Sample Nursing Paper on The Benefits of Advanced Education in Nursing

Like the famous activist Marian Wright Edelman once said, “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” Education is important because it is the process through which we achieve skill, values and knowledge to apply to our professions. Education is important in nursing because it helps instill knowledge and skills that help nurses in their duties and functions such as patient care. In the United States, nursing education is compulsory and as a result, practicing nurses often acquire an associate degrees. However, better patient outcomes are associated with a bachelor’s degrees. Additionally, nurses with a bachelor’s degree are more likely to advance in their careers than nurses with an associate degree. Apart from helping nurses advance their careers, bachelor’s degree also help hospital run better by saving money through efficiency. I recommend that nurses acquire a bachelor’s degree and higher because advanced education helps in career advancement, increases positive patient outcomes and helps in the effective running of hospitals.

Bachelor’s nursing education and higher helps nurses to perform better at their jobs. In a cross-sectional study conducted for a period of 18 years, it was found out that nurses who acquired bachelor’s degrees had a higher chance of getting promoted (Sheikhi et al. 1). The study concluded that paired with interpersonal skills, an advanced education in nursing has a high possibility of ensuring that a nurse gets promoted in their job (Sheikhi et al. 1). One of the reasons why nurses with a higher education get promoted is because they have higher skills that those with diplomas and associate degrees. To acquire a bachelor’s degree in nursing or higher, nurses take complex and advance courses that make them perform better at their jobs. Additionally, in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, a nurse is able to acquire new knowledge in her field that is vital to performing better at the job.

Many nurses pursue baccalaureate education with their eye on a move to an elite hospital or to acquire a leadership role in their current organization. Some health care organizations encourage education with and sometimes even help in the financing of their nurses to achieve higher degrees. However, in some cases, a baccalaureate education is not about advancing in one’s career but about acquiring a job. When the economy is tough and jobs are harder to get, many health care organizations take that opportunity to increase the number of nurses with a baccalaureate level education (Kamanyire and Susan 11). Therefore, for new hires, a baccalaureate education might not be so much about climbing the career ladder but about getting hired in a competitive job market (Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative 8). Moreover, with a baccalaureate education, also comes a higher pay grade.

Another reason to why nurses should pursue a BSN is because it provides a platform for graduate education and to enter advanced practice. When a nurse acquires a BSN, they are more likely to seek a MSN. Higher education comes with the benefits of advanced salary and job promotion, all which are motivation to continue pursuing higher education. With higher education, nurses are now taking over roles that were traditionally performed by doctors (Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative 8). There are even programs that allow nurses to move from AND to MSN, even though these programs are few, they allow for nurses to advance in their careers.

Apart from allowing nurses to advance in their careers and education, baccalaureate education for also has a positive impact on patient outcomes. In a study, it was found out that 10% more bachelor’s degree nurses decrease in-patient mortality in a hospital (Aiken et al.1050). In the study, data from 665 hospital was assessed and a random sample of 39,038 hospital nurses used (Aiken et al. 1047). Nurses with higher education have the capability to reduce in-patient mortality because they use their advanced skills to provide better care. With better care and better analytical skills than their colleges with lower education, nurses with baccalaureate education are able to better attend to patients and reduce mortality rates.

Another study found out that nurses with baccalaureate had lower congestive heart failure mortality, failure to rescue, short length of stay and decubitus ulcers (Blegen et al. 2). Nurses with a baccalaureate education were able to provide better care to patients with congestive heart failure, preventing death. Additionally, in the study it was found out that nurses with baccalaureate education reduced the length of stay of patients in hospitals. Nurses with advanced education have taken advanced courses that allow them to provided better care. In some cases, they are even allowed to take on roles that were traditionally reserved for doctors. As a result, they are able to provide safe and quality care to their patients. Another evidence that higher education helps to improve patient outcomes is nurses with baccalaureate education had a low failure to rescue rate than those with a lower education (Blegen et al. 2). Therefore, it is safe to say that baccalaureate education helps to improve patient outcomes through better and advanced care for the patient.

