Registered nurses are increasingly recognized as leaders in transforming the health care system . Nurses need to meet the demand for prevention, wellness and primary care services, with a focus on improving quality and managing costs. In addition to their clinical expertise, they are being sought out to serve in a variety of new roles, such as care coordinators, wellness coaches, and also in leadership roles. A bachelor degree prepares nurses for advancement in their profession, in today’s world most Assistant Nurse managers(ANM) and Nurse Managers(NM) require a bachelor or masters in nursing. Having a bachelor degree also provides an opportunity to educate future nurses and help develop leadership ability. (Chitty & Black, 2011). Goals for Achieving a Bachelors in Nursing
The goals for a bachelors educated professional nurse are to apply leadership concepts, skills, and decision making in the nursing practice, integrating this knowledge to deliver safe and effective nursing care. Demonstrating critical thinking with a critical decision making for the delivery of a competent, evidence-based, holistic and compassionate care to patients across the life span, always serving as an advocate for health promotion and disease prevention to patients and their families. (Chitty & Black, 2011) . As patients become sicker and technology develops increasingly, the demands of the nurse are becoming greater. An essential ability for a bachelor prepared nurse is the skill of critical thinking, making decisions and solving problems in actual setting and seeking guidance when needed. Improving Patient Safety
Staffing nurses with higher levels of education has been linked to better patient outcomes. Studies show that for every 10% increase in bachelor prepared nurses on a hospital staff there was a 4% decrease risk of death for patients. The same study also showed a significantly lower mortality rate for patients who were treated by nurses prepared at a minimum of the bachelor level. (AACN, 2012) Magnet Hospitals and Bachelor’s Degrees
Hospital employers across the country are currently making policy decisions that require the nurses they hire to have bachelor degree or require them to obtain a four year degree within a set time limit. Nurse workforce education is a factor in achieving magnet status. Magnet hospitals are recognized for nursing excellence and superior patient outcomes. In the October 2012 issue of Medical Care, researches from the University of Pennsylvania found that surgical patients in Magnet hospitals had fourteen percent lower odds of inpatient death within 30 days and 12% lower odds of failure to recover compared with patients cared for in non-magnet hospitals. The study concludes that these better outcomes were attributed to highly qualified and educated nurses, with a bachelor or higher degree. (AACN, 2012) Workforce Requirements for Nurses
The American Nurses Association (ANA) believes that bachelor in nursing education is necessary to prepare the nursing workforce for the challenges of a complex and changing health care system and reaffirms that baccalaureate education should be the standard for entry into professional nursing practice. (Chitty & Black, 2011)
The desire to learn and keep abreast of new developments in the field of nursing is and expected characteristic of the bachelor prepared nurse. Professional, financial autonomy and career advancement are directly correlated with higher education. Also the process of education to achieve a BSN degree is more intensive, nurses receive more knowledge regarding the services require to give excellent nursing care.
Chitty, K., & Black, B. (2011). Professional nursing: concepts & challenges. (6th ed.). Maryland Heights: Saunders Elsevier. American Association of Colleges of Nursing, AACN, (2012, October 24). Creating a More Highly Qualified Workforce. Retrieved from (http://www.aacn.edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/nursing-worforce)