NRS 440 Refection Paper

NRS 440 Refection Paper

NRS 440 Refection Paper

Nursing is one of the professions that are highly competitive in the modern American society. Nurses play critical roles in the American healthcare system to promote the health of the public. Effective nursing education is important to ensure that the health of the public is promoted. Therefore, this essay examines the prospects of a bachelor’s level prepared nurse. It examines the options in job market for nurses, importance of continuous nursing education and if it should be mandatory or not.

I like that you mentioned continuing education activities such as conferences. Does your field of nursing have certain conferences? Critical care has a conference called NTI once a year in different cities. NTI includes special critical care educational classes or “motivational keynotes” about new and up and coming skills and new equipment (American Association of Critical Care Nurses [AACN], 2023). Then there are markets (so to speak) where items can be purchased to be brought back and introduced into practice in the workplace. The other positive of attending educational conferences is the opportunity for networking and “inspiration” to renew the love for nursing (American Association of Critical Care Nurses [AACN], 2023). In this difficult time in nursing, it is important that nurses remember why they became a nurse and why they choose to stay in the profession. Our patients need to feel like their nurse cares and wants to make a difference and increasing education can help!

My Options in Job Market based on my Educational Level

My options in the job market as a nurse trained at the degree level are broad. Accordingly, nurses prepared at the bachelor’s level can work in a wide range of settings based on the knowledge and skills that they possess. A nurse prepared at the bachelor’s level has extensive knowledge, skills, and experience in working with patients from diverse backgrounds. The knowledge and skills in different areas of practice enables them to work in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, communities, and physician officers. I can also work in special units such as intensive care, oncology departments, cardiac and maternity wards. Nurses prepared at the bachelor’s level can also undertake administrative roles in their organizations. The administrative roles that I can play as a bachelor’s level prepared nurse including being the nurse manager of a department and lead organizations in implementing quality improvement initiatives. I can also work in non-clinical settings such as in insurance companies and government organizations by influencing the decisions that affect nursing practice (Altman et al., 2016).

Professional Certification and Advanced Degrees that I want to Pursue

The IOM report recommended that nurses should strive to achieve higher levels of training and education to facilitate their academic progression. Based on this recommendation by the IOM, I would like to advance my level of education and certification after completing the BSN program. I have huge interest on furthering my knowledge and skills on critical care nursing. As a result, I intend to pursue a master’s degree in nursing with a specialization in acute care nursing. I would also like to pursue my nursing education to the highest level of PhD in nursing. I am interested in attaining the above educational goals because they will contribute to my professional and personal development. Advancing my education will also strengthen the knowledge and skills that I have in addressing the needs of the patients in my specialization as well as those of nurses. Advancing my education will also broaden my understanding of other aspects of nursing such as research and policy-related issues. The advance in education will equip me with the knowledge and skills that I need in facilitating evidence-based practice in nursing and influencing policies that relate to nursing and healthcare (Liaw et al., 2017). I intend to pursue my masters in acute care nursing within five years of graduating from the BSN program and five years after the master’s program for the PhD in nursing.

Effect of Advancing my Level of Education on my Competitiveness

Increasing the level of education will influence my competitiveness in the current job market and my role in the future of nursing in a

NRS 440 Refection Paper
NRS 440 Refection Paper

number of ways. Firstly, increasing the level of education will prepare me to address the emerging needs in healthcare. This is attributed to the advanced knowledge and skills that I will obtain on solving issues affecting the diverse populations globally. As a result, organizations prefer to employ highly educated nurses to enable them to achieve their desired competitiveness in their markets. Increasing my level of education will also expand the specialized roles that I play as a registered nurse. Accordingly, nurses with advanced level of education have in-depth understanding of addressing the needs of the populations of focus in their training. Unlike the BSN nurses, highly trained and educated nurses provide organizations with the specialized knowledge and skills that they need in bridging the skills gap in their markets. For example, nurse practitioners are highly competitive than the BSN nurses since they assist in addressing the barriers to care in health due to issues including shortage of physicians in the state (Davis et al., 2019). Lastly, increasing my level of education will influence my future roles in nursing. For example, I will play extensive roles in other areas of nursing such as research, leadership, and policymaking in healthcare, hence, the need for advancing education.

