Impact of Higher Education on Nursing Practice

Higher Education on Nursing Practice

Nursing is a phenomenal career path if you are willing to put in extensive effort and years of study. Understanding that succeeding in a nursing role is only possible with sufficient education and higher degrees is crucial. However, after completing your education, the results and outcomes are unmatchable. Besides earning a handsome salary, the joy that embeds in caring for others is an incomparable feeling. 

Remember, nurses with higher education will always remain in demand. With a higher education degree such as a bachelor’s or master’s, you don’t only learn academic skills, but your critical thinking, creativity, compassion, and empathy also boost. 

However, planning to pursue nursing school is a massive commitment. Many elements factor in making such a decision, especially if you have additional responsibilities. To ease your decision to pursue higher education after nursing practice, we’ve outlined a few impacts of higher education for nurses. 

1. Increase your marketability

As mentioned above, nurses with higher degrees and certifications will remain in high demand. With the increasing demand for nurses in the healthcare industry, even for entry-level positions, more hospitals are now mandating at least a bachelor’s degree for nurses. 

The change is in response to the evolving healthcare landscape, focusing more on preventive care as illnesses become more complex. Therefore, obtaining a higher degree will enhance your competitiveness in the job market and improve your chances of landing your desired nursing position. So, why not pursue a higher degree program from a reputable institute like the UTA online nursing program to boost your marketability? 

Acquiring higher education in nursing can boost your resume and make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers, including hospitals that do not have a mandatory qualification for a specific nursing qualification. Hence, completing your higher education sets you apart from other candidates with only an associate degree in nursing, increasing your competitive edge in the job market. 

2. Enhance your leadership abilities

Another tremendous impact that higher education leaves on nurses is a boost in their leadership skills. Leadership is crucial in nursing because it allows nurses to advocate for quality care and inspire others as a nurse mentor. Furthermore, nurse leaders gain authority and resources to make crucial decisions, help prevent burnout amongst staff, understand ethics in nursing care, and contribute to organizational change. 

Nurses with higher qualifications provide a distinct value to leadership in their practice, and this value is highly encouraged by executives, government agencies, top organizations, hiring agencies, and many others. Higher qualifications, such as a bachelor of science in nursing, can facilitate your academic growth and enhance your critical thinking skills, which are crucial for effective leadership. Additionally, the curriculum of a BSN program focuses on teaching communication skills, which equips nurses with the necessary tools to become exceptional leaders.

3.Higher pay 

Nursing is undoubtedly a gratifying career. However, sometimes nurses might need help to reach their true earning potential despite putting in long hours and extensive effort. That’s because some organizations and hospitals rule out nurses’ pay based on their qualifications. Nurses with higher degrees are more likely to be selected for senior roles offering lucrative salaries.

Besides, as mentioned before, higher qualifications tremendously expand a nurse’s skillset, putting them at an edge over others and, eventually, better pay. 

The average salary of an RN in the US is 43.39 per hour. Nevertheless, several factors, including educational qualifications, determine your remuneration. As highlighted by the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey, nurses holding a bachelor’s degree tend to receive a higher median annual salary than those with an associate degree.

4.Specialization opportunities 

Higher education can boost a nurse’s specialization opportunities. Nurses with bachelor’s or master’s degrees can specialize in any desired field and build their careers. However, associates or registered nurses are not eligible for specializations unless they complete their bachelor’s or master’s. In many cases, a bachelor’s isn’t sufficient to pursue specializations, and a master’s degree is mandatory. 

Specializing in one nursing field is an excellent idea for nurses who wish to establish a long-term career in nursing. Specializations grant you higher responsibilities, enhance your capabilities, boost your confidence, and potentially enable you to earn a higher salary. 

5. More job opportunities 

Higher education in nursing can open doors to several job opportunities that nurses otherwise wouldn’t be able to access. A BSN or MSN degree opens up numerous job opportunities beyond 9 to 5 hospital jobs. Some of these jobs include:

  • Nurse educator
  • Academic nurse writer
  • Home health nurse
  • Legal nurse consultant
  • School nurse
  • Health coach
  • Corporate staff nurse
  • Prison nurse 
  • Nurse navigator

6. Better quality care for patients 

Quality care is the crux of every nursing profession. The prime responsibility of a nurse is to offer optimal quality care to each patient. Quality nursing care is essential because it ensures optimal treatment and patient care, leading to better health outcomes and quality of life. Nurses provide quality care by considering their patients’ physical, emotional, and social needs and providing personalized, compassionate, and research-supported treatment.

Several findings indicate that nurses with higher degrees and advanced qualifications can provide better quality care to their patients than nurses without higher education experience. Higher education can significantly improve the quality of nursing care by providing nurses with the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to provide evidence-based, patient-centered care. Higher degrees enhance a nurse’s knowledge and expertise, improve critical thinking, advance clinical skills, boost communication skills, and fuel leadership competencies – all essential tools to provide high-quality care. 

Quality care is essential in nursing because it improves patient outcomes, enhances patient satisfaction, promotes safety, increases trust and confidence, and supports professional development. 

Wrapping up 

The impacts that higher education leaves on nurse practitioners are highly significant. Besides giving nurses a professional boost, higher education tremendously helps in improving a nurse’s personal development. 

Higher education is crucial for nurses because it equips them with the advanced knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to provide high-quality care to their patients. Through higher education programs, nurses can gain a deeper understanding of nursing theory, research, and evidence-based practices, which can help them make informed decisions and provide optimal care. They can also develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, advanced clinical skills, improved communication skills, and leadership and management skills, all necessary to provide effective patient care. In addition, higher education programs can provide nurses with various career development opportunities, like advanced nursing roles, nurse leadership positions, and teaching positions.