Advancing to the Baccalaureate-Degree Level

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Advancing to the Baccalaureate-Degree Level
Lori Smith
Grand Canyon University: NRS-430V Professional Dynamics
25 November 2012

The essence of nursing has not changed since the days of Florence Nightengale. The practice itself still includes health promotion, disease prevention and compassion for the dying process as outlined in the Grand Canyon University College of Nursing Philosophy. However, nursing education has changed focus and evolved to become a life-long experience, incorporating more scholarly inquiry and research according to (Creasia, 2007). Numerous studies have shown differences in competencies between nurses educated at the associate-degree level and the baccalaureate-degree level. Advantages to a more highly educated nurse work force include decrease in mortality rates, fewer adverse outcomes for patients and advancement in the nation’s health as a whole. You will find that access to baccalaureate-degree education is more easily accessible and highly encouraged by nursing organizations. Recently in the ER, I cared for a patient that had to be intubated and placed on a ventilator. I was precepting a new RN who had just completed her associate’s degree. As we were finishing our care of the patient, I noticed she had the head of the bed laid flat. I informed her of a study that I read regarding VAP (ventilator associated pneumonia) in preparation for a course in my bachelor degree studies. One of the ways to prevent VAP was to elevate the head of the bed thirty degrees to prevent fluid pooling at the back of the mouth. Another preventative action was frequent oral care. In a recent issue of Medical Care, researchers found that surgical patients in Magnet hospitals has 14 % lower odds of inpatient death within 30 days and 12% lower odds of failure-to-rescue compared with patients cared for in non-Magnet hospitals. The study authors conclude that these better outcomes were attributed in large part to investments in highly qualified and educated...
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