Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Lifelong Learning and Academic Progression

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Lifelong Learning and Academic Progression

Article excerpt

As the voice for nursing education, the NLN has, since its inception, represented all types of nursing education programs, from licensed practical/vocational nursing programs to now, doctoral programs. That is one of the primary reasons I decided to join this organization in the early 1980s.

As a practicing baccalaureate-prepared nurse in rural health at the time, I worked side by side with LPN/LVN, diploma, associate degree, and advanced practice nurses, including a nurse practitioner, a clinical nurse specialist, a nurse midwife, and a certified nurse anesthetist. I was able to see firsthand the impact that each of us had on providing high quality, safe patient care based on our individual scopes of practice.

Since then, the health care system has become ever changing and more complex. The level of knowledge required to reason clinically, leading to safe decisionmaking, has increased. With the Affordable Care Act in place, opportunities for all types of nurses, particularly advanced practice nurses, are expanding, with a focus on prevention and chronic care.

Nurses play a major role in interprofessional, collaborative practice and the coordination of care. And more doctorally prepared nurse educators are needed to prepare the future nursing workforce. While the League has always been a champion for multiple entryways into nursing practice, we also support lifelong learning as a means for meeting our mission: "to promote excellence in nursing education to build a strong and diverse workforce to advance the health of the nation and global community." The 2011 Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, offers two recommendations with particular salience for the NLN:

* Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.

* Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression. …

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