The Integral Role of Nurses in Healthcare Systems: The Importance of Education and Experience
The fact that nurses are an extremely important part of any healthcare system is by far indubitable. Any doctor or patient will confirm that it is difficult to underestimate their role, and it is downright impossible to imagine the world of medicine without nurses. Current researches suggest that in some cases, nurses are obliged to perform fundamental work in the team, thus becoming the backbones of any hospital. However, every suggestion should be proved by solid facts. Keeping this in mind, there is an essential need to provide profound research that will demonstrate the scope of work a nurse has to perform and analyze all the aspects that make a nurse such a significant element of a healthcare system. Consequently, the research question aims to raise the problem of nurses’ role in healthcare, considering the role of education and experience.
The subject of the dissertation is the evaluation of nurses’ role in the hospital as a vital and indispensable element of any health care team. Consequently, the central aim of this work is to critically evaluate and analyze the interconnection between the level of nurses’ efficiency in the hospital and, as a result, those benefits that arise from such efficiency. The indicated aim determined the following targets: to cover the literature material that includes current investigations in the needed sphere, to provide an analytical review of the papers using the critical approach, through qualitative methods to provide nursing research that will demonstrate the most significant aspects of the problem, and to consider the connection between the theory and practice to provide the final results.
Considering the defined targets, the research should be organized to analyze the following aspects:
- Evaluate the type of education which is needed to become a nurse
- Analyze the classes and types required to become a registered nurse (RN)
- Examine the question of whether doctors are preferred over nurses
- Critically evaluate the studies that demonstrate the research results concerning the abovementioned problems
- Study the problem of whether experience in nursing is more valuable than schooling
Finally, there is also a need to provide convincing arguments supporting a personal standpoint. For this reason, the practical part of the research will be connected with several interviews demonstrating how theoretical investigations are proved or contested in practice.
Nowadays, numerous studies provide readers with different information about the importance of an effective healthcare system. Most such studies list many examples demonstrating the role of professionalism and the doctor’s considerable experience. In addition, the core aim of such studies is to prove the interconnection between a doctor’s education and the efficiency of his work. Consequently, till 2013 medical science obtained a considerable amount of research with statistical data that proved this problem. However, considering all research in medicine, it is obvious that the role of nurses is by far underestimated, and, as a result, there needs to be more investigations that examine all the nuances of this work.
It is important to subdivide all studies into several groups to provide the most effective analysis of current works related to our investigation subject. First and foremost, it is worth reviewing works that generally describe the role of nurses in the healthcare system. Such an approach is very helpful, as far as the scope of the investigation is broad. Secondly, it is vital to distinguish those works devoted to certain aspects of nursing. Because this step cannot be omitted, some works can be too general and concern the subject of investigation in general. Next, it is indispensable to concentrate more on research that analyzes patients’ attitudes toward the role of nurses and provides reliable data. Such an approach ensures enough theoretical and practical basis to conduct further investigation. Finally, the fundamental study for our research should be presented.
Several studies that generally describe the role of nurses in the healthcare system form the theoretical basis of this investigation. Hassmiller, in her article about the role of nurses in healthcare reform, analyses how nurses become more effective parts of the healthcare system. Moreover, the author addresses the challenges nurses face and emphasizes the necessity of overcoming such challenges. This work represents sound recommendations for those relating to nursing. Hassmiller lists nine topical challenges for individual nurses and people related to this profession. What is worth to be mentioned about this work is that the author analyses nurses’ roles generally and, in particular, covers all fundamental elements of this profession.
The aspects that are proved to be the most helpful for this research are as follows: the role of nurses in innovations; considering nurses as innovators themselves that are responsible for safety and quality; the importance of clinical training cannot be overestimated, as far as every nurse should get a high level of education, evidence-based practice; allow advanced practice nurses to expand their scope of work; embrace the newest technology used in medicine; advance inter-professional collaboration to provide high-quality care; learn how to take leadership opportunities to provide a high level of care; nurses should be familiar with all healthcare areas.
Together with Hassmiller’s work, the study of Mschau is more concentrated on the role of nurses in universal health care. The author gives specific examples of the influence of strengthening nurses on the general state of health care, mentioning that they are the backbone and there is a drastic need to make serious investments in this area. While all these works’ major contribution is mainly connected with the analysis of the nurse’s role in general and in particular with a health care reform, the authors fail to consider all aspects of nursing, including the significance of further education as an indispensable part of becoming a professional nurse.
The next category of work is devoted to discussing specific problems that arise in nursing. As far as this group concerns certain aspects of nursing, it is narrower than the one above. For instance, Snyder concentrates on the interconnection between the restrictions of nurses’ employment and the individuals with Bachelor’s degrees in this area. The author is convinced that such restrictions will lead to irreparable results: health care will become more expensive; those nurses with the associated degree will be considered less qualified, etc. One of the main advantages of Snyder’s article is that it evaluates all current nursing problems, emphasizing the importance of education and changes concerning this aspect. This means that the author considers both aspects of nursing: the theory that looks quite effective and the practice that is far from perfect. Moreover, the novelty of this work is indisputable: Snyder departs from a generally formed opinion about the importance of first-class education and explains that ordinary registered nurses without Bachelor’s degrees can be qualified specialists in the nursery as those with such a degree. Consequently, the researcher concluded that it is worth pondering the question: are such limits of the nursing profession proved effective, or are they simply the interests of certain candidates to take a desired political position?
