Nursing Education & Licensing in view of Carnegie Foundation Report

As far as licensing of a CNA is concerned only nursing aide involved in performing their duty in a nursing care providing facility is entitled for getting their license.

As specified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to be eligible for getting the license, a nurse has to first complete CNA training of 75 to 100 hours depending on the state administered specifications, in a class room of a state approved training school or online state approved training school facility and practical clinical training in a hospital setting.

The completion of these trainings makes one eligible to appear in a written test and practical clinical experience test administered by the State Health Board. The candidates who pass both the written and practical test are registered as Certified Nursing Assistant, who works under a Registered Nurse.

Only a Registered Nurse after participating in online accelerated education and achieving associate’s degree are entitled to get a license.

Carnegie Foundation’s Views on ”Educating Nurses:

There is a demand expressed by Carnegie Foundation to make drastic changes in respect of nursing Education, because the presently followed system is out of date and is due for it’s overhaul for creating better education system and modifications in licensing conditions to bring in improvements in the functioning of Nursing Care.

Effectively & Efficiently Combating Shortage Scenario:

The Carnegie Foundation report is based on research carried out involving nursing schools, nursing students and teaching staff survey, with the participation of National League of Nursing, American Association of Colleges of nursing National Student Nurses Association. The said study has surfaced at a time, when the country needs large number of highly educated nurses, in view of the projected shortfall, and practical need of almost 90 % enhancement to the tune of 90 % of nursing school capacities for training nurses.

Practically the nursing schools at present reject very high number of applicants to their courses, which has reached an alarming state rejecting six times more applicant in comparison with the situation prevalent in 2002. The problem is due to deficit of nursing faculty numbers available.

The basic reason is that the Bachelor or master’s level of education to nurses, fail to make the nurses learn how to teach their profession. Very few who opt for teaching learning at the end to prefer to practice instead of adopting teaching profession?

Another reason for faculty shortage is that Nurses with bachelor degree do not go to nursing school for teaching. Many of the nurses are lacking in adequate education necessary to act as a faculty at the nursing school.

The nurses actually are good in for offering clinical training, but because of their inadequacy of knowledge in respect of nursing science, technology, humanities natural and social science, because they received their education which had lower standards. As a result the nurses find it difficult to have the understanding and are not in a position to provide their service at a higher level.

Provision for High Standard Education:

The study finds that the solution to the problem can be managed by abolishing associate level nursing degree.  According to the study the associate level programs lack in reliability resulting into blockage of further career options for these nursing graduates. Such nurses lack in the ability to practice.

Although the programs are of 2 years, but one spends at least three years for completion to take place. Some of the students spend up to 4 to 5 years due to exhaustive list of pre-requisites to be completed and some times they suffer because the capacity of the school becomes full. With the same duration a student can easily achieve a baccalaureate degree, which shall be a better option to them because they achieve their graduation as well as are well prepared to get graduate education as well as for advancing their practice.

The study put forward it’s recommendation that a Bachelor’s degree be the minimum qualification to get a nursing license. In addition the study feels that a nurse with baccalaureate should within a period of 10 years finish with master’s degree.

The contention of the report is that the recommendations made shall help by improvement in nurses’ higher level of education and building in them capability of teaching training by accessing master- and doctoral-level nursing education and respective degrees. Thus the new system shall help in solving academic difficulties, which in turn shall give impetus to find more number of faculty and graduates shall help in fulfilling the nursing shortage targets.

Opposing the Overhaul of Education System:

There is opposition to such a policy by community institutes offering their programs with their plea that the 2 year degree is more suitable for older persons with their families to support, who are in the look out to get a quick entry in the career. They state that the students, who spend more time, are the ones, who are simultaneously working at some other job, while studying in the school and their need is flexibility in timing and less course content. Due attention is given to the safety standards to be followed by the student, while on the job.

Other Related Suggestions Made:

The other profession related suggestions for making improvement in the education system are as given below:

Integrating Classroom learning with clinical practice:

Most of nursing curriculum is classification oriented or based on purely theoretical. The Nursing schools shall be in a position to make improvement in students’ grasping the vital concepts through proper guidance to them by practical use of their learning. The study states that such integration shall focus on improvement by introducing learning of new concepts related to role of diagnostics in actual clinical setting.

Broad Based Students’ mode of thinking:

There is stress of developing critical thinking instead of imagination in the light of scientific reasoning supported by creative participation. Such processes of thinking possessed by teachers, shall impart their abilities to the students in an effective manner.

The report appreciated the presence of ethics in American Nursing courses and the presence of clinical experience in nursing education, but the nursing schools need to integrate clinical experience in the class room education.

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