The field of medicine is a continually evolving field. There are developments in medicine made daily that affect both medical professionals and patients. While the positive progress of medicine offers many obvious advantages, it is important that the knowledge of everyone involved with health care grows with these advancements. With the evident importance of nurses in the healthcare setting, the education of nurses is clearly significant. There are many problems in the nursing field that are associated with the inability to set standards at the entry level (Jacobs et al., 1998). The writer believes that the nursing degree should always be advanced to a bachelor’s degree, and then fostered with continuing education courses. Furthermore, the bachelor’s program should place an importance on forming a good knowledge foundation and then building clinical skills. Ultimately the writer believes a highly clinical and critical thinking bachelor’s program is the best educational preparation for an entry level nurse.
In order to practice as a nurse in the United States a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse after attending a certified nursing program is mandatory (Dyess & Sherman, 2009). After completion of this prerequisite, nurses are licensed and expected to have the same general knowledge of all other nurses. A study done by the Advisory Board Company showed that only 10% of hospitals feel that their new graduate hires are fully equipped to offer secure care (Dyess & Sherman, 2009). Currently 10% of nurses working in an acute care atmosphere are recent graduates (Dyess & Sherman, 2009). Recently the notion that newly graduated nurses are not fully prepared to enter the working force has raised concerns that transitional programs should be in place for new graduates (Dyess & Sherman, 2009).
The Novice Nurse Leadership Institute (NNLI), is a transitional program for recent associate and baccalaureate degree nurses (Dyess & Sherman, 2009). The program’s focus is to both enhance the clinical judgment of the recent graduates as well as poise their clinical skills. Participants have stated an overall higher confidence as well as commitment to nursing (Dyess and Sherman, 2009). The writer affirms that a program such as NNLI would be a great addition to the educational preparation of nurses because it would allow nurses to be in their work environment while still providing a learning atmosphere. A study done on recent graduates by the NNLI identified critical thinking as the major education struggle for many new nurses (Dyess & Sherman, 2009).
Nurses are required to work in specialty settings which can present patients who require complex critical care decision making. While often hard to evaluate critical thinking, Performance Based Development System (PBDS) is a critical thinking assessment tool for nurses (Fero et al., 2009). PBDS uses 10 videotaped common clinical scenarios and asks nurses to state in writing...