Review the key message and answer the following: Why is this key message important and what what can a nurse do to implement this key message?
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Review the key message and answer the following:

Why is this key message important and what what can a nurse do to implement this key message? 



Key Message #2: Nurses Should Achieve Higher Levels of Education and Training Through an Improved Education System That Promotes Seamless Academic Progression (Chapter 4)


Major changes in the U.S. health care system and practice environment will require equally profound changes in the education of nurses both before and after they receive their license. An improved education system is necessary to ensure that the current and future generations of nurses can deliver safe, quality, patient-centered care across all settings, especially in such areas as primary care and community and public health. Nursing is unique among the health professions in the U.S. in that it has multiple educational pathways leading to an entry-level license to

practice. The qualifications and level of education required for entry into the nursing profession have been widely debated by nurses, nursing organizations, academics, and a host of other stakeholders for more than 40 years. During that time, competencies needed to practice have expanded, especially in the domains of community and public health, geriatrics, leadership, health policy, system improvement and change, research and evidence-based practice, and teamwork and collaboration. These new competencies have placed increased pressures on the education system and its curricula. Care within hospital and community settings also has become more complex. In hospitals, nurses must make critical decisions associated with care for sicker, frailer patients and work with sophisticated, life-saving technology. Nurses are being called upon to fill primary care roles and to help patients manage chronic illnesses, thereby preventing acute care episodes and disease progression. They are expected to use a variety of technological tools and complex information management systems that require skills in analysis and synthesis to improve the quality and effectiveness of care. Across settings, nurses are being called upon to coordinate care and collaborate with a variety of health professionals, including physicians, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, and pharmacists, most of whom hold master's or doctoral degrees. Shortages of nurses in the positions of primary care providers, faculty, and researchers continue to be a barrier to advancing the profession and improving the delivery of care to patients. To respond to these demands of an evolving health care system and meet the changing needs of patients, nurses must achieve higher levels of education and training. One step in realizing this goal is for a greater number of nurses to enter the workforce with a baccalaureate degree or progress to this degree early in their career. Moreover, to alleviate shortages of nurse faculty, primary care providers,

and researchers, a cadre of qualified nurses needs to be ready to advance to the master's and doctoral levels. Nursing education should therefore include opportunities for seamless transition to higher degree programs—from licensed practical nurse (LPN)/licensed vocational nurse (LVN) degrees, to the associate's degree in nursing (ADN) and bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN), to master's of science in nursing (MSN), and to the PhD and doctor of nursing practice (DNP). Further, nursing education should serve as a platform for continued lifelong learning. Nurses also should be educated with physicians and other health professionals as students and throughout their careers. Finally, as efforts are made to improve the education system, greater emphasis must be placed on increasing the diversity of the workforce, including in the areas of gender and race/ethnicity, as well as ensuring that nurses are able to provide culturally relevant care.While the capacity of the education system will need to expand, and the focus of curricula will need to be updated to ensure that nurses have the right competencies, a variety of traditional and innovative strategies already are being used across the country to achieve these aims. Examples include the use of technologies such as online education and simulation, consortium programs that create seamless pathway from the ADN to the BSN, and ADN-to-MSN programs that provide a direct link to graduate education. Collectively, these strategies can be scaled up and refined to effect the needed transformation of nursing education.

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