Three reasons why nurses should prioritize advanced education

April 5, 2019

The role of nurses continues to evolve.

Your responsibilities may include intense home patient care and complex, in-patient situations. Daily use of electronic health records and the rise of informatics have been game-changers. There also may be more opportunities for nurses to mentor team members and take leadership roles on committees or other cross-functional groups.

“Pursuing an additional degree is an effective way to be ready for these challenges,” says Lisa Kreeger, PhD, RN, Dean of the Capella University School of Nursing and Health Sciences. “In doing so, you can also gain more job satisfaction, and by extension, a greater sense of well-being throughout your professional life.”

According to Kreeger, there are three main benefits of advanced nursing education:

1. Better patient care.

           With more education, you may be able to provide a higher-quality of patient care. You’ll also be better prepared to anticipate and address a larger variety of health needs. By providing better care, you’ll feel the positive impact you’re making on others’ lives.

Meanwhile, per the ANA “Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation” campaign, there is a growing understanding that nurses may not be able to effectively provide care for someone else if their own well-being isn’t addressed. With this in mind, many institutions are creating infrastructure to support their nursing staff, whether it’s through meditation or yoga rooms, informative messaging, or by providing access to additional education. With education as one of the tools at your disposal, you’ll have the personal foundation needed to care for others more effectively.

2. Educational diversity builds stronger teams.

           When a health care team is composed of professionals with different levels of education, everyone benefits. Nurses who have more degrees and are further along in their careers can serve as role models to less-experienced staff members by passing along their acquired knowledge. This can be highly rewarding for the mentor as it means applying your skills and expertise, and inspiring others. By pursuing more education, you’ll be able to play a larger mentorship role to your colleagues.

3. More education helps you grow into your role as a leader.

           As a nurse, you supervise patient safety and are often the main point of contact for family members whose loved one is receiving care. You also are with your patients throughout their treatment and the observer of its efficacy.

Throughout your career as a nurse, you will assume various leadership roles. In addition to providing care, you’ll also participate in initiatives, serve on committees, and be part of research projects. Part of your growth as a leader will rely on your pursuit of higher degrees: with more education, you become qualified for increased responsibilities. As a leader, it’s vital that you are prepared to contribute in these areas at your institution.

Additional education can help grow your nursing career. It can also contribute to your sense of well-being as it may help you achieve better patient outcomes and assist you as you take on more responsibilities. By pursuing and achieving additional degrees, you’re fulfilling your role as a leader at your institution while also making a positive difference in others’ lives.

Learn more about Capella University’s online nursing degree programs. Find out if your employer partners with Capella to provide educational discounts and benefits.

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