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Education in Nursing has been linked to improved patient safety and improved health care. Most studies have indicated that there is a relationship between the numbers of educated nurses to improved health care. Most hospital prefers employing an increased number of RN’s with BSN since they have found out that their patients experience low-mortality rates. Hence it is evident that an increased education level of a nurse is related to lower levels of patient mortality. There is a rising demand for Medicare services owing to breakthroughs in medical technology; this has made patient treatment improve in efficiency hence leading to faster patient discharges. Currently, healthcare facilities are expanding their intensive care units including the ability to diagnose a wide range of illnesses. Hence there is a need to for the healthcare facilities to employ skilled and highly educated and specialized RN’s to provide their services in these healthcare facilities. However, obtaining a bachelors of science in nursing degree has been a problem to many RN’s. The decision of Registered Nurses to return to school has been hampered by many factors and this has made the nursing as a career to have high demand. Thus in this study, we explore the obstacles that affect the possibility of RN’s to make a choice to return to school.
Challenges Registered Nurses Face in Advancing their Education
Healthcare has been faced with many challenges over time. This has resulted because the number of aging nurses has increased and supplies of experienced nurses who have attained the right education to meet the current and future demand in healthcare have been diminishing over time (Allan et al, 2008, p.p 550). Nursing profession has become particularly significant in the current healthcare. Hence, it must adapt to the many pressures ranging from the dilapidated healthcare system and the economic factor that pushes it to the profound changes in technology, emerging trends in science, and patient needs. These increased demands coupled with the increased shortages in the ranking of nurses as well as the shifts in nature and the nursing practice settings have experienced some limitations on the nursing profession. It has also impacted on the nurses’ ability to adhere to the core values of the nursing practice that includes; improving the safety of patients, and to minimize human suffering.
The aim of this study is to examine challenges that nurse face to further their education. Nursing as a profession is one of the largest group of healthcare professionals. This group of professionals spends most of their time with patients. Thus, their role in health care is highly critical. Nurses conduct most of their services monitoring patients and provide primary care to sick people. However, there has been a shortage of nurses in the healthcare institutions; in addition the current healthcare system is poorly designed for convenient healthcare. In many years, there has been a shortage of nurses that have complicated healthcare delivery to many patients due to failure by the registered nurses to further their studies to provide an improved patient safety. There is an urgent need to meet the current shortages in the nursing profession through offering education to increase the capacity of nurses. Currently, there are a small number of highly qualified faculties in the nursing profession. Some of the factors that have contributed to the failure of nurses to achieve further education include, age, retirement of experienced teachers, credit transfers, lack of finances, geographic inaccessibility, non availability of courses of interest among others.
Age has made it difficult for some nurses to return to school. In some cases, overage nurses are not eligible to enroll to enter graduate programmes. Overage as increased the possibility of many nursing students to be denied admission to colleges or nursing schools. Secondly, nursing student get discouraged if some of their qualified staff retire. This has made some of the nursing schools lose some of their qualified teaching staff due to lack of getting a new monitoring faculty or experienced teachers. The retention of the retired faculty may also pose problems because they will require an increased salary in practice. Even though, the new teaching staff may be in a position to bring updated clinical knowledge to the practice, very few of them are prepared to enter into the teaching career. This has made many nursing students get discouraged to go back to nursing schools to get further studies.
In addition, credit transfers is another obstacle that has affected many nursing students to further their studies, this is because of the inconsistency and the pathways that are not clearly articulated and have been identified as inhibiting factors making nursing students fail to enroll and progress their studies within the nursing profession. This has been as a result of differences in assessment methods, failure to recognize the previous learning and procedures for credit transfers between vocational education and training. This has caused a problem to educators and students to identify the range of options in education that are available. For example, there is a perception that nurses with Division 2 with a certificate in health nursing is not eligible to articulate to bachelor of nursing programmes. Some students have cited lack of finances as an obstacle to further their education. In most cases, RN’s receive no monetary incentives to earn a BSN degree. Lack of financial constrains has made many qualified students be turned away. However, even though many interests in the nursing career has remained strong for many, some of the students who are seeking to enter the profession cannot afford, hence, they cannot be accommodated into the nursing programmes due to resource and faculty constraints. According to ACCN data, in the year 2009, more than 39,423 qualified applications were turned down from the entry level BSN programmes. According to the report, the primary barrier was due to financial constraints to accept qualified nursing students at the nursing schools. The number of nursing schools that reported budget cuts in state funding increased. In addition, the report by ACCN on enrollment and graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing, a large number applicants were turned away due to lack of sufficient number of clinical sites, faculty, space in the classrooms and budget constraints, hence this has made many qualified applicants to the BSN programmes to fail to further education in the nursing schools.
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In conclusion, it is extremely important for RN’s to return to school. There are many benefits that a nursing student obtains when he or she furthers his studies from a RN to a BSN. Further studies lead to personal growth (Beadnell, 2006). It enhances improved thinking skills, enhances self direction, performance, responsibility and increases the professional enhancement. Further more. In addition to self satisfaction, an effort to go back to school makes the nurses have salary increases. Nurses who choose further academic learning better equip themselves to have a better understanding of the health care bureaucracy as well as policies. Thus, RN’s who chooses to advance their education through education will have an advantage of furthering their education and will be more respected in the healthcare profession. Education also increases the market value of an individual, creates room for renewed energy as well as interest in nursing. It also provides the opportunity to advance in patient care. Therefore, education is necessary in the nursing profession since it changes the way the practice of nursing has improved healthcare.
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