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Experience vs. Education: a Nurse's Perspective

In: Other Topics

Submitted By jessicamaclean
Words 1127
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Initially, when I graduated from my nursing program with an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science in Nursing, I thought I had reached the pinnacle of my formal education. After all, the rest was ‘on the job’ training. The opinion I held of Bachelor degree nurses was, quite frankly, that they were more educated in research and theory than they were in actual patient care. In my eyes, only nurses who wanted to pursue administrative roles were interested in furthering their degree. Pursing a greater nursing experience, I sought out any and all continuing education opportunities in my respective field. I completed short courses pertaining to critical care and hemodynamics, attended seminars and presentations, and acquired any certifications I was able. This served me well for several years. As my career progressed, I came to realize the irony of my prior sentiment. Ever more appreciative of the nursing process and affected by changes in modern medicine, I found myself looking for ways to improve the environment in which I devoted so much time and energy. In the pursuit of improving my department’s methods and practice, for both patient satisfaction and financial efficiency, I accepted my first leadership position in the cardiac catheterization lab. The rest, as they say, is history. A new passion was formed, and the love of contributing to continuous process improvement was born. Suddenly, I needed the formal education and degree I had previously rebuffed. So here I stand, humbled, at the beginning of a new journey.

As the culture of American medicine rapidly evolves, so does the need for adaptation from the nursing field. It has always been important to be competent in the theories and application of patient care. Any good nurse should appreciate the importance of continuing education to stay on top of current medical trends as well as scientific and technological...

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