The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing provides a detailed explanation of the concepts that need to be integrated into the course content of nursing education at the masters’ level in the United States. The American Association of College of Nursing has provided the essentials as a basic guideline for colleges that offer Masters’ Education. It explains that individual colleges may have some variations in their course content based on various factors.
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However, such institutions should ensure that students are equipped with basic skills of leadership, change management, understanding of emerging technologies, and the ability to embrace cultural diversity. The essentials provide the most basic components of the course content of a master’s degree that should not be ignored by the nursing colleges in the country.
The role of nurses in modern society is changing. According to Schumacher and Risco (2017), nurses should receive instructions from doctors. However, modern-day nurses are finding themselves in situations where they should make quick decisions and actions to save the lives of their patients. These changes make it necessary to redefine the kind of education that nurses receive. Holders of master’s education in nursing certificate should be equipped with these new skills to ensure that they can undertake their duties effectively (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2011). In this paper, the focus is to provide a concise appraisal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing.
The essentials of master’s education in nursing, as developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, address key issues that should be emphasized in the local nursing colleges (Schuettner, Van-Sell, & Sheriff, 2015). Nurses equipped with master’s level education should be champions of change.
Background for Practice from Sciences and Humanities
The first essential focuses on the preparation of nurses for their challenging tasks in varying healthcare settings. According to Schumacher and Risco (2017), this essential emphasizes the need for nurses to understand that their career requires knowledge of science and humanities. They have to appreciate basic human anatomy and how they can help their patients overcome pain and discomfort. They also need social skills to communicate effectively with their patients and to understand their unique needs. This essential will affect the attitude of nurses in undertaking their normal clinical duties.
Organizational and Systems Leadership
This essential acknowledges that nurses are currently finding themselves in positions of leadership. In the past, nurses were expected to work under the strict guidance of medical doctors. However, it is currently common for them to make important decisions that can save the lives of their patients. The essential emphasizes the need to equip nurses with leadership and organizational skills. Like nurses with master’s degrees, they are expected to help with issues such as planning and resource management in their respective organizations. This essential is expected to redefine leadership in healthcare centers in the country.
Quality Improvement and Safety
The third element focuses on continuous quality improvement of services that nurses offer in this country. O’Hearn Ulch and Schmidt (2013) explain that with the emergence of new concepts and practices, nurses must be ready and willing to adjust accordingly. They should be able to embrace best practices in the industry. The essential requires nurses to have proper knowledge of tools, methods, and standards relevant to their specific fields. What is expected of nurses working in the intensive care unit is slightly different from that of a nurse in the recovery wards. Through proper training, the essential is expected to improve the overall quality of clinical services.
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Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice
Nurses are expected to translate the theoretical concepts learned in class into their practice. This essential looks at how master’s prepared nurses can integrate the new concepts they learn into action. It is common to find cases where nurses cannot practice what they learn in class. Schumacher and Risco (2017) argue that some of them go for higher studies just to get a promotion at how. However, that should not be the case. It is critical for them to learn how to solve problems in the workplace. The essential will affect the approach taken in colleges to train nurses.
Informatics and Healthcare Technologies
Healthcare technologies and informatics is transforming the model of healthcare delivery and its quality. The use of paper records is rapidly being replaced with digital records which are simple to process, store, and share. It is also easy for nurses to communicate with their patients in different languages because of the software that can be used to translate information into different languages (Calzone, Jenkins, Culp, Caskey, & Badzek, 2014). This essential requires master’s-prepared nurses to be at the center-stage of the changes taking place in the healthcare sector. This essential will influence the strategy that nurses use to manage clinical records.
Health Policy and Advocacy
Master’s education in nursing empowers nurses to have a broader and more comprehensive understanding of this career. They are in a good position to understand the challenges that nurses and patients go through and the means through which the experience can be improved. As such, they should embrace advocacy of policies that can transform the workplace environment (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2011). It is expected that these nurses may find themselves in senior managerial positions because of their advanced level of education. The essential is expected to motivate nurses to take leading roles in policy-making.
Inter-professional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes
A master’s-prepared nurse is expected to be a leader or a member of inter-professional teams. They have to work together with medical doctors, clinical officers, and other healthcare experts to meet the needs of their patients. In that capacity, they must have proper communication skills to facilitate proper collaboration between them and other healthcare experts. The essential emphasizes the need for these nurses to understand that their primary goal is to improve the condition of their parents. That objective can only be realized if there is a proper collaboration among different experts. The essential is expected to promote teamwork at all times and avoid unnecessary confrontations among clinicians.
Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving Health
Nurses who have obtained master’s degrees are expected to understand how to balance professionalism and science on the one side and client-centered service and culture on the other. According to this essential, different clients may have varying needs based on their cultural practices and beliefs. Nurses are often expected to attend to their clients in a way that is culturally acceptable (Englander et al., 2013). For instance, a Muslim patient may prefer to be handled by a female nurse. If that request can be granted, then systems and structures should be put in place to make it possible. The essential is expected to promote preventive strategies in managing patients’ health.
Master’s-Level Nursing Practice
The essential focus on the need for nurses to be influencers. As practitioners with a high level of education, they are required to lead changes in the healthcare sector. As experts, they should help in integrating knowledge into practice. O’Hearn Ulch and Schmidt (2013) explain that it is common to find cases where policies are made by medical doctors and other professionals who are not nurses. In such cases, the policies may be impractical in a nursing context. As such, nurses with master’s level education should ensure that they are always involved in policymaking. The essential is expected to promote the ability of nurses to integrate knowledge into practice.
Conclusions and Implications
The conclusions made by the author are related to the original purpose of the research. The findings show that the best way of dealing with the current knowledge gap among nurses is to adjust the curriculum base on the emerging trends in the industry. The implications of the study are discussed. The article discusses the benefits of embracing the essentials of master’s education in nursing. It explains that although the new curriculum may be demanding, it addresses the fundamental issues identified as bedeviling nurse practitioners. As such, it should be embraced by all the nursing colleges in the country.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2011). The essentials of master’s education in nursing. Web.
Calzone, K.A., Jenkins, J., Culp, S., Caskey, S., & Badzek, L. (2014). Introducing a new competency into nursing practice. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 5(1), 40-47.
Englander, R., Cameron, T., Ballard, A.J., Dodge, J., Bull, J., & Aschenbrener, C. (2013). Toward a common taxonomy of competency domains for the health professions and competencies for physicians. Academic Medicine, 88(8), 1088-1094.
O’Hearn Ulch, P.A., & Schmidt, M.M. (2013). Clinical nurse specialist as community-based nurse case manager: Integral to achieving the triple aim of healthcare. Nurse Leader, 11(3), 32-35.
Schuettner, K.A., Van-Sell, S.L, & Sheriff, S. (2015). Nursing administration degree as the foundation of practice for future nurse managers. Nurse Leader, 13(4), 86-97.
Schumacher, G., & Risco, K. (2017). Nurse practitioner program curriculum development: A competency-based approach. Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 13(2), 75-81.