Assignment: Educational Pathways for Nurses

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Assignment: Educational Pathways for Nurses

Assignment: Educational Pathways for Nurses

Assignment: Educational Pathways for Nurses

NURS 347 RUBRIC – FINAL REFLECTION PAPER Total Points Possible = 15 • Papers are due by midnight on Monday of final week. No late papers will be accepted. • Papers must be a minimum of 2 pages (double-spaced) in length. This paper involves your own perspectives, so do not include any references. Strict APA format is not required; however you must follow principles of good writing (no typos, clarity of sentences, attention to grammar, etc.) • What is a reflective paper? o A reflective paper gives you the opportunity to reflect back on the experiences and learning you have obtained from this course and to place your learning in context with your past, present, and future practice and experience. Reflecting on your learning helps to facilitate the integration and synthesis of newly acquired knowledge and experience. • What should not be included? o A list or description of what you learned o An evaluation of the course – that will be done through the course evaluation process. Reflection Questions (15 points) • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of new educational pathways for nurses. • Discuss experiences and learning in this course on your past, present, and future practice. • Identify three challenges for improvements in the delivery of quality healthcare. • Describe your plans for two specific personal contributions to professional nursing practice that you will accomplish during the next ten years. Total /15

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What is driving this resurgence of interest in nursing careers? The media spotlight on the RN shortage has served to showcase nursing as a lucrative, secure field that offers a variety of practice opportunities beyond traditional roles. With 2.4 million nurses in the workforce in 2006, RNs comprise the largest segment of professionals (28%) working in the healthcare industry and one of the largest segments of the U.S. workforce as a whole (). Looking forward, government analysts project that more than 587,000 new nursing positions will be created through 2016 making nursing the nation’s top profession in terms of projected job growth.

In addition to offering a high level of job security, nurse employers are increasingly offering more attractive levels of compensation in an effort to appeal to new recruits and retain working RNs in the profession. Registered nurses, in fact, are among the highest paid practitioners of any “large occupation” as classified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (). Nearly 57% of RNs today work in general medical and surgical hospitals where salaries average $60,970 per year. Salaries for new nurses are somewhat lower, but it is not uncommon to hear that new clinicians are offered salaries in the $45,000 to $50,000 range. Nurses with advanced practice preparation, including nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists, currently command salaries of $80,000 and upwards ().

…today’s nursing shortage cannot be attributed to a lack of interest in nursing careers…many career seekers see nursing as a dynamic profession that brings many rewards and great potential for advancement.With a career horizon brimming with opportunities, many career seekers see nursing as a dynamic profession that brings many rewards and great potential for career advancement. Beyond the high demand for nurses to provide direct care, nurses are also needed as researchers, healthcare administrators, educators, policy analysts, nurse executives, and independent practitioners. The latest developments from the field promise new nurses virtually unlimited opportunities for progression to advanced degrees in nursing practice, as well as opportunities for teaching. With salaries climbing, opportunities expanding, and the demand for nursing services on the rise, now is an exciting time to consider a career in nursing.

During the past decade new and innovative pathways to prepare nurses for an increasingly complex, uncertain, healthcare environment have emerged. Nursing continues to offer multiple ways for students to enter the profession and has consistently advocated for creative and innovative opportunities for academic progression that meet the needs of a student population that is diverse along numerous dimensions. The focus of this article is on a discussion of the current pathways available to enter the nursing profession and the wide-ranging models available for students to achieve advanced educational preparation within nursing. While it is certainly possible to change goals and directions, early consideration of the desired end point can provide helpful direction in selecting the most efficient and effective path to reaching career goal


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