Nursing education aims to provide continuous, inexpensive, quality patient care. Considering that medicine should be patient-centered, it is essential to assure that they are cared for by highly qualified staff. Education is one of the main instruments to provide patients with crucial care from nurses and hospital teams with additional knowledge and opportunities for career advancement. Therefore, it is imperative to analyze the levels of education and the importance of their obtaining by members of the health professions.
Job Options Based on Educational Level
The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) provides the opportunity to explore the nursing profession. This degree requires between eighteen months and two years to complete, but nurses receive extensive access to career advantages (Young et al., 2017). At the same time, nurses will have the opportunity to work with a variety of patient populations, including infants and the elderly. Statistics show that most nurses who earn this degree work in hospitals (61%) independent of ownership (Young et al., 2017). Although ADNs provide a wide range of employment opportunities for nurses involving hospitals, schools, support services, community centers, pharmacies, and home health services.
Goals for Professional Education
The BSN program enables the achievement of a bachelor’s degree in nursing. It is interesting to mention that the BSN can be completed in between twelve months and four years, depending on previous educational background (Young et al., 2017). Prerequisites for choosing this program include a desire for advanced knowledge in specialized nursing courses. Accordingly, prospective nurses will gain critical thinking, decision-making, and ethics proficiency. Thus, it allows them to enhance their qualifications in order to administer better nursing care to patients. MSN programs for nursing education last from 18 months to three years of full-time study (Young et al., 2017). Hence, after completing the training, a person earns a master’s degree in nursing. Reasons for completing this advanced degree are the willingness to improve the direct care of patients. In addition, it provides the possibility of obtaining or maintaining a supervisory position and the opportunity to teach nursing (Young et al., 2017). At the same time, health care nurses who complete the MSN degree have economic, social, and professional advantages that encourage them to continue their education.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is an advanced degree that is geared toward nurses who want the highest qualifications. The full program in the DNP usually requires three to four years of full-time training. Part-time students can obtain a doctoral degree in four to six years (Young et al., 2017). However, this creates problems for already practicing nurses, which is why they choose the two- to three-year option and study not full-time. The reasons for pursuing such an education are the desire not to work in administrative positions. That is, to serve as supervisors, health policy specialists, and teachers for medical assistants.
Increase Level of Education and Effect on Competitiveness
Increased education will enable future nurses to become more competitive in the marketplace. This is because training at all levels should provide a better understanding and experience in health care management. At the same time, nurses will have mastered quality enhancement methods, which will permit them to advance according to the medical field reform (Young et al., 2017). Thus, this will ensure future competitiveness in the healthcare industry. It is significant to emphasize that higher levels of education will affect the role of the medical staff in the future. Future Nursing argues that the opportunity for graduate education will provide nurses with access to broader competencies in a variety of areas (Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the Institute of Medicine, 2011). Nurses will have access to competencies such as leadership, systems thinking, evidence-based practice, health policy, and teamwork and collaboration. As a result, this will empower them to provide quality care to patients.
Relationship of Continuing Nursing Education to Competency, Attitudes, Knowledge, and ANA Scope and Standards for Practice and Code of Ethics
Continuing education can advance clinical considerations, as evidenced by improved patient care and the accuracy of nursing diagnoses. However, constant training will enable nurses to satisfy the requirements of codes of ethics (Gubrud et al., 2017). Accordingly, they will perform their duties and produce quality care for clients. That is, when nurses regularly increase their level of knowledge, they not only develop their theoretical and practical treatment abilities but also learn how to accomplish their tasks based on the principles of professional ethics.
Mandatory Continuing Education Nursing
It should become mandatory for nurses to receive continuing education because medicine and health care are constantly evolving. Simultaneously, new technologies and treatments that were previously unavailable are regularly appearing. Therefore, training will permit nurses to learn new progressive practices. For example, there has been recent research on better care for the elderly (Gubrud et al., 2017). Therefore, nurses working in this area should complete professional development courses based on new knowledge. If nurses do not adhere to progress, the quality of care provided to patients will diminish.
Hence, enhancing the knowledge and ability of nurses will develop the profession and have a positive impact on treatment and patient attitudes. At the same time, different levels of education are extraordinarily valuable in order to meet the needs of hospitals and other treatment facilities for a variety of nursing qualifications. Therefore, it is essential to continue training even after earning entry-level degrees in nursing, which will ensure that the profession is highly competitive in the future.
Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the Institute of Medicine. (2011). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. National Academies Press. Web.
Gubrud, P., Spencer, A. G., & Wagner, L. (2017). From start-up to sustainability: A decade of collaboration to shape the future of nursing. Nursing Education Perspectives, 38(5), 225-232.
Young, H. M., Bakewell-Sachs, S., & Sarna, L. (2017). Nursing practice, research and education in the west: The best is yet to come. Nursing research, 66(3), 262-270.