NRS 440 Reflection Paper
NRS 440 Reflection Paper
Nursing education is a fundamental part of attaining better outcomes, expanding access to care, and preparing nurses for increased care demand and diversity from patients. The National Academies of Medicine, Science, and Engineering’s report, “The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity explores how nurses can work with other stakeholders to reduce health disparities and promote equity while managing costs. The report notes that the decade ahead will test the country’s over 4 million nurses in novel and complex ways. The report observes that nurse live and work based on the intersection of health, education, and communities (Needleman, 2021). Therefore, they must attain more education to prepare them for the complex and challenging nursing environment ahead. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the importance of nursing education based on this report. The reflection paper also provides personal perspectives on the issues under discussion.
Options in the Job Market
Registered nurses with an associate degree have diverse opportunities and options in the job market based on their level of education. As associate degree holders, they can work in a variety of settings that include working with children, women and men as well as adolescents and geriatrics. The associate degree prepares one to offer high quality care and have job security (Maughan & Bergren, 2021). Associate degree nurses (ADN) can work in hospitals, home healthcare services, nursing care facilities and physician offices as well as colleges and universities. They can also work in professional schools and outpatient centers. Their job description includes patient assessment, diagnosis and treatment, provision of health education, patient care at the bedside, operating medical equipment and administration of medications to patients. They also collaborate with other providers and practitioners to deliver care. Therefore, my options in the job market are broad and I can work in a host of settings to offer patient care.
Professional Certification and Advanced Degrees’ Attainment
The report of the National Academies of Engineering, Medicine, and Science asserts that strengthening nursing education is a core aspect of improving quality care, addressing health disparities and meeting patient needs. Nursing education should be improved to prepare nurses to identify and act on the complicated social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health and well-being (Maughan & Bergren, 2021). The report observes that the education should offer students with diverse, substantive, and sustained community-oriented experience. The implication is that nursing education should prepare nurses to address social determinants of health and attain health equity.
Based on these recommendations I plan to pursue certification and advanced degrees to prepare me to meet the diverse and increasing patient needs. I plan to pursue professional certification to make me an all-round and competent nurse practitioner who promotes quality care and address the social determinants of health as well as health equity. These areas include being competent in culturally-sensitive care, community health education and mobilization areas to sensitize the public on the importance of primary care.
I want to specialize as a nurse practitioner and deal with different types of patients across the age and care continuum with the aim of addressing social issues affecting care delivery. Attaining certification in oncology nursing is an essential part of this plan as it will allow me to acquire skills to deal with terminally-ill patients and offer comfort to them at the time that they require. The rise of emerging diseases and increased prevalence of terminal conditions like cancer and hypertension among others due an aging population implores nurses to be well-prepared to meet the challenges and tackle them for the benefit of the health population.
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I plan to pursue a Master’s degree in nursing (Master of Science in Nursing, MSN) within the next three years upon my completion of this bachelor degree (Bachelor of Science in Nursing, BSN). I want to specialize nursing practice as an NP with interest in family so that I can offer care across age and care continuum to diverse patients. My interest in nursing practice as a leader would be through the attainment of the Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP). This terminal degree will give me a chance to lead teams and provide leadership for nurses in my organization and increase care delivery to patients and the public.
Effect of Increasing my Level of Education
As posited, advanced education prepares nurses for additional roles because of their knowledge, skills, experiences and expertise (Maughan & Bergren, 2021). The current job market requires nurses with advanced education because they have skills and abilities to offer care and integrate innovative care models while also having improved insight on issues affecting health populations. Therefore, increasing my level of education will enhance my competitiveness in the present job market as it will mean that I will expand my scope of practice.
An advanced education will ensure that I have more skills, can apply research evidence and deploy technologies based on effective understanding of health issues and their effects on patients and nursing profession. Therefore, an advanced education will open up new opportunities and possibilities for me to provide health to diverse patient populations (Wakefield et al., 2021). My role in the future of nursing is to project the profession as an integral part of the healthcare delivery system and demonstrate the critical part that nurses play in quality care delivery. As observed, I will ensure that nurses focus on lifelong learning to enhance their skills so that they can attain better performance in their settings.
Relationship Between Continuing Nursing Education & Competency, Attitudes, Knowledge and ANA Scope and Standards for Practice & Code of Ethics
Continuing nursing education has a positive relationship with a nurse’s competency level, their attitudes to patient care and the nursing profession, knowledge and ability to comprehend the scope and standard for practice as well as code of ethics. Nurses enhance their competency through nursing education as they acquire additional skills, expertise, and approaches through research evidence. Continuing nursing education prepares nurses to understand health issues within their communities and care settings which is essential in improving their attitudes to patients. Through education, they enhance their competency by acquiring cultural diversity training, having positive attitudes to patients from diverse sociocultural backgrounds and attainment of more knowledge to deploy a host of interventions (Maughan & Bergren, 2021). The implementation of innovative care delivery models like the value-based care and evidence-based practice (EBP) as well as the identification of social determinants of health all require lifelong education and learning among nurses.
The American Nurses Association’s scope and standards for practice are essential as they set professional conduct and performance of nurses. The ANA code of ethics also implores nurses to observe ethical values and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Therefore, all these aspects are enhanced by an effective and advanced education that prepares nurses to adhere to all the mandates and professional mannerisms to improve the image of the nursing profession. continuing education is critical to improving these aspects, especially as it allows nurses to practice to full extent of their education and training in states where there is full practice authority.
Continuing Nursing Education
Education, at any level, should not be compulsory. This means that nurses should not be compelled to attain certain higher levels of education against their personal wish, desire, and financial capabilities. However, attaining the bare minimum for nurses is not sufficient to prepare one for the dynamic and changing nature of the health care industry and delivery system (Smith et al., 2021). Nurses are professionals and should be encouraged to pursue higher or advanced education so that they are well prepared to meet patient needs and also better positioned to assume more roles, including leadership roles, in the future.
Nursing education is a core part of enhancing patient safety, and guaranteeing quality care. As demonstrated in this reflection paper, I plan to pursue further certifications and higher degrees to strategically position myself for the job market and have the ability to transform care provision. The reflection paper is categorical that advanced nursing education is a critical path to reducing health disparities among populations.
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