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Relationship of Continuing Nursing Education to Competency, Attitudes, Knowledge and ANA Scope and Standards for Practice and Code of Ethics

Continuing nursing education contributes to improved competency among nurses. Nurses obtain advanced knowledge and skills that relate to their areas of specialization. The implication is that nurses can provide high quality, safe, and efficient care that addresses the needs of the populations that they serve. Continuing education also improves the attitude of the nurses. Nurses acquire the opportunities to expand their understanding of the issues that affect their practice and patient care. They also interact with other professionals, which increase their understanding of the influence of factors such as culture on healthcare. Through it, nurses develop competencies such as cultural competencies that are needed in care, hence, transforming their attitude towards caring patients from different backgrounds and working in multidisciplinary teams. Continuing nursing education also ensures that nurses abide with the provisions of ANA on scope and standards for practice ad code of ethics for nurses. Accordingly, ANA recognizes that nurses should engage in continuous learning opportunities to promote professionalism in their practice. Continuous nursing education enhances the practice, education, and the health of the public through the provision of care that meets the actual and potential needs of the public (Chan et al., 2020). Therefore, through continuous nursing education, one develops the needed competence in promoting public health and scope and standards of practice as well as code of ethics as stated by the ANA.

Whether Continuing Education should be Mandatory

Continuing nursing education should be mandatory. Continuing nursing education is the only way in which public health can be safeguarded. It ensures that nurses have the advanced knowledge and skills to address the actual and potential needs of the diverse populations. Continuing nursing education also exposes nurses to diverse practice contexts, which influences their practice. Continuing nursing education also contributes positively to the nursing profession. Accordingly, it makes nurses play a pivotal role in driving the US’s healthcare system. For example, through continuing nursing education, nurses will play critical roles in influencing the decisions that are made in relation to healthcare. Lastly, continuing nursing education should be mandatory to contribute to the use of best practices in nursing (Rouleau et al., 2017). For instance, nurses will learn about efficient practices that can be used to ensure value-based care for the patients in their practice.


Overall, nurses prepared at bachelor’s level have extensive opportunities in the current job market. Increasing educational level contributes to competitiveness for nurses. Continuing nursing education is important, as it contributes to competency development, professional progression, and nurses abiding with the provisions of the ANA. Therefore, continuous nursing education should be mandatory in the US.


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Liaw, S. Y., Wu, L. T., Chow, Y. L., Lim, S., & Tan, K. K. (2017). Career choice and perceptions of nursing among healthcare students in higher educational institutions. Nurse Education Today, 52, 66–72.

Rouleau, G., Gagnon, M.-P., Côté, J., Payne-Gagnon, J., Hudson, E., Bouix-Picasso, J., & Dubois, C.-A. (2017). Effects of e-learning in a continuing education context on nursing care: A review of systematic qualitative, quantitative and mixed studies reviews (protocol). BMJ Open, 7(10), e018441.

Nursing education is a fundamental part of attaining better outcomes, expanding access to care, and preparing nurses for increased care demand and diversity from patients. The National Academies of Medicine, Science, and Engineering’s report, “The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity explores how nurses can work with other stakeholders to reduce health disparities and promote equity while managing costs. The report notes that the decade ahead will test the country’s over 4 million nurses in novel and complex ways. The report observes that nurse live and work based on the intersection of health, education, and communities (Needleman, 2021). Therefore, they must attain more education to prepare them for the complex and challenging nursing environment ahead. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the importance of nursing education based on this report. The reflection paper also provides personal perspectives on the issues under discussion.

