the hands of the healthcare team that takes care of them( The nurse is ultimatel' the one )ho is responsi!le for the care of the patients( If the condition of the patient changes at an' time# the nurse needs to !e a!le to notice the changes right a)a' so the patient can recei e the care that is needed as soon as possi!le( It is important to make sure the healthcare team mem!ers are ade*uatel' educated to gi e their patients the !est care possi!le( Picture a patient in a hospital !eing cared for !' a nurse( The nurse has !een trained as an -N( The -N onl' has the minimum amount of training needed to care for patients in the hospital setting( The nurse caring for the patient in the ne&t room has recei ed their .SN degree( The nurse )ith a .SN degree has !een educated more to handle critical thinking# assessment

Harris " skills# and management skills# along )ith other higher nursing skills( /ith all of the e&tra education# the nurse )ith the .SN degree is !etter e*uipped to handle all of the changes and ad ancements in the healthcare field( If the patient )ere a!le to choose )hich nurse )ould !e the nurse to care for him0her# )hich nurse do 'ou think he0she )ould choose1 + nurse retaining a .SN degree has !een educated more to handle high stress situations# along )ith all of the ad ancements in medicine and technologies in the healthcare field( The nurse is a!le to )ork more independentl' to get things done( The' ha e !een highl' educated so the' do not need an'!od' to continuall' tell them )hat the' need to do( The' ha e recei ed a higher le el of critical thinking skills# making it easier to make decisions regarding the patients care and needs during all kinds of situations# including the high stress situations( This helps the nurse to !e a!le to delegate to the appropriate staff mem!ers the duties the' should !e doing during an' situation( In order to meet the changing demands in toda'2s healthcare field# nurses should possess a .SN degree( +ccording to 3ud' Collins# -N# the +4N degree )as originall' created to 5alle iate the nursing shortage created !' //II(6 There )ere a lot of in7ured people needing medical treatment# and there )ere not enough nurses to care for all of the in7ured( To assist )ith getting more nursing staff to care for all of the in7ured people# the +4N degree )as created( The nurse )ho possessed an +4N degree )as supposed to gi e an' patient direct medical care( The .SN nurse )as responsi!le for the direct care of the patients( The nurses )ho retained their +4N degree )ere onl' considered to !e 5technical nurses6 )ho )ould assist the nurses that had a .SN degree( The nurses )ho had a .SN degree )ere considered to !e 5professional nurses6( 5The profession of nursing has historicall' continued to sanction the .SN as the standard# not the +4N(6 8Collins9 The nurse )ith the .SN )as considered the nurse that actuall' cared for the

Harris : patients# not the nurse )ith the +4N( + nurse )ith a .SN degree has recei ed more education in leadership and management skills# along )ith communit' nursing( Ha ing a higher le el of education in these areas makes it easier for the nurse to take charge of situations as needed# and to delegate to the other staff as appropriate( The .SN nurse also possesses a greater kno)ledge of disease pre ention# promotion of good health# and reducing the risk along )ith the management of illnesses and diseases( The nurse is a!le to follo) the disease of the patient and )ork closel' )ith the doctor in the care that the patient recei es( The nurse is a!le to monitor and !e sure the patient,s needs are !eing met and the patient is responding appropriatel' to the care that the patient is recei ing( If the nurse notices that the patient is not responding appropriatel'# the nurse is a!le to notif' the doctor and )ork )ith the doctor to modif' the care of the patient( In order to o!tain a .SN degree# the nurse must also take courses that are more in;depth in the areas of science# li!eral arts# nursing research# and humanities( .SN programs re*uire courses that enhance professional de elopment# prepare the nurse for a !roader scope of practice# and pro ide a !etter understanding of the cultural# political# economical# and social issues that affect patients and influence the care that patients recei e( +ccording to C( <a' -aines# Ph4# -N# 5)ith all of this additional education# the nurse is prepared for a !roader practice6 and pro ides the foundation for 5progression to ad anced practice roles in nursing(6 The nurse is a!le to focus on specialt' areas of healthcare# such as cancer or pediatrics# and the nurse is e en a!le to get a 7o! in research( Ha ing a .SN degree opens the door to man' more 7o! opportunities( %ost hospitals re*uire a .SN degree for management positions( 5The !achelor2s degree can make the clim! a little less steep5( 8Hollis <orster# -N9 +s soon as the nurse enters into a management role# the

