Online Companion: Fundamentals of Nursing Standards and Practice 2E

Chapter Summary

In chapter 3, the reader discovers the issues surrounding educational preparation for nursing. The two entry levels into nursing practice, the licensed practical nurse (LPN) and registered nurse (RN) and their educational preparation are described. Advanced nursing education to the master's and doctoral levels are available for nurses who wish to expand and specialize their roles. The need for nurses to engage in lifelong learning through continuing education and staff development is emphasized. The PEW Health Professions Commission report entitled Healthy America recommended a critical review of educational programs in nursing and other health professions. The Commission developed a list of competencies needed for needed by individuals who are functioning in the health care field. The Commission also proposed strategies for change specific to nursing education. Four trends in nursing education are predicted in the areas of competency development, licensure, size of the work force and delivery of care.

In the second part of Chapter 3, the uses of research to strengthen nursing science and practice are discussed. The basic concepts and process of research are defined. The roles of the nurse in the field of research include nurse scientist, principal investigator, research team member, research consumer and advocate for research clients. Guidelines to protect the rights of research participants have been developed for use by nurses who are part of clinical research studies. The National Institute for Nursing Research and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality are two organizations that support and promote nursing research. There are increasing numbers of doctorally prepared nurses who are contributing to the building of the science of nursing. The nursing profession is challenged to bridge the gaps between scientific evidence and daily nursing practice.