Options in the Job Market

Registered nurses with an associate degree have diverse opportunities and options in the job market based on their level of education. As associate degree holders, they can work in a variety of settings that include working with children, women and men as well as adolescents and geriatrics. The associate degree prepares one to offer high quality care and have job security (Maughan & Bergren, 2021). Associate degree nurses (ADN) can work in hospitals, home healthcare services, nursing care facilities and physician offices as well as colleges and universities. They can also work in professional schools and outpatient centers. Their job description includes patient assessment, diagnosis and treatment, provision of health education, patient care at the bedside, operating medical equipment and administration of medications to patients. They also collaborate with other providers and practitioners to deliver care. Therefore, my options in the job market are broad and I can work in a host of settings to offer patient care.

Professional Certification and Advanced Degrees’ Attainment

The report of the National Academies of Engineering, Medicine, and Science asserts that strengthening nursing education is a core aspect of improving quality care, addressing health disparities and meeting patient needs. Nursing education should be improved to prepare nurses to identify and act on the complicated social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health and well-being (Maughan & Bergren, 2021). The report observes that the education should offer students with diverse, substantive, and sustained community-oriented experience. The implication is that nursing education should prepare nurses to address social determinants of health and attain health equity.

Based on these recommendations I plan to pursue certification and advanced degrees to prepare me to meet the diverse and increasing patient needs. I plan to pursue professional certification to make me an all-round and competent nurse practitioner who promotes quality care and address the social determinants of health as well as health equity. These areas include being competent in culturally-sensitive care, community health education and mobilization areas to sensitize the public on the importance of primary care.

I want to specialize as a nurse practitioner and deal with different types of patients across the age and care continuum with the aim of addressing social issues affecting care delivery. Attaining certification in oncology nursing is an essential part of this plan as it will allow me to acquire skills to deal with terminally-ill patients and offer comfort to them at the time that they require. The rise of emerging diseases and increased prevalence of terminal conditions like cancer and hypertension among others due an aging population implores nurses to be well-prepared to meet the challenges and tackle them for the benefit of the health population.

I plan to pursue a Master’s degree in nursing (Master of Science in Nursing, MSN) within the next three years upon my completion of this bachelor degree (Bachelor of Science in Nursing, BSN). I want to specialize nursing practice as an NP with interest in family so that I can offer care across age and care continuum to diverse patients. My interest in nursing practice as a leader would be through the attainment of the Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP). This terminal degree will give me a chance to lead teams and provide leadership for nurses in my organization and increase care delivery to patients and the public.

Effect of Increasing my Level of Education

As posited, advanced education prepares nurses for additional roles because of their knowledge, skills, experiences and expertise (Maughan & Bergren, 2021). The current job market requires nurses with advanced education because they have skills and abilities to offer care and integrate innovative care models while also having improved insight on issues affecting health populations. Therefore, increasing my level of education will enhance my competitiveness in the present job market as it will mean that I will expand my scope of practice.

An advanced education will ensure that I have more skills, can apply research evidence and deploy technologies based on effective understanding of health issues and their effects on patients and nursing profession. Therefore, an advanced education will open up new opportunities and possibilities for me to provide health to diverse patient populations (Wakefield et al., 2021). My role in the future of nursing is to project the profession as an integral part of the healthcare delivery system and demonstrate the critical part that nurses play in quality care delivery. As observed, I will ensure that nurses focus on lifelong learning to enhance their skills so that they can attain better performance in their settings.

Relationship Between Continuing Nursing Education & Competency, Attitudes, Knowledge and ANA Scope and Standards for Practice & Code of Ethics

Continuing nursing education has a positive relationship with a nurse’s competency level, their attitudes to patient care and the nursing profession, knowledge and ability to comprehend the scope and standard for practice as well as code of ethics. Nurses enhance their competency through nursing education as they acquire additional skills, expertise, and approaches through research evidence. Continuing nursing education prepares nurses to understand health issues within their communities and care settings which is essential in improving their attitudes to patients. Through education, they enhance their competency by acquiring cultural diversity training, having positive attitudes to patients from diverse sociocultural backgrounds and attainment of more knowledge to deploy a host of interventions (Maughan & Bergren, 2021). The implementation of innovative care delivery models like the value-based care and evidence-based practice (EBP) as well as the identification of social determinants of health all require lifelong education and learning among nurses.