Another benefit of advanced education among nurses is that they create efficiencies with a hospital. In one study, it was found out that nurses with baccalaureate degrees had fewer incidences of medical errors (Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative 17). Due to their advanced knowledge and skills, nurses with baccalaureate education are able to avoid making any medical errors. Fewer medical errors for a health care organization also means fewer law suits and few compensations. Medical errors have exposed health care organizations to law suits which are expensive. In some cases, a health care organization has to compensate the victim with a lump sum. Therefore, in a way, having nurses with advanced education creates efficiencies that in turn reduce the amount of money spent on law suits and compensation. Even without settling law suits, by eliminating medical errors, nurses with advanced education create efficiencies by ensuring the right patient gets the right dosage. Additionally, with fewer medical errors, hospitals do not lose money to procedures associated with medical errors (Spetz and Timothy 1869).

Additionally, nurses with advanced education save hospitals money by reducing hospital readmission. Under certain conditions, hospital readmission fee is reduced. For example, if a patient is readmitted at the same hospital within 30 days of hospital discharge, the hospital is not compensated fully for the readmission (“Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program”). This policy is meant to prevent health care institutions from taking financial advantage of patients. Therefore, when a patient gets readmitted soon after discharge, the health care institution covers part of their bill. Having nurses with baccalaureate education reduces instances of hospital readmission (Potera 5). As aforementioned, nurses with baccalaureate education are responsible for improving patient outcomes including reducing readmission rates. By reducing the rate of readmission, nurses with advanced education reduce hospital expenditure, saving the hospital money.

It is evident that advanced education for nurses helps in career advancement, increases positive patient outcomes and helps in the effective running of hospitals. Nurses with a baccalaureate education have a higher chance of getting promoted at work for their higher skills. Nurses with baccalaureate education get opportunities to work in leadership positions and sometimes even take over roles traditionally reserved for doctors. Additionally, moving up the career ladder comes with a higher pay. Another benefit of advanced education is that it creates a foundation for nurses to continue furthering their education. Apart from helping nurses advance in their careers and advanced education also helps in improving the outcomes of patients. Using their advanced skills and knowledge acquired during the course of their higher education, nurses with baccalaureate education provide safer and better quality care than their counterparts with lower education. Improved outcomes also reduce the mortality rate of patients. Finally, nurses with baccalaureate create efficiencies and save hospitals money by reducing hospital readmission and medical error rates.

 

Works Cited

Aiken, Linda H et al. “Effects of nurse staffing and nurse education on patient deaths in hospitals      with different nurse work environments.” Medical care vol. 49,12 (2011): 1047-53.         doi:10.1097/MLR.0b013e3182330b6e

Blegen, Mary A et al. “Baccalaureate education in nursing and patient outcomes.” The Journal of       Nursing Administration vol. 43, no. 2, 2013 DOI: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e31827f2028

Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the            Institute of Medicine, & Institute of Medicine. The Future of Nursing: Leading Change,     Advancing Health. , 2014. Online Text.

“Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP)”. CMS.Gov.            https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-            Instruments/Value-Based-Programs/HRRP/Hospital-Readmission-Reduction-Program          accesses Nov 21, 2019

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. 15,3 (2015): e322-6. doi:10.18295/squmj.2015.15.03.004

Potera, Carol. “Bachelor’s degrees not only save lives, they save hospitals money.” American        Journal of Nursing, vol. 115, no. 2, 1-14 doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000460668.95532.82

Sheikhi, Mohammad Reza et al. “Skills Required for Nursing Career Advancement: A             Qualitative Study.” Nursing and midwifery studies vol. 5,2 e30777. 21 May. 2016,   doi:10.17795/nmsjournal30777

Spetz, Joanne, and Timothy Bates. “Is a baccalaureate in nursing worth it? The return to         education, 2000-2008.” Health services research vol. 48,6 Pt 1 (2013): 1859-78.       doi:10.1111/1475-6773.12104