Nursing expertise plays a critical role in the quality of medical services provided to patients. After obtaining a Registered Nurse (RN) degree, many nurses question the relevance of receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), as they believe in the power of practical experience. However, some researchers claim that there is currently a need to re-evaluate the approach to a nursing degree, making a baccalaureate degree a fundamental entry requirement for the occupation (Krugman & Goode, 2018). Indeed, there are various empirical examples that demonstrate how an advanced nursing degree may affect patient outcomes. Hence, according to Audet et al. (2018), the lower risk of patient mortality was associated with a higher educational degree of nurses in the overwhelming majority of empirical hospital studies. Moreover, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2019), the existing framework of health care requires extensive expertise in liberal arts and humanities. It can help meet the patients’ and government’s demands for primary and preventive care.
For example, expertise in humanities such as ethics, psychology, history, and research allows nurses to secure an integrated approach to patient care and readmission prevention through emotional support and the use of evidence-based practice. The RN license does not account for such an integrated approach to care, limiting the nurses’ abilities to pursue leadership and autonomy in the workplace. I agree with the idea that receiving a BSN degree is beneficial for both the patient and the nurse; that is why I am currently studying to obtain a baccalaureate degree. However, besides receiving an advanced degree, it is also important to secure education opportunities in the workplace, as employers cannot expect nurses to have exceptional expertise without continuous improvement. For example, according to Crowe et al. (2018), the implementation of simulated learning in the workplace has a significant impact on nurses’ confidence and quality of service. For this reason, it may be concluded that any education and continuous improvement, in general, are key to quality patient outcomes.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2019). Fact sheet: The impact of education on nursing practice [PDF document]. Web.
Audet, L. A., Bourgault, P., & Rochefort, C. M. (2018). Associations between nurse education and experience and the risk of mortality and adverse events in acute care hospitals: A systematic review of observational studies. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 80, 128-146. Web.
Crowe, S., Ewart, L., & Derman, S. (2018). The impact of simulation-based education on nursing confidence, knowledge and patient outcomes on general medicine units. Nurse Education in Practice, 29, 70-75. Web.
Krugman, M., & Goode, C. J. (2018). BSN preparation for RNs: The time is now! JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 48(2), 57-60. Web.