The American Nurses Association’s scope and standards for practice are essential as they set professional conduct and performance of nurses. The ANA code of ethics also implores nurses to observe ethical values and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Therefore, all these aspects are enhanced by an effective and advanced education that prepares nurses to adhere to all the mandates and professional mannerisms to improve the image of the nursing profession. continuing education is critical to improving these aspects, especially as it allows nurses to practice to full extent of their education and training in states where there is full practice authority.

Continuing Nursing Education

Education, at any level, should not be compulsory. This means that nurses should not be compelled to attain certain higher levels of education against their personal wish, desire, and financial capabilities. However, attaining the bare minimum for nurses is not sufficient to prepare one for the dynamic and changing nature of the health care industry and delivery system (Smith et al., 2021). Nurses are professionals and should be encouraged to pursue higher or advanced education so that they are well prepared to meet patient needs and also better positioned to assume more roles, including leadership roles, in the future.


Nursing education is a core part of enhancing patient safety, and guaranteeing quality care. As demonstrated in this reflection paper, I plan to pursue further certifications and higher degrees to strategically position myself for the job market and have the ability to transform care provision. The reflection paper is categorical that advanced nursing education is a critical path to reducing health disparities among populations.









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school nursing. NASN School Nurse, 36(5), 248-251. DOI: 10.1177/1942602X211034915

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care on equity and discrimination. Nursing Economics, 39(4), 196-199.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.nurpra.2021.05.026

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            Charting a path to achieve health equity. National Academy of Sciences.

Nursing education is essential for ensuring that nurses are equipped with the necessary competencies and capabilities to provide effective patient care. In addition to improving their critical thinking, leadership, communication and other skills, nursing students learn about the implication and application of these abilities within the broader context of nursing practice. This prepares them to make informed decisions when delivering patient care in diverse settings. Furthermore, a career in nursing offers various avenues of professional growth and development based on clinical practice, research, teaching as well as administration roles. Thus, nurses have incredible opportunities to customize their careers according to their interests and professional goals while ensuring they continue developing the knowledge and expertise required for safe and worthwhile patient outcomes. The purpose of this assignment is to examine the importance of nursing education and the overall educational goals.

Options in the Job Market Based on the Educational Level

With an MSN degree, I am exposed to an expansive array of job opportunities that can include clinical and non-clinical settings. As a nurse practitioner, a nurse anesthetist, a clinical nurse specialist, or a nurse midwife, I have the ability to provide direct patient care and lead management initiatives as part of healthcare teams of various sizes. These roles make clear implication to nursing practice and come with immense significance in the professional field. My master’s education allows me to explore such alternatives at my own discretion and build my experience from there.

As an MSN-educated nurse, I also have the ability to effectively serve in several leadership roles. In particular, I can work as a nurse manager, director of nursing, or chief nursing officer to create and enforce policies, and also lead health care teams in producing positive outcomes within the healthcare system. Alternatively, I can choose to pursue a career as a nurse educator, imparting my knowledge and expertise to upcoming nurses through lectures and hands-on learning. This inclusion of new strategies in patient care reinforces my implication to nursing practice as well as expanding the wisdom base from which future nurses receive their training. On top of these two choices, there is also room for me to work as a nurse researcher whose research leads to an increased understanding of medical conditions, further advancing our healthcare knowledge base.

Overall, MSN degree can significantly extend career prospects for nurses, providing deeper knowledge and skills that can be put directly into practice. It allows them to set themselves apart in their chosen area of nursing and pursue new opportunities, empowering them to take on greater responsibilities and make a real impact on the advancement of healthcare services (Bakken & Dreisbach, 2022). With an MSN degree, nurses are able to specialize, soar in leadership roles, and contribute at a far higher level. Overall, this advanced learning experience makes an important implication to the profession and creates exciting possibilities for those who embark on it.

