Historically, nursing was considered a field of work for women who wanted to take care of others. Today, it is still a highly female-dominated field; however, it has taken large steps toward being viewed as a profession that encourages diversity and values education. The nursing profession also advocates for the use of evidence-based practices, professionally accepted ethical procedures, and high-quality patient care.
Educational opportunities continue to guide the professional development of nursing and expand the role of the nurse. Today, nurses and advanced practice nurses deliver a wider range of care encompassing responsibilities previously reserved for physicians. Nursing education programs continue to expand, and researchers continue to examine the relationship between levels of education, quality of care, and positive patient outcomes.
The profession of nursing is continually improving in a variety of ways. Licensure, certification, credentialing, and accountability are all customary practices of nursing. For the past 100 years, at the most basic level, nursing licensure has assured the public that individuals calling themselves a nurse are nurses. Boards of nursing (BON) bring quality and expertise to the regulatory arena. The decisions made by a BON regarding licensure, enforcement and other aspects of regulation are reliant upon thorough knowledge of nursing education at all levels, competency testing, certification, professional standards and scope of practice. This level of expertise is held only by members of the nursing profession and is beyond the capacity of an employer or a non-nursing board.
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The publication of the Flexner report in 1910 turned the medical education system upside down. Many universities closed or joined others in response to the report. The effects of this report can be seen in today’s views of education of health care professionals. For example, the debate about whether nursing is a true profession based on educational preparation continues. Some believe that until all nurses are required to have a BSN, nursing will not be a true profession. A number of research reports demonstrate that a higher ratio of RNs and baccalaureate-prepared nurses produces better patient outcomes and a higher quality of care.
As mentioned in this week’s media segment, nurses work with a team of individuals who all have advanced degrees or baccalaureate degrees at a minimum. From the social worker to the physician, those individuals have more education than that provided by nursing diploma schools or associate degree programs. The results of this continued debate are being seen in legislation and staffing requirements. For example, the state of New York has introduced legislation that requires nurses to have earned a bachelor’s degree within 10 years from licensure. In addition, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program requires those hospitals seeking to obtain or retain Magnet status to have more baccalaureate-prepared nurses on staff. Consider how these requirements support the argument that nursing will only be a true profession when all nurses have at least a BSN.
To prepare for this Discussion, consider the characteristics of a profession and how they are demonstrated in nursing, including credentialing. Also consider how the level of preparation impacts practice and the role of the nurse. Then address the following:
• Changes in nursing education that will support nurses in achieving the skills and competencies needed for the future using the criteria from the professional nursing literature and the Flexner report,
• Changes in the practice of nursing and the health care environment that are compelling nurses to return to school for a baccalaureate degree in nursing; and
• The additional knowledge, abilities, or different skills you will possess when you complete this program.
Support your ideas or those of others with references from the professional nursing literature.
Support your response with APA-formatted in-text citations and references from the professional nursing literature.
•Marshall, J. G., Morgan, J. C., Klem, M. L., Thompson, C. A. & Wells, A. L. (2014). The value of library and information services in nursing and patient care. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 19 (3): 1. DOI: https://dx.doi.org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.3912/OJIN.Vol198No03PPT02
Libraries are a primary resource for evidence-based practice. This study, using a critical incident survey administered to 6,788 nurses at 118 hospitals, sought to explore the influence of nurses’ use of library resources on both nursing and patient outcomes. The authors’ conclude that the availability and use of library and information resources and services had a positive impact on nursing and patient outcomes, and that nurse managers play an important role both by encouraging nurses to use evidence-based library resources and services and by supporting the availability of these resources in healthcare settings.
•Weinberg, D. B., Cooney-Miner, D. & Perloff, J. N. (2012). Analyzing the relationship between nursing education and patient outcomes. Journal of Nursing Regulation 3 (2): 4-10.
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