Nursing is an essential profession because of the critical role played by nurses in ensuring patient safety and well-being. Nurses work hand-in-hand with physicians and other healthcare experts to achieve global healthcare objectives. Like other professions, nursing has evolved over the years because of technological changes and innovation. Today’s nurses focus more on positive patient outcomes.
How Nursing Practice Has Changed Over Time
Over the years, nursing has become one of the most important professions in the healthcare sector. Nursing has so far been transformed following the numerous changes witnessed in the overall healthcare sector. As a result of the transformation of the nursing profession, new career pathways have emerged thus attracting more people to the profession. Considering the current versatility and the adaptiveness of the profession, it has made significant contributions in the improvement of patient safety and well-being. Technological evolution in healthcare facilities, expansion of the capacity of care settings, reduction in the work hours of resident physicians in delivering care services, care coordination for chronically ill and older adults, and improved access to care for the poor and rural residents are some of the outcomes of the changes in the nursing profession. Currently, nurses work together with physicians to provide most of the primary care services across healthcare facilities in the U.S. and around the world (Anbari, 2015). The changes witnessed in nursing practice have also increased the effectiveness of the nursing workforce thus increasing access to health care services and improving the quality of care services delivered to patients. Also, nurses have come up with interventions aimed at addressing concerns such as medication errors and challenges encountered in the transition of patients from hospital settings to home settings.
Associate and Baccalaureate Education in Nursing
Competence is the ability of an individual to do a job effectively and in the right manner. It entails the knowledge, skills, and behavior used to improve job performance. Concerning competence, Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) are similar and different in one way or another. BSN entails crucial courses in management, public health, critical thinking, as well as leadership that are not part of ADN. BSN programs focus on the leadership element as the training often helps nurses to advance their management and research skills (Anbari, 2015, p. 99). BSN programs also stress on nursing theory and informatics to assist nurses to understand and use new forms of technology in the workplace and have a better understanding of both the healthcare and patient environment. Anbari (2015) argues that both ADN and BSN registered nurses have similarities when it comes to working hand-in-hand with patients. However, the scope of practice changes in long-term career opportunities. Healthcare facilities often consider BSN nurses as they are highly trained and can improve patient outcomes and quality of care. BSN nurses have more access to job opportunities as compared to AND nurses. This is because BSN nurses are trained in leadership and management skills that are pivotal in nursing practice.
Patient Care Situation
A typical patient care situation is where a patient is in labor and expects to deliver but experiences high blood pressure. In such a case, the ADN nurse would monitor his or her conditions, read the patient’s data, and administer medication. These are the specifics on which ADN nurses are trained. In a similar situation, the BSN nurse would enter the patient’s room to see the patients’ data and focus more on his or her well-being by observing whether he or she feels uncomfortable or upset (Anbari, 2015, p. 99). Additionally, the BSN nurse would be obliged to ask the patient if something is making him or her upset or uncomfortable. With some pain relief and a quiet environment, the BSN nurse would avoid giving the patient extra medication for her blood pressure contrary to the ADN nurse.
The Significance of Evidence-Based Care Practice to Nursing Care
In evidence-based practice (EBP), the focus is on the patient with emphasis placed in the patient’s experiences and how these can be improved through clinical expertise and scientific research. The ultimate objective of EBP is to improve patient outcomes. The recent focus on improving the overall quality of care has led to improved outcomes for patients. Using healthcare research, EBP has played a significant role in reducing complications associated with chronic illness. Furthermore, using EBP’s patient-centered approach, healthcare costs are reduced significantly for the patients. EBP has also enabled nurses to develop more advanced critical thinking and decision-making skills that have enhanced their collaboration and teamwork. BSN supports evidence-based practice in nursing as it trains nurses on leadership, management, critical thinking, and communication, as well as scientific research skills (Anbari, 2015).
How Nurses Today Communicate and Collaborate
Nurses use oral communication, handwritten notes, emails, and text messages to communicate amongst themselves and with the interdisciplinary teams. To collaborate with the interdisciplinary teams effectively, nurses trust and respect their ideas, as well as their decision-making processes. Communication between nurses and collaboration with the interdisciplinary teams have played a key role in improving the patient outcomes through developing strategies of educating and engaging patients in care. As such, behavioral changes such as information seeking and effective delivery of information, patient involvement in the decision-making processes, as well as patient participation in self-care have improved.
Nurses are the cornerstone of patient care. The profession itself has transformed over the years thus contributing to the overall improvement of the healthcare sector. ADN and BSN are the leading nursing programs. When it comes to employment, preference is given to BSN nurses because of their high level of training. Additionally, ADN and BSN nurses have different approaches to patient care situations with the latter focusing more on the patient’s well-being. Evidence-based practice has made significant contributions that have helped to improve the overall healthcare sector.
Anbari, A. B. (2015). The RN to BSN transition: A qualitative systematic review. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 2, 2333393615614306. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2333393615614306