Anticipated Professional Certification or Advanced Degrees

The Future of Nursing 2020-2030 report outlines critical strategies to raise the level of educational attainment in nursing. These strategies, such as increasing funding for nursing education, providing pathways for nurses to further their knowledge and training, and fostering a culture of lifelong learning amongst practitioners, are instrumental in ensuring quality care from nurses at all stages of their career. By investing in nurses’ own personal development and continuing education, not only will patients benefit from higher quality services but also the implication to nursing practice will be significant. As such, it is essential that these recommendations are acted upon rapidly and effectively.

As an individual with a vested interest in advanced practice nursing, I want to pursue a higher degree in advanced practice nursing (MSN) to acquire the pertinent knowledge that will give me the technical abilities and skills to improve the healthcare delivery process (Gorski et al., 2021). Additionally, I can gain expertise in research projects related to compliance of high standards of practice. Generally, achieving this goal would take two years of studying including classwork and practicum activities. This implication to nursing practice through my MSN degree could be very influential, as I strive for enhancing patient care outcomes in collaborative settings throughout my career.

How Increasing my Level of Education Would Affect Competitiveness in

Current Job Market and Role in Future of Nursing

Pursuing a master’s degree would significantly enhance my professional pedigree, granting valuable exposure to groundbreaking developments in health care and their implication to nursing practice. Consequently, this could bolster my market prospects and enable a higher level of complexity within my remit as a nurse, including innovative laboratory research or administrative leadership (Wakefield et al., 2021). With the right investment of time and effort, transitioning to advanced education will greatly expand my opportunities for desirable career placements far into the future.

Pursuing an MSN degree has the implication of providing me with a competitive edge in the healthcare industry, as I will have the skills, knowledge and expertise necessary to handle more specialized and higher-paying roles. With such an advanced degree, I could strive for positions of increased responsibility and leadership within healthcare organizations, allowing me to contribute more significantly towards nurturing the development of nursing practice (Llop-Gironés et al., 2021). As the complexities of providing healthcare services continue to rise, graduates with advanced degrees like an MSN will be well-placed to tackle challenges head-on and consequently help elevate patient outcomes.

The Relationship of Continuing Nursing Education to Competency, Attitudes, Knowledge, And the ANA Scope And Standards for Practice and Code of Ethics

Continuing education for nurses is an essential aspect of practice for promoting competency and knowledge. In order to maintain standards, attitudes, values and ethics in nursing practice, continuing education courses provide the resources and insight necessary to further develop a nurse’s outlook and skill set. Nurses are held accountable to the American Nurses Association’s Scope and Standards for Practice and Code of Ethics, which seek to align the attitude of all healthcare practitioners towards patient-centric care (Bastable, 2021). Continuing education helps nurses stay abreast of changes in medical technology, look for implication of new practices in nursing care, as well as gain a more holistic approach towards nursing practice. As such, continuing education is vital to achieve competency and sustain essential principles within nursing practice at both professional and personal levels.

Whether Continuing Nursing Education Should Be Mandatory

Continuing nursing education is an important aspect of the profession and should be mandatory with clear implication to nursing practice. Nurses need to keep abreast of the changes in healthcare, maintaining awareness of research-based approaches to treatment and developing new skills than can be put into use in their current scope of practice (Mlambo et al., 2021). Not only does continuing education aid them in being better informed for patient care, it also boosts confidence in one’s own capabilities as a healthcare professional. By requiring nurses to devote time to educational activities, quality of care can only increase while allowing nurses to progress their career through development opportunities. In particular, staying informed on universal precautions will have direct implication to patient safety and choose the right empirical antibiotics that are most appropriate for certain bacterial species which will reduces the risks of treatment failure or even worse, increases resistance due poor antibiotic selection against certain infection. Thus, mandatory continued nursing education is essential in raising overall health standards throughout the industry.


Pursuing a master’s degree in nursing is increasingly important for developing the necessary competencies and capabilities to provide effective patient care. This advanced degree can significantly enhance a professional’s pedigree, providing the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge advances in health care and their implication to nursing practice. With this knowledge, nurses are better prepared with the skillset to develop efficient and quality treatment plans, as well as being able to apply evidence-based practices and policies into daily activities. Acquiring a master’s level education provides an excellent platform for achieving success in today’s ever-changing healthcare environment.









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