Harris = nurse is a!le to )ork up the ladder of success( .SN nurses can also !ranch out and tr' other areas of nursing( The' can !ecome a manager of an insurance compan' or a pharmaceutical manufacturer( The .SN nurses can also take teaching positions or state and federal 7o!s( The nurse is a!le to teach nursing students in the classroom# la!# or clinical setting( If a .SN nurse )ere to 7oin the militar'# that nurse could enter as an -N and an officer( If an -N nurse )ere to 7oin the militar'# that nurse )ould !e classified as an >PN and )ould !e enlisted as personnel( 8Gru!er9 The article# 5+4N s( .SN ; /hich Nursing 4egree is .etter16# states# 5+ .SN degree prepares a nurse for ad anced career options in nursing specialt' fields?and an opportunit' to e&plore a specific topic of interest rather than general practice(6 The nurse is a!le to focus on one area that reall' interest them rather than practicing general nursing care in the hospital( %an' emplo'ers prefer a nurse )ho has a .SN degree to a nurse )ho has an -N degree( +s stated in the article# 5+4N s( .SN;/hich Nursing 4egree is .etter16# 5)hile man' emplo'ers still hire -N@s )ith diplomas or +ssociates degrees# there is clearl' a strong preference amongst emplo'ers for the more highl' educated nursing candidates(6 This gi es the .SN nurse more 7o! securit'( Sara Ellis argues that as of 1ABC# North 4akota re*uires all ne)l' hired nurses to possess a .SN degree( The Ne) Dork State .oard is tr'ing to pass the same rule( In $00=# the 4epartment of Eeteran2s +ffairs also started to re*uire all ne) nurses !eing hired to possess at least a .SN( There are man' more that are follo)ing this rule# and there are also more that are tr'ing to get it changed to follo)( The' are recogniFing the importance for nurses to !e educated appropriatel' in order to gi e the patient the care that the' re*uire( Emplo'ers )ho )ere asked to choose !et)een hiring a nurse )ith an +4N degree# or a nurse )ith a .SN degree chose the nurse that had a .SN degree(

Harris G +ccording to an article in JAMA# 5Educational >e els of Hospital Nurses and Surgical Patient %ortalit'6# nurses )ho onl' retained an +4N degree had a higher risk of patient mortalit' compared to nurses )ho retained a .SN degree( Changing the educational !ackground of nurses )orking in the hospital setting !' increasing the percentage of nurses earning a .SN degree# )ould produce a significant decrease in mortalit' rates for surgical patients and patients )ho de elop complications( 5Each 10H increase in the proportion of nurses )ith higher degrees decreased the risk of mortalit' !' =H(6 The mortalit' rate )ould !e 1AH lo)er in hospitals that had at least G0H of the nurses emplo'ed ha ing a .SN degree or higher# than in hospitals )here onl' $0H of the nurses had a .SN degree( That )ould !e a!out "(G fe)er deaths per 1000 patients and 1:($ fe)er deaths per 1000 patients )ith complications( The nurse,s 'ears of e&perience )as not found to ha e an' significance on the factor of mortalit' in patients( 5The findings suggest that the con entional )isdom that nurses e&perience is more important than their educational preparation is incorrect(5 The findings in the stud' sho)s that increasing the num!er of .SN nurses in the hospital# )ill produce su!stantial decreases in the mortalit' rates in patients( The educational gap !et)een nursing and other healthcare professions continues to gro)( Iccupational therap' and ph'sical therap' no) re*uire a master2s education( 8Nelson9 Pharmac' and audio log' educational standards ha e also risen( %ost nurses onl' ha e an +4N degree( Nurses ha e to )ork )ith man' other healthcare professionals )hile caring for patients( Team)ork )ith these professionals is !ecoming increasingl' important in deli ering the !est care for all patients( To maintain e*ual education !et)een nursing and other healthcare professionals# nursing needs to o!tain higher education( Nurses are the frontline caregi ers for all of the patients( The nurse is the one that communicates ho) the patient is doing# and if the

