Job options for nurses at various levels of education always vary. As a holder of an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN), I have to consider this factor in the decision to further my study. Research has established that numerous hospitals prefer nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) over those with lower-level certification in the same course. Though registered nurses who hold ADN certification command some respect in the job market, landing a position as an Associate Degree Nurse still is a challenge to many people. Besides, despite the numerous hospitals available that would willingly hire ADN-prepared nurses, such individuals have to broaden their search more into the rural areas (Heinrich, 2017).
The bottom line in opting for an Associate's Degree, however, is often thought to depend on an individual's goals and needs. Some experts have mentioned that for someone whose goal is limited to working at the bedside, ADN would suffice. But for those opting to teach or advance in higher levels of management, then an advanced degree would be called for (Hilton, 2019). Again, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has occasionally pointed out that nurses prepared at the BSN level exhibit better patient care putting a premium on this level of certification.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends a greater level of inter-professional education for nurses, physicians, and other health professionals in developing and improving competency throughout the careers of these health experts (Institute of Medicine, 2014). Such recommendations have shaped my need to upgrade my Associate's degree to a higher level of certification that would match such requirements. Professionally, I intend to receive certification as a registered nurse in the short-run, as research has established that such credits help boost the employability of Associate's Degree accredited nurses (Heinrich, 2017). In the next five years, however, I hope to commence a course in Masters Science in Nursing as I anticipate engaging in innovative research and help find solutions to the inherent healthcare challenges. Research backs my ambitions stating that graduates in master's degree in nursing are prepared for numerous roles and areas of practice such as the ability to pursue new and innovative roles in the healthcare field that may lead to reforms in emerging global healthcare systems (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2015).
Based on my goals as highlighted above, I believe that increasing my level of education would help in enhancing my competitiveness in the current job market as well as positively shape my role in the future of nursing. It is evident in research that numerous attractive, interesting and well-paying positions are open to advanced nursing practitioners. Such lucrative positions include leadership roles in health information technology besides profitable commercial opportunities in other sectors of insurance and pharmaceuticals (Cleary, McBride, McClure, & Reinhard, 2014). These elevated roles also come with premiums attached to salaries and other compensations which would help financing other of my educational needs such as the pursuit of Doctors of Nursing Practice.
Nursing competency is defined to encompass essential abilities needed to fulfill one's role as a nurse (Fukada, 2018). Numerous factors have been used in literature to predict nurses' level of competency such as age, years of service, marital status, level of education and working sections (Keykha, Mazlum, Varasteh, & Arbabisarjou, 2016). Continuing education has been an important focus in this analysis and the current section seeks to establish its relationship to and the influence on the competency levels of nurses. Generally, one of the key points addressed by nursing care institutions and nursing education staff is the preparation and training of competent nurses (Keykha, et al., 2016). However, there have emerged conflicting theories regarding the claim. First, research posits that nurses who undertake advanced courses in the field are more likely to showcase higher levels of competences than the non-graders and that continued learning experience is likely to enhance such competencies further (Clark, Casey, & Morris, 2015).
Still, the above claims are refuted by Keykah and the team (2016) in their research where they used various statistical tools to make the deduction. For instance, the results that they established based on the Pearson correlation coefficient dictated that there was no significant relationship between participants' competency and education levels among other demographic characteristics analyzed. Nonetheless, there emerged a significant relationship between clinical competency and a practitioner's years of service.
Conversely, an overwhelming number of studies point to the evidence that continuing education in nurses has a positive relationship with their competency levels in practice. For instance, studies by Kim & Kim, (2015) points out that persistent education of nurse practitioners help fit their needs at hospital levels and enhance their competency levels in nursing care. Again, the recommendations by IOM for the pursuit of higher education certification are based on the premise that the practitioners' competency is enhanced (Institute of Medicine, 2014). As such, the author in this article concludes that continuing education has a positive relationship to competency levels of nurses in primary and other care plans.
Though it provides positive implications to nurses and the practice in general, continuing nursing is still not fit for being made mandatory to all practitioners in the profession for numerous reasons. First, the cost has often been highlighted in many studies as a key hindrance to such programs which require enormous investments to complete (Eslamian, Moeini, & Soleimani, 2015). Again, different practitioners in the field have varying goals regarding what they intend to achieve within the profession (Hilton, 2019). As such, it is important to allow everyone to pursue their objectives independently within the profession without externally established aims.
BIBLIOGRAPHY American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2015). The Essentials of Master's Education in Nursing. Washington DC: American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Clark, L., Casey, D., & Morris, S. (2015). The value of a Master's degree for registered nurses. British Journal of Nursing, 24(6), 328-334. DOI:10.12968/bjon.2015.24.6.328
Cleary, B. L., McBride, A. B., McClure, M. L., & Reinhard, S. C. (2014). Expanding The Capacity of Nursing Education. Journal of Health Affairs, 28(3), 1-28. DOI:10.1377/hlthaff.28.4.w634
Eslamian, J., Moeini, M., & Soleimani, M. (2015). Challenges in nursing continuing education: A qualitative study. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, 20(3), 378-386.
Fukada, M. (2018). Nursing Competency. Journal of Medical Sciences, 61(1), 1-7. DOI:10.33160/yam.2018.03.001
Heinrich, A. (2017, November 20). What Can You Do with an Associate's Degree in Nursing? Retrieved from Rasmussen College: https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/nursing/blog/what-can-you-do-with-associate-degree-in-nursing/
Hilton, L. (2019, November 18). Where Will and ADN Put You on the Nursing Career Ladder. Retrieved from Monser: https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/adn-put-you-on-the-nursing-career-ladder
Institute of Medicine. (2014). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Washington DC: National Academies Press.
Keykha, R., Mazlum, S., Varasteh, S., & Arbabisarjou, A. (2016). Clinical competency and its related factors in nursing. International Journal of Pharmacy & Technology, 8(3), 18368-18377.
Kim, M. J., & Kim, Y. J. (2015). Variables Affecting Nursing Competency of Clinical Nurses. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 8(26), 1-9.
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