Nursing is a dynamic field were due to rapid medical advancements, specialists need to make a conscious effort to keep up with new knowledge. Working in this field requires the commitment to lifelong learning. However, in 2010, the Institute of Medicine of National Academies stated that increasing the level of education in nursing was still a work in progress. At the same time, experts deemed it crucial to promote continuing education among healthcare practitioners. Indeed, education has particular benefits for both nurses and the field. Healthcare practitioners gain access to more job opportunities, and, at the same time, they become more capable of positively shaping the future of the profession. In this paper, I reflect on how I see myself fitting into the IOM recommendations and how education may change my career perspectives.
Increasing Nurses’ Level of Education: New Objectives
The largest segment of the US healthcare workforce is represented by nurses; however, despite the seemingly sufficient number of practitioners, there is a vast need for better-educated specialists. There are two distinct goals concerning education in nursing: to increase the percentage of nurses with a baccalaureate degree from 50% to 80% by 2020 and to double the number of nurses with a doctorate (Institute of Medicine of National Academies, 2010). I am convinced that these are guidelines to be heeded, and I entertain the option of continuing my education and obtaining higher degrees. For me, such a perspective will be even more feasible if academic and health institutions follow the IOM guidelines and collaborate to facilitate increasing the level of education for medical practitioners.
Nursing and Lifelong Learning
Lifelong learning provides a specialist with an extensive repertoire of cognitive and metacognitive strategies and accounts for continuous professional development. As Kroning (2016) states in her article, lifelong learning is necessary “not only to sustain our profession individually and collectively but also to promote and advocate for the resources and tools needed to care for others” (p. 255). I am well aware of the fact that learning does not stop with graduation, and as I gain more experience and expand the scope of my nursing practice, I will have to be apt for handling the constant flow of new information. Since I envisage myself exerting an effort to learn without ceasing, I can claim that I will indeed follow this IOM recommendation.
Level of Education, Influence, and Job Market Competition
Another reason to proceed with lifelong learning is better job opportunities and higher income. According to Wolla and Sullivan (2017), there is a strong connection between education and income; thus, an improved financial situation may serve as a valuable incentive to continue studying. Furthermore, some positions require specialized training, for example, a legal consultancy nurse, diabetes management nurse, or nurse-midwife. Therefore, motivated individual has more opportunities to change their career path with appropriate certification.
A true professional is someone who is open to knowledge, seeks wisdom, and challenges themselves. In health care, patients’ lives, safety, and comfort are at stake, and it is imperative that medical practitioners keep themselves up to date on advancements and innovations to provide better services. The latter is only possible through continuing education, as with each degree, an individual expands the scope of their practice. I prioritize lifelong learning and deem it an indispensable part of the nursing field. Therefore, I see myself fitting into IOM objectives on increasing the level of education. For me, the financial benefits of continuing education are an impetus to further development. However, I also wonder how I can influence the field and find it possible to make meaningful changes through knowledge and wisdom.
Institute of Medicine of National Academies. (2010). The future of nursing. Leading change, advancing health. Report recommendations. Web.
Kroning, M. (2016). Lifelong learning in nursing. Journal of Christian Nursing: A Quarterly Publication of Nurses Christian Fellowship, 33(1), p. 255.
Wolla, S. A., & Sullivan, J. (2017). Education, income, and wealth. Web.