Entry level nursing preparation and its impact on health care delivery
- Looking at the prevailing trends in health care delivery.
- Florence Nightingale's Notes on Nursing: What it is and What it is Not.
- Nurses as the most significant group of healthcare professionals in leading the changes to the health care system.
- Discussion on the potential for raising the standard of care throughout the country.
- The history of nursing education.
- The development of the three points of entry.
- Education about the rest of medicine.
- Which is more valuable knowledge or experience?
- Evolution of Multiple-Entry Pattern.
- The current three paths to a registered nurse degree.
- The Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
- The Associate Degree in Nursing.
- The Hospital Diploma program.
- Professional organizations: Their history and perspectives.
- The American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
- The American Nurses Association.
- The American Organization of Nurse Executives.
- The policies.
- Discussion of other clinical professions.
- Potential solutions.
- Putting change into practice.
- Key concerns about potential changes.
- Opportunities for change balanced with need for stability.
Few professions have changed to the degree that nursing has in the past one hundred years. Despite the obvious challenges, most notably the ongoing nursing shortage, it is crucial to update the requirements of being certified as a registered nurse. The only logical approach to this, taking into account the evolution of the three points of entry, is to adapt the system to require a B.S. Many leaders in nursing appear to support this view and the history of nursing mandates this new change. To look at the prevailing trends in health care delivery in any capacity requires a look at the education of nurses. Entry level nursing has a greater impact on the standard of care that is delivered in health care today because nurse shape the entire profession of medicine. In our era where funds are hard to find, the need for nursing resources and education is so acute because of staffing shortages. Regardless of the historical struggles for respect because of the challenging "idea that the nature of the task defines the status of the worker [is] deeply ingrained in the hospital world with its roots in the nineteenth-century work philosophy" (Baly, 1995, p. 213), the respect given the nursing profession is an ongoing concern and one that cannot be taken lightly. A 2002 Faculty Survey by the National League of Nursing concluded that there are not enough teachers to educate enough nurses to ameliorate the ongoing and longstanding nursing shortage and this gap in education needs to be addressed for the profession to move forward. It is impossible to raise the standard of nursing education without having a plethora of qualified educators.
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[...] The Hospital Diploma program is a bit different because the credit hours are all science-oriented (usually between 30 and 60) and then intensive nursing classes are presented in an ongoing health care situation, usually a hospital. Until about ten years ago, most RNs were first educated by diploma programs. It was a simple, task-oriented way of teaching procedure that could be done in all hospital environments. It harkens back to a different time of nursing in certain ways, but in others, there will always be highly specialized and detailed aspects of direct patient care that will require the hands and hearts of nurses, be the tasks, mundane or "contact with profane materials with humor, tolerance, complaint, and magical thinking; with the protective medical aseptic practices of bathing, hand washing, and wearing gloves; and with the pathogen-specific precautions of isolation procedures. [...]
[...] The preparation of nurses is the core of health care delivery and nursing has had substantial challenges and will continue to in the immediate future. Patient care will benefit from raising the bar on RN certification though any solution that alters patient care without taking into account patients is a faulty one. Pulling from the past and guessing the future, new approaches to the profession are needed and changing NCLEX-RN standards may also help solve the dilemma, but gradually requiring a Bachelor's of Science will raise the standard of care to such a degree that it is worth any potential repercussions. [...]