Harris C patients ha e an' further medical needs that needs to !e addressed( The nurse is the one that goes in assess the patient,s condition( The nurse needs to !e a!le to communicate this information effecti el' to all the healthcare mem!ers that are taking care of the patients( Nurses are educated to communicate )ith other professionals# such as doctors# during their courses to o!tain a .SN degree( 5+ !accalaureate education or higher is needed if nurses are to maintain e*ual status )ith other healthcare professionals and to participate as full partners on interdisciplinar' teams(6 8Nelson9 The current nursing shortage should not !e used as an e&cuse to postpone raising the educational standards( There has !een a nursing shortage since the 1AG02s# and has continued since that time( Creating associates degree programs did not eliminate the shortage# as originall' thought that it )ould( Toda'# there is more of a shortage for nurses )ho possess a .SN degree or higher( 8Nelson9 Enrollment in nursing courses has increased# sho)ing a greater interest in the nursing profession( %an' colleges ha e a )aiting list for students )ho are attempting to get into the nursing program due to the o era!undance of people )ho are interested in !ecoming a nurse( The interest )ould still !e there# e en if all nurses )ere re*uired to complete the .SN program in order to practice nursing in a hospital setting( %ore nurses are realiFing the importance of the increased education( There are currentl' =0#AG" nurses that are enrolled in an -N to .SN program( <rom $00G to $00C# nurses enrolled in -N to .SN programs increased !' 11(=H# or appro&imatel' =#1BB students( That )ould make it the fifth consecuti e 'ear of increases in enrollment in these programs( Graduations from .SN programs sho) the greatest increase of almost $0H( 8-aines9 This percentage is onl' e&pected to continue to rise( The main thing that pre ents nurses from going !ack to school to o!tain the higher

Harris B education that is so important for !etter patient care# is the cost of going !ack to school( %an' people can not afford the cost of tuition for going !ack to college( Emplo'ers are ackno)ledging this complication# and the importance of ha ing a highl' educated nurse caring for the patients at the hospital( To assist )ith the hardship that tuition puts on most people# man' emplo'ers are offering tuition assistance to emplo'ees )ho are )illing to go !ack to school to further their education( This makes it possi!le for man' nurses to go !ack to college )hen the' ma' not ha e had a chance to do so other)ise( The emplo'er has the emplo'ee sign a contract )ith them( In the contract# it clearl' states the terms and conditions that the emplo'ee must follo)( The emplo'ee is gi en a set amount of mone'# according to the contract agreement# to assist the emplo'ee in pa'ing for the schooling re*uired to o!tain a .SN degree( If the emplo'ee is una!le to keep the contract for an' reason# then the emplo'ee must pa' the mone' gi en to them for education# !ack to the emplo'er( If the emplo'ee must pa' the mone' !ack to the emplo'er# the emplo'er is a!le to set up a pa'ment plan )ith the emplo'ee and treat the mone' that is re*uired to !e paid !ack as a loan( The assistance that the emplo'ee recei es gi es that emplo'ee incenti e and assistance# to return to school and get a higher education to gi e !etter patient care( This assistance makes it easier for nurses to go !ack to school and recei e a .SN degree( %an' colleges offer the .SN program online( Taking online courses makes it easier for nurses to )ork and go to school at the same time( The nurse does not ha e to )orr' a!out making sure the classes are a aila!le at a time )hen the nurse is not )orking( The class schedule does not interfere )ith the nurses )ork schedule# and the nurse is a!le to continue )ith their )ork schedule( The online classes )ill ha e assignments that are posted for that )eek( The student )ill then ha e a )eek to complete the assignments and turn them in( The nurse is a!le to )ork at his0her o)n pace )hile completing these assignments( The' are also a!le to complete

