The healthcare landscape in the United States has changed significantly in the last few decades.
With more baby boomers needing medical care, a growing population, better access to healthcare coverage, and a shift to patient-based care, nurses have slowly taken on more demanding roles within healthcare facilities.
Nurses within different disciplines are now required to have higher education. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine released a report about the future of nursing in America. It highlighted the need for higher education for nurses to help them meet their new roles and responsibilities in the workplace. The report recommended that by 2020, 80% of all nurses should have a BSN.
This goal wasn’t met, but it provides an important benchmark against which we can measure the value of higher education for nurses.
Modern healthcare becomes more complex every year, and to keep up, nurses need to gain a variety of skills by enrolling in executive nursing courses. Such courses are designed to impart leadership and management skills, elevating the nurse to a higher position within the organization and allowing them to participate in high-level decision-making.
Working nurses who want to take on more responsibility can enroll in an executive nurse leadership course like the one offered at Baylor University online. It covers topics like resource attainment and allocation and organizational strategy. Students also learn economic and financial concepts and how to nurture excellence within the working environment. Nurses understand how to influence outcomes and shape the future of nursing and healthcare delivery.
Professionals are encouraged to take executive nursing courses online. They are flexible, take a shorter time, and are often cheaper than in-person classes.
Why is there a need for advanced education in nursing?
Today’s nurses are asked to do more. The complex demands of modern healthcare require more than a simple caregiver role. To deliver, nurses, especially those in senior positions, have to understand the economic and financial environment they operate in and the value of patient-based care.
They have to keep up with technological advances and understand the factors that affect health and healthcare within their communities.
This is more than was taught in old nursing curriculums. For example, a nurse in the 1950s was only trained to deliver basic patient care. They were taught how to take vitals, change bedpans, bathe and feed patients, and make them comfortable.
According to a report by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there is a stark correlation between higher education and better patient outcomes. It showed that in institutions where nurses were better educated, there were fewer readmissions, lower rates of failure to rescue, and patients were better educated about their health.
The more patients know about their health, the more proactive they are about taking steps to stay healthy. Not only is this of benefit to the patient and the hospital, but it also makes for healthier communities and reduced expenditure on healthcare. A well-educated nurse plays a big role in health education wherever they practice.
What does this mean for your nursing career?
In a nutshell, you should do all you can to gain more than a basic education in nursing if you want to advance in your profession. You can start with basic qualifications that allow you to practice as an LPN, but then you should consider enrolling in a bachelor of nursing degree to get RN qualifications.
You can go further and take a master’s of nursing course that allows you to practice as an advanced practice registered nurse. Many professionals stop here, but you don’t have to.
To become a nurse manager, an executive nurse leadership course will impart the skills you need to be a strategic thinker, a financial planner, and a well-rounded healthcare professional who sees the bigger picture. You learn about the different factors that affect healthcare delivery and how you can work with your team to ensure better patient outcomes and healthier communities.
Is online learning recommended for advanced nursing degrees?
An online degree is just as good as the degree you would get if you enrolled in campus classes.
Today’s employers understand this, so earning your degree from somewhere like Baylor University online will not disadvantage you in any way. In fact, it comes with several advantages:
- Online courses tend to take a shorter time because they are designed for working professionals. A course that would take four years to complete if you enrolled for in-person classes could take two or three years to complete for students who choose online classes.
- Online nursing classes are also more flexible. Students don’t have fixed learning hours, so they can study when it is convenient. This means that you have to be highly disciplined to succeed. You are the master of your time, and what you do with it is up to you. Find ways to stay ahead with these simple learning tips.
- Before you enroll in an online class, take some time to consider whether it is the right move for you, especially if you are a working professional. This type of learning tends to have a high dropout rate because students underestimate course requirements. It would help if you looped in your employer so they can reorganize your schedule accordingly.
As healthcare delivery becomes more complex and patients are better educated, there is a greater need for nurses with advanced education. You don’t have to stop working to go back to school. You can enroll in an online course to obtain the necessary qualifications to enhance your career. An online nursing degree will allow you to take on roles with more responsibilities, and you can participate in changing patient outcomes.