The last category is the most related to our work and represents the research made by Reuben in 2012. The article that demonstrates the results of Reuben’s work covers the reasons to gain experience in nursing and spend less time schooling, proving that such a strategy can be very helpful for those aiming to become true professionals in this area. Moreover, the research is claimed to be helpful for those working on becoming registered nurses and those already in this position. The significance of Reuben’s work lies in the argument that the more experience nurses have, the more effective work they perform. In addition, this research demonstrates how practical experience helps nurses to become those “backbones” of the healthcare system.
Effective qualitative nursing research has to be based on the appropriate methods of investigation. The methodology of this dissertation is based on several semi-structured interviews with two registered nurses and one working on becoming registered. The semi-structured interview aims to explore the nursing problem, understand how one becomes a RN, and why certain classes are needed to obtain this profession. Nevertheless, this method is non-statistical; the technique used in this work is very effective for developing nursing knowledge.
The first interview with a RN revealed unexpected results: the success of a nurse partially depends on skin color and age. The interviewee is a middle-aged woman who completed her schooling eight years ago. She mentioned that her skin color helped the patients consider her an equal person, thus, inducing confidence. The next aspect, as it was mentioned, is age. When the interviewee began to work as a RN, many patients were quite skeptical about her experience and, thus, preferred the help of doctors. However, it is claimed that nowadays, she is treated as high-qualified and in most cases, the patients address RN instead of doctors, claiming that nurses show more care and provide moral support.
Talking about the reasons for becoming a RN, the interviewee claimed that this profession requires hard schooling, as far as this work is more challenging than many think. The whole range of responsibilities that a RN has should never be underestimated: nurses are not assistants because one thing is to help a nurse, and another is to be responsible for the rest of someone’s life. The interviewee is convinced that this is the main idea that everyone working on becoming a registered nurse should remember.
The following interviews concerned educational aspects (including the range of classes needed to become a nurse) and pondering the importance of experience in nursing. The second interviewee shared her experience of becoming a RN. She faced a problem mainly with time limits, as she needed to complete her education only in two years. Having a Bachelor’s degree in music lack of experience in nursing made those years of studying extremely difficult. The interviewee is convinced that there will never be enough preparation for becoming a RN: to become a real professional, one should spend the whole life studying and practicing.
The last interviewee is working on becoming a RN. The problem he faced was the need for more experience. Even proper advanced education does not guarantee that one will be able to implement theory into practice after graduation. Meanwhile, even those successfully passing the examination to become Run’s can only sometimes be so successful at work.
The research results demonstrate that nursing experience is fundamental for becoming a professional in this area. Considering the strengths of the investigation, three semi-structured interviews proved the following: schooling is as difficult as the work itself, as far as it is necessary to learn a great deal of material only in two years, even if one goes to great lengths while studying, experience in nursing is still more important; RNs among interviewees prove that the patients will feel more comfortable with those nurses that can successfully put theory into practice.
Talking about the weaknesses, there still needs to be more concrete evidence that will prove certain theoretical materials more effectively. This theory includes such current problems as the importance of healthcare reforms concerning nursing and the role of an obligatory Bachelor’s degree to become an acknowledged professional. Moreover, structured interviews will help provide more accurate results.
This study demonstrates effective support for the majority of the suggestions about nursing: the interviews provide solid facts that show the importance of nurses in the health care system; they demonstrate that certain educational reforms should be done, as far as even those individuals with Bachelor’s degree in nursing are not always skillful enough in reality.
Conclusion and Implications for Future Research
Summarizing the results of investigation and analysis, the following objectives of the dissertation were achieved in the theoretical part: critical evaluation and analysis of the interconnection between the level of nurses’ efficiency in the hospital and, as a result, those benefits that arise from such efficiency were presented; literature material that includes current investigations in the problem under consideration was covered and analyzed; using the critical approach.
A special investigation was made for more accurate results and is described in the second part of the dissertation. This is a practical part that was mainly connected with interviewing. Consequently, the following results were achieved in this section: nursing research was provided using qualitative methods, and then the connection between theory and practice was considered to provide final results. As the dominant method of the research is qualitative, the reinvestigation is a form of three semi-structured interviews with two RNs and one person working on becoming an RN. In the discussion section, the strengths and weaknesses of the method that demonstrate the most significant aspects of the problem and the achieved results according to the interviews were stated. Finally, the research can be very helpful for those studying medicine and working on becoming RNs, as it covers and explains numerous aspects of the profession’s current state in general and considers certain peculiarities.
As for implications for future research, there are still many prospects of conducting a more detailed analysis of such aspects as an associate degree are as helpful as Bachelor’s degree, or politicians created the problem, and one should not hesitate and opt for convenient for him or her advanced education; what gaps in education are necessary to be considered to make the students more experienced and prepared for solving problems in practice.