The role of nurses has always been crucial in healthcare.
Nurses are on the front line every day, tending to the sick, counseling patients on their health, and improving processes throughout the healthcare system.
Now, nursing is expanding into healthcare redesign and management.
Nursing Plays a Greater Role in Patient Education
As the healthcare system recognizes that patient education is crucial to recovery and reduces costly readmissions to hospitals, the role of nurses continues to expand.
Nurses are now responsible for following up with patients to provide greater resources to those with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. By working with the patients to monitor their conditions, nurses play a role well beyond the hospital.
Care coordination fits well with many nurses’ interest in bedside care and their focus on the whole patient rather than an episodic problem.
Advanced Education Builds Path to Greater Roles
The expansion of nursing roles is due in part to increased professional development for nurses and the number of nurses seeking higher education.
Nurses bring a wealth of patient experience and a unique perspective to leadership roles. Their critical thinking skills and training on improved performance techniques, enable nurses to design better processes and procedures to care for patients.
The increase in nurses seeking higher education is partly due to a report released in 2010 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) called “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change and Advancing Health.” The report recommended that nurses should practice at the top of license, achieve higher levels of education, and act as full partners with physicians.
The same report also set a goal for 80 percent of nurses have baccalaureate degrees by 2020. The leadership and research skills BSN degrees bring improve professional development for nurses.
In the fall of 2014, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) published a survey that showed enrollment in RN to BSN programs increased 10.4 percent, marking 12 years of growth.
These are exciting times for nurses. As more clinical nurses and nursing leaders participate in designing the future of healthcare, the role of nurses will only increase.
Learn about the LSUA online RN to BSN program.
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