Improving Nursing Education

Health care today is continually facing different challenges as the need for improvement in technology, effective approach and quality health care professional increases. As the American population increases and the number of senior citizen swells, the presence of nurses in hospitals and other health care facilities is in demand.

There is a shift in the country’s health care needs which is now more related to chronic conditions like hypertension, arthritis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes as well as mental health conditions. This is due to the increasing aging population and spread of obesity in the country. Though it is known that chronic diseases are predominant today, our health care system is designed in favor of acute illnesses and injuries.

This shows that there is a need to make a change in nursing education. Nurses in the 20th century are educated in a different approach and the teachings and lessons are more into caring acute illnesses as well as injuries. Though it is still vital, it won’t be enough in the current health situation of the country. The patient health needs are more complex today than it was before; therefore nurses must acquire a more advanced and focused education.

Nurses today must acquire leadership qualities, evidence-based practice, research experience, improved teamwork and collaboration abilities as well as competency in particular areas like geriatrics and community and public health. Due to the development of health care technologies, nurses are expected to master technological tools and apparatuses as well as be prepared for expanding roles. That is why nurses are required to get higher levels of education. They must be educated in new ways and approaches that best suit the health care situation today. New and emerging competencies in quality improvement, decision making and team leadership must be included in nursing education.

Cultural Competence in Nursing Education

A lot of people believe that it is important to become culturally aware, sensitive to our surrounding, and competent in a particular field of study. Sometimes, when I travel, I usually think about the diversity I see within our major metropolitan areas to pass time on my trip. But even just in our small cities and rural towns, where there’s a seeming insufficient diversity, most people in America are a combination of ethnic skills, an expression from the melting pot that so characterizes our predominant culture. Within the era of genetic mapping, it is necessary for all of us to understand our roots. But how about individuals that are not like us? That is why it is vital to sometimes immerse in a culture which was totally unfamiliar when it comes to ethnicity, cultural mores, and religious activities. It is amazing how strange it feels not to stay in most, to become not aware on how to go about activities, communications, and traditions.

That has brought to ideas about a person entering a healthcare facility for the first time. Within our hospitals, there exists a special, different culture, a distinctive pattern of communication and unspoken rules of behavior that, the assumption is, everybody knows. Following a brief overview of our nursing education literature concerning the teaching of cultural competence in nursing and health professions educational programs (Institute of Medicine, 2003), it might be better to extend our discussions beyond what we should train as cultural competence, to maneuver beyond ethnicity and racial variations, to variations in culture which exist between patients and companies to better improve the quality of our nursing education programs. In healthcare conditions, we, the companies, would be the parents of the culture. Frequently we don’t want things to change, for the status quo feels safe, but change is inevitable, and the best thing to do is to make sure that the changes in our nursing education happens in a positive and beneficial way.