Nursing & Healthcare

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Higher Nursing Education and Its Impact on Patient Safety


In today’s healthcare field, nurses are in higher demand than ever before. With the constant increase in population, the baby boom generation growing older, and the national emphasis on public healthcare, nursing makes for a stable, well-paying career. But more and more hospitals and healthcare settings are requiring their nurses to have an RN to BSN degree and the competencies obtained from an online nursing degree program can help students ensure they won’t be turned away from employment because they lack the required nursing qualifications.

According to a December 2012 study published by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the rate of student enrollment in RN to BSN programs jumped more than 22 percent from 2011 to 2012. Nursing is in high demand among students as well as patients and one main reason for this increase is the recognition of the role higher education plays in improving patient safety.

In practice, higher education can make the difference in patient safety in many situations, including hands-on administration of medication and treatments, proficiency with new technologies, the ability to glean important clues from day-to-day contact with patients, and accurately and effectively communicating care instructions to families.


Administration of Medications


A primary role of the professional nurse is to administer medications and monitor patient’s response to medications and treatments. Increased knowledge of medications, delivery methods and safety initiatives are a key to optimal patient care.

Technological Proficiency


The implementation of the EMR (electronic medical record) brings many opportunities and challenges to the nursing profession. The increased use of technology is an intricate part of health care. New knowledge and use of technology is a part of the RN-BSN program.


Evaluation of Treatment and Recovery


A key component of the nursing process is the evaluation of treatment and patients’ response to care provided. In the RN-BSN program, we take the nursing process to a higher level, building on present nursing knowledge and examining different approaches to care of the patient, family and community.


Enlisting the Family’s Help


Nursing care is multi-dimensional. Care of the patient includes care of the significant members of that patient’s support team. The RN-BSN program will look at cultural competencies required of the professional nurse to care for increased diversity in our population.


Online Nursing Degrees


The Institute of Medicine recommends 80 percent of working nurses to hold a bachelor’s degree by 2020 is approaching closely. With an online nursing degree, nurses can structure their coursework around their schedules, continuing to gain experience through their work while earning their RN to BSN.


Online nursing degrees from accredited universities such as the University of Saint Mary have a proven track record in helping working healthcare providers gain the insight they need to succeed in our rapidly changing nursing and healthcare system.

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