Nursing remains one of the most challenging and rewarding careers for practitioners and patients. Caregivers are expected to make a difference in patients’ lives and empower them to achieve their potential. Since registered nurses (RNs) are the major providers of care, they should possess adequate competencies and knowledge in order to transform the country’s health sector. This paper argues that the acquisition of a degree can empower more RNs to meet the changing health needs of America’s diverse population.
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Since registered nurses (RNs) are expected to deliver culturally competent, high-quality, timely, and sustainable healthcare services, they should be ready to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and acquire the right knowledge, concepts, and skills.
Why Nurses Must Have a Degree
Around 25 percent of qualified RNs in the United States have a diploma in nursing (Platt et al. 50). The total number of those who have associated degrees stands at 42 percent. According to Platt et al., 31 percent have managed to complete a baccalaureate in nursing from recognized universities in this country (52). From these statistics, it is evident that most RNs lack quality or desirable education that can make a difference. This means that such practitioners might not be able to diagnose conditions, improve patients’ health outcomes, and transform the United States’ health sector. The emerging fact is that the existing academic gap makes it impossible for all citizens to receive quality health support and services.
Several professionals and associations, such as the American Nursing Association (ANA), have presented evidence-based ideas to encourage RNs to engage in lifelong learning. This means that they should have a degree. In the field of nursing, commitment is the art of care delivery, but quality education is the science. Professionals focusing on the best strategies to address this current gap in education should be as bold as brass if positive results are to be realized (Platt et al. 51).
Several examples can be presented to support this argument. For instance, countries that encourage nurses to acquire degrees (such as Germany and Oman) have continued to record positive health outcomes (Kamanyire and Achora e325). The second one is that practitioners who complete new or advanced programs find it easier to deliver high-quality patient support.
There are several aspects or ideas that can be used to support this claim. The first one is that the completion of a nursing degree program will result in advanced skill sets and competencies. Consequently, nurses who achieve this goal will be able to meet the diverse needs of more patients (Kamanyire and Achora e325). This means that more RNs will be empowered to practice in various settings, thereby transforming the healthcare sector.
The second example is that educated nurses will introduce superior models that can improve their patients’ health outcomes. For instance, practitioners who have attained this academic level will be able to deliver culturally competent medical support. They will also be empowered to form multidisciplinary teams that can offer sustainable services. The scope of nursing practice will also expand in an attempt to meet the changing needs of more people. Finally, the approach will support the idea of continuous or lifelong learning (Ribeiro et al. 196). This means that practitioners will acquire advanced skills and focus on the power of evidence-based practice (EBP). Such RNs will be empowered to utilize emerging technologies in healthcare and transform the experiences of their patients.
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Although the above arguments have explained why every RN should be required to pursue a degree program, some professionals and curriculum developers have presented a number of contrasting views (Platt et al. 52). The first one is that a nurse who has completed a diploma course is prepared to meet the needs of more patients. Secondly, some analysts use the issue of nursing shortage to explain why the acquisition of a nursing degree might not change the current situation (Platt et al. 52). These views are refutable since they ignore the challenges affecting the United States healthcare sector.
New chronic conditions and age-related illnesses are being recorded in this country. The implementation of powerful measures is something that has failed to address the challenges facing many American citizens. It would, therefore, be necessary for nurses to acquire superior competencies and skills. The completion of a degree course will guide RNs to develop superior care delivery models (Ribeiro et al. 199). They will also achieve their potential and transform the quality of health services available in this country.
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing can ensure that more practitioners are prepared for the changes experienced in the United States healthcare sector. With many people grappling with numerous problems such as chronic conditions, practitioners must engage in lifelong learning, acquire new competencies, and apply EBP concepts in their units. In conclusion, all American nurses should be required to have a degree in an attempt to improve the sector and revolutionize the experiences of every citizen.
Kamanyire, Joy K., and Susan Achora. “A Call for More Diploma Nurses to Attain a Baccalaureate Degree: Advancing the Nursing Profession in Oman.” Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, vol. 15, no. 3, 2015, pp. e322-326.
Platt, Maia, et al. “Filling the Gap: Developing Health Economics Competencies for Baccalaureate Nursing Programs.” Nursing Outlook, vol. 64, no. 1, 2016, pp. 49-60.
Ribeiro, Oliverio, et al. “Costs and Benefits of Nursing Clinical Education for Hospital Institutions.” Atencion Primaria, vol. 46, no. 5, 2014, pp. 195-201.