The healthcare sector is incomplete without its nursing body. Currently, the US is home to over 5,000,000 nurses, which includes registered nurses and practitioners. As a nurse, your job is imperative to keeping the healthcare sector in shape. Whether providing patients with optimal care, ensuring doctors are updated on health charts, or mentoring junior nurses, your position is indispensable. However, your commitment to education makes you an even more significant asset to the healthcare industry.
Nursing is a lifelong profession that requires continuous learning. It is essential to continue striving for opportunities that help you pick up new concepts and polish your skills. So what makes nursing education crucial for your profession? Here's what you need to know:
Helps You Flourish Professionally
As a nurse, there are many ways to start your career. You can enter the sector by becoming a registered nurse or choosing to get your Bachelor's degree before you apply. But, if you want to move up the hierarchical ladder, gain exposure to more cases, work closely with patients, and have a more significant say in patient advocacy, you need a higher degree. You may only go so far as an RN, and while your position may be comfortable, it may hold you back from tapping into your potential and being a resource to the healthcare sector.
Although, before you enroll in any degree, you should learn what sets them apart. Likewise, why not go for accelerated ones that can help you boost your career faster when selecting a program? Hence you pick the route that will bring you closer to becoming a certified nursing expert. Decide between ABSN vs MSN degrees and see which program is suitable for you. The path you pick will expose you to specific skills, concepts, and clinical knowledge that will shape you into a better nurse, so you can't take this decision lightly. You can also look into becoming a nurse educator by getting your MSN in nurse education and teaching what you've learned in your career to nursing students.
2. Allows You To Provide Optimal Patient Care
Before a doctor can check in with a patient, as a nurse, you must attend to them first and ensure you have all the details suitable for an accurate diagnosis. This is why, if you have an advanced degree and skills that go beyond the basic understanding of patient care, you'll provide better care. You'll be able to tell the patient what they're experiencing, explain their test results better, give them a rough idea of what general treatment looks like, and connect with them on a deeper level.
Nursing education also includes getting exposure to implicit bias. The healthcare sector is still plagued with numerous prejudices and stereotypes that can make it challenging for patients to access appropriate healthcare facilities. These may include discriminating against patients based on their religion, using common misconceptions about their ethnicity to influence medical decisions, and not providing primary care based on prejudice.
But by addressing this systemic racism and allowing yourself to grow, you can tear down many of these barriers and make primary care much more accessible. As an informed nurse, you can play a pivotal role in destroying stereotypes and pushing for healthcare equity to ensure no patient gets denied their fundamental right.
3. Helps You Improve Your Soft Skills
Nursing education can help you polish your soft skills. These include how you communicate, the confidence you carry yourself with, and the clinical knowledge you possess, which can help with diagnosis. Advanced education exposes you to more professional and certified experts in your field. When you get the opportunity to work with them, you grow as a nursing professional, and it reflects in the interpersonal skills you possess. As a result, you may become more mindful of the terms you use, get better at conversing with your patients, present welcoming body language, and be able to explain complex medical concepts in a more accessible manner.
A higher degree also allows you to work faster, identify mistakes with higher accuracy and write up charts with minimal error. You're also more assertive in your field, able to draw up boundaries and prevent yourself from getting exploited or pawned off to handle some other nursing expert's job. Most RNs are left to deal with work that their superiors assign to them and, due to medical hierarchy, cannot oppose these tasks unless they have a valid reason.
Consequently, most RNs are burdened with work, experience burnout, and feel exhausted in trying to keep up with all the responsibilities thrown their way. However, when you boost your position, you can voice your needs better and decide what tasks your team can handle and which are better tackled By them.
4. Able To Counter The Physician Gap
There is a massive shortage of primary care providers. This is because much of the population is getting older, and an entire generation of baby boomers is steadily embracing their seventies. A sudden influx of patients puts a burden on the healthcare sector. It cannot keep up with the demand and produce doctors that can balance out the patient ratio. Inevitably, the scales tip, and there are more patients than doctors, which impacts the healthcare sector. Primary care doctors are an integral part of the healthcare model. These medical caregivers are essential in providing routine checkups, diagnosing common ailments, and treating them.
As a family nurse practitioner, you can support most primary healthcare doctors in doing their job. Roughly 26 to 28 states, including the District of Columbia, allow nurse practitioners to work without needing a doctor to supervise. So if you work in any of these states, such as Maryland, you will work with complete autonomy, order tests, and construct diagnoses based on your patient's condition. This reduces a significant chunk of primary care doctors and helps them look after patients without feeling overwhelmed by the workload.
Nursing is the backbone of the healthcare sector. Your job is crucial in connecting patients to adequate healthcare without compromising the care and comfort you provide. But the best way you can do your job is to stay on top of your education and continue learning. This is because, as a nurse, it's easier to make an impact once you have exceptional educational credits and qualifications.
Hence, to ensure you can uphold the standards set by the healthcare sector, make sure you get an advanced degree and apply for more skill-based jobs, provide patients excellent care by continually educating yourself on patient wellness, and use the opportunity to build your soft skills. Lastly, as a nurse, your education is vital in assisting primary care doctors in looking after patients and the aging population without slacking.