Studies & Degrees in Nursing
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Nursing Study Programs
Nursing is both a science and an art. Nursing knowledge and the procedural aspects of skills is the scientific part while the foundation of a caring and positive relationship with the client as well as the client’s family through the application of knowledge, skills and attitudes in nursing is the art. It is a healthcare profession that is inclined on goal- and detail-oriented care of humans as an individual, a group such as the basic unit of society- the family, community or locality in accomplishing, preserving and improving the optimal well-being and purpose of life. It is the duty of the nurse to assess, plan, implement and evaluate the care of patients/clients individually independent and apart from any medical staff such as doctors; and gives fundamental triage care to aid in severe cases of trauma and surgery.
A nurse has many roles. He or she can be a researcher, a practitioner, an administrator, and a teacher; a nurse can also work in different settings such as in the home of clients, in a community, in hospitals, in nursing homes, in long-term care facilities, clinics, in industrial companies, as a clinical instructor in the classroom as well as in hotel and restaurant establishments just to name a few. It is in the scope of nursing to provide optimum care for humans in all stages of life and in all states of well-being whether normal or abnormal.
Before the existence of a nursing foundation, nursing-like services were being offered by nuns and the military. These roots are still very evident in how we address modern nursing today, for example in Britain the Senior Nurses are still called “sisters”. Florence Nightingale was the founder of nursing. She was responsible for the significant development in the recognition of nursing during the time of war, known as the Crimean War. It was her duty to better the conditions of the wounded soldiers. She was known as the Lady with the Lamp. It was on October 21, 1854 when she and 38 other volunteer nurses were sent to foresee the health conditions of the wounded soldiers at the main camp of Britain. She noticed the grave condition of the place with overworked medical staffs, shortages of medication supplies, neglect of the hygiene of patients and the spread of a mass infection which increased even in their aid. Nightingale observed that the lack of ventilation and the poor condition of the sewage system were two of the main contributors of the illness. She ordered the windows to be opened to allow enough ventilation and the sewage system to be flushed. Improvements were immediately observed in the health of the soldiers as well as in the sanitation of the camp. These were all accounted for in the book “Notes on Nursing”.
The country to first conform to nursing nationally was New Zealand through the adoption of the Nurses’ Registration Act on September 12, 1901. The first registered nurse was Ellen Dougherty. The Nursing Licensure Law was passed in the year 1903 by the state of North Carolina.
It is the target of nursing to maintain and improve the standards and competencies worldwide. The professional study of nursing involves extensive study of the theories and the practices as well as the training of skills in the various clinical and community areas nationwide and worldwide. A nurse needs to hold one or more credentials to work in the nursing profession depending on their chosen scope and type of practice and education. LPNs or Licensed Practical Nurse also known as Licensed Vocational Nurse, Registered Practical Nurse, Enrolled Nurse or State Enrolled Nurse is working under Registered Nurses. Registered Nurses are responsible in providing scientific, psychological, and hi-tech skills and knowledge in the care of individuals and their families in the health care settings.
Job positions for Nursing:
A health professional responsible for the implementation of the nursing practice through the application of the nursing process in coordination with other healthcare professionals is called a Registered Nurse. The job of a Registered Nurse is to become an advocate of the patient in the promotion of their recovery and health maintenance. The nursing process is comprised of the assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation also known as ADPIE. The training of a Registered Nurse is more intensive compared to the Licensed Practical Nurses.
In this world of economic crisis, the demand for nurses is still prevalent in areas such as the United Kingdom and the United State of America. For a Registered Nurse to lawfully practice in the United Kingdom, he or she needs to possess a valid registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The title “registered nurse” is only bestowed to those who hold the said registration as stated in the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act of 1997. In order to hold a valid registration, one is required to complete a degree or program which is widely offered in universities in the various specialties such as adult nursing, pediatric nursing, mental health nursing and psychiatric nursing. This leads to an academic recognition as well as a professional registration as a First Level Registered Nurse. As a student, time is allotted to 50% of learning in the university and the other 50% in practice in the hospital and community settings. The first year of these courses is known as the Common Foundation Program which includes the basic understanding and practice and the rest of the program is according to the chosen branch of the student.