Harris A the classes from their home( This takes a lot of the pressure a)a' from )orking classes into the nurse,s alread' !us' schedule( There is an im!alance in the education of the nursing )orkforce# )ith too fe) nurses that ha e a .SN degree( %ore nurses should ha e a .SN degree to !alance out the im!alance( %an' of the other healthcare professions are educated more than the nurse that is caring for the patient( It can make it difficult for the entire team to communicate effecti el' )hat all is needed to care for the patient most efficientl'# if there is an education !arrier !et)een the healthcare team mem!ers( This im!alance of education is harming patients( Hospitals that emplo' nurses )ith a .SN degree or higher ha e lo)er rates of death( Emplo'ers are recogniFing the importance of nurses o!taining a .SN degree( Hospitals are starting to hire nurses )ho retain a .SN degree o er a nurse )ho onl' has an +4N degree( 4ue to the importance of ha ing nurses )ith higher education# man' emplo'ers are assisting nurses in furthering their education( The emplo'er is offering tuition assistance for all nurses that are )illing to go !ack to school to further their education and impro e the *ualit' of care for patients( The comple&it' of healthcare is increasing e er' da'# and patients are re*uiring more comple& care( In order to gi e ade*uate care to the patient# nurses re*uire increased education( It is in the !est interest for !oth the patients and the healthcare s'stem to prepare a strong# )ell; educated nursing )orkforce of nurses )ho possesses a .SN degree(

Harris 10 /orks Cited 5+4N s( .SN ; /hat Nursing 4egree is .etter16 /e!( 1$ Septem!er $011( http:00t'pesofnursing(net0nursing;articles0adn; s;!sn;)hich;nursing;degree;is;!etter0( +iken# >inda H(# et al( 5Educational >e els of Hospital Nurses and Surgical Patient %ortalit'(6 JAMA. $00"( /e!( A Septem!er $011( Collins# 3ud'( 5/hat are the .enefits of a .achelor2s 4egree in Nursing16 /e!( A Septem!er $011( http:00)))(eho)(com0print0a!outJ=ACCAA=GJ!enefits;!achelors;degree; nursing(html( 54ifferences .et)een +4N and .SN(6 /e!( 1$ Septem!er $011( http:00)))(difference!et)een(net0nursing(net0miscellaneous0differences;!et)een;adn; and;!sn0( Ellis# Sarah( 5To .SN or Not to .SN ; That is the Nurse2s KuestionL6 /e!( C Septem!er $011( http:00eFinearticles(com01To;.SN;Ir;Not;to;.SN;;;That;is;the;Nurses;KuestionL MidN1GCA1"( <oster# Hollis( 5+4N s( .SN(6 /e!( C Septem!er $011( http:00nursinglink(monster(com0education0articles0"B:$;adn; s;!sn( Gru!er# %ichael( 5-N to .SN ; Career .enefits and Education Iptions(6 /e!( C Septem!er $011( http:00)))(m'nursingdegree(com0rn;to;!sn;online0career;o er ie)(asp( Nelson# %artha +( 5Education for Professional Nursing Practice: >ooking .ack)ard into the <uture(6 OJIN. The Inline 3ournal of Issues in Nursing# "1 %a' $00$( /e!( B Septem!er $011( -aines# C( <a'# %( Elaine Taglaireni( 5Career Path)a's in Nursing: Entr' Points and +cademic Progression( OJIN. The Inline 3ournal of Issues in Nursing# "0 Septem!er $00B( /e!(

Harris 11 B Septem!er $011(