The Process of Transformation Through Education
Nursing profession has made leaps and bounds since I embarked onto the field of nursing in 1993. While I was proud of being a nurse, I did not feel the need to be ambitious nor competitive in my field. Aside from the well known fact about the nursing shortage, I was not familiar with the numerous advancements that had been made by the profession. Most recently, I have come to realize how sophisticated and respected nursing profession has become. Today, nurses as the highly valued commodity, need to be available to skillfully meet the challenging needs of the public. It has now become clear that nursing is engaged in the process of reshaping its function and form to accommodate the dynamic healthcare needs. I am convinced that nursing education is the key that will unlock the essential components in transforming the culture and practice of nursing.
Despite the nurse shortage, the nursing profession is being elevated to the next level. Although diploma nursing was the standards of yesterday, the new nurse workforce will shine with the majority being BSN prepared nurses. With increasing patient acuity, the hospitals and chronic care setting institutions are in need of nurses that can accept the challenges and complications involving the complex healthcare issues. The BSN prepared nurses would successfully meet the challenges of coordinating care among other multidisciplinary team members and the ability to utilize available resources to deliver safe, effective, quality care (Institute of Medicine, 2011). To my dismay, I came to learn about the BSN preference when I tried to obtain a school nurse position few years ago. Incidentally, the areas of public health, school nursing and case management have required BSN degrees. The BSN prepared nurses would be more qualified to handle the community based planning and interventions for the diverse public. With the baccalaureate degree in nursing, I hope to achieve higher levels of critical thinking and planning that will enable me to become a nurse leader in the near future.
To confront the challenges of the growing population and the aging baby-boomers, nursing schools need to expand their curriculum to educate and train more nurses to the workforce. Unfortunately, many nursing schools have not been able to accommodate the growing interest in the various nursing programs. Universities and colleges had to turn away prospective candidates due to exceeding the enrollment capacity along with the faculty shortages. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) preliminary data, more than 50,000 nursing applicants were unable to pursue the entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs in 2010 due to shortage of clinical rotation sites and qualified nursing instructors (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2011). To strive to meet the IOM’s recommendations, AACN will coordinate with the healthcare...