The post-registration phase requires nurses to enhance their knowledge and skills through a 35-hour education at the end of the third year. Nurses can also enroll in trainings such as cannulations, venipunctures, Intravenous Drug Therapies, Male Catheterizations and Advanced Life Support among others. Nurses who possess a diploma study part-time in order to upgrade their qualifications into a degree. In England, it is more profitable to study in a specialist field because diploma student get complete compensation during the initial phase of their training. Nurses often need training above the bachelor’s degree level in order to become specialist nurses such as Masters Degrees or PhDs.
There are four major categories of nurses in the UK: the First Level Nurses, The Second Level Nurses, the Specialist Nurses, and the Managers.
The First Level Nurses are the major group of nurses in the UK. Beforehand, they were known as Registered General Nurses, Registered Sick Children’s Nurses, Registered Mental Nurses and/or Registered Nurse Learning Disabilities.
Second Level Nurses, although not anymore supplied are still officially permitted to practice as a nurse in the United Kingdom. Second Level Nurses at this time are either retired or have taken advanced courses to pursue a profession as a first level nurse.
The third category is the Specialist Nurses. There is a huge variety of specialist nurses being employed right now. They have undergone extra education and training as well as many years of experience. Specialist Nurses are divided into several major groups:
Nurse Practitioners: these practitioners are responsible for carrying out care at a higher practice rank.
Specialist Community Public Health Nurses: this group includes the district nurses, health visitors, school nurses and occupational health nurses.
Clinical Nurse Specialists: these nurses are the teachers of the staff nurses who are under their department, they are leaders who provide clinical and relevant information as well as advanced nursing skills.
Nurse consultants: this division is more or less similar to that of a clinical nurse specialist but slightly more advanced. They are in charged with educating and training of their department’s staff with the addition of active study and publication activities.
Lecturer-practitioners – they work twice or thrice in a week at both the NHS and universities. Their job in the university is to teach and prepare pre-registration nurses, and oftentimes train special courses for post-registrations nurses and post-degree critical nursing.
Lecturers: they work in the universities on a full-time basis, doing research and at the same time teaching.
The fourth major category is the Managers. These practitioners have chosen to join the NHS management in the advent of filling positions in the senior management structure.
Public Health Nurse
A special form of nursing that joins nursing and the principles of public health are called Public Health Nursing. Public health nursing seeks to improve the health of the population as a whole instead of focusing on merely an individual or the family. This is called a type of Community Health Nursing.
It was during the year 1859 in England where the roots of Public Health Nursing can be traced. Also known as the founder of nursing, Florence Nightingale together with her assistant volunteer nurses, braved the Crimean War to solve the existing problem of the wounded soldiers in the British camp. Each of the volunteer nurses was assigned in a particular geographic area and their task was to oversee the health of the people living in the vicinity. This is why public nursing today is devoting is services to a particular community.
The role of a Public Health Nurse is to prevent primarily diseases, illnesses, injuries, disability and any type of untimely death such as in newborns or fetuses. Public Health nurses functions in a team composed of other health professionals such as doctors or physicians, health specialists of the environment, dieticians or nutritionists, health educators or teachers, epidemiologist and others. All the members of this group work together with their assigned area’s officials as well as residents to come up with the best solutions to the existing health problems and at the same time educating them with preventing measures to avoid any type of disease or illness that is common to such area. Altogether they plan for the betterment of their locality.
Public Health Nurse also assists in improving the health status of individuals and families. This is done in the form of structured health teachings that focus primarily on proper healthy lifestyle changes in various settings such as the home, the office and the community. They also advise individuals to avoid health practices that are known to be dangerous to health such as smoking, drinking alcohol, improper dieting, sedentary lifestyles, and unsafe practices sexually and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The communities as well as the environment are acknowledged by Public Health Nurses as the major spots that contribute to how people decide on how to live which greatly affects the choices in lifestyle. Thus, public health nursing is spending a considerable portion in making sure that the community is maintaining a healthy way of living. Some of the activities that are commonly happening in any type of community are tackling the issues on decreasing the selling of tobacco smoke to under-aged teenagers, the fluoridation of potable water, eradicating the hazards in the workplace, immunization of children, reducing the occurrences of drowning.
PHNs can also be found in schools and in the workplace. PHNs who assist workers while on duty are called Occupational Health Nurses. General Practice Nurses are those who work in the local government offices. The community interventions of the public health nurses in department health settings are not well-defined and their job is primarily located in the home and clinic. Their primary role is focused on the concerns of illnesses of both mother and child. They also do follow-up health visits on rare and dangerous cases such as lead poisoning and SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. Funding for public health nursing is based on the fragmented budget of the local government from states and federal sources for particular problems.