Essay: Entry Level Practice

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¶ … health care professions entry level to practice is. Does the entry level of practice into nursing differ? If so, how?

Having high 'barriers to entry' to professional medical practice has always been a critical aspect of ensuring quality patient care. A doctor must gain specialized medical knowledge and complete a residency in a diverse range of specialties; a psychologist must be licensed; even an EMT must go through a rigorous certification process. The certification and/or licensing involved in nursing can be confusing for laypersons to understand, however, because of the different levels of professional qualifications. Nurses can possess everything from doctorates to function as LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses) and nursing assistants.

What are the historical positions as well as the current positions held by the American Nurses Association and the National League of Nursing?

According to the ANA document entitled "School nursing: Scope of practice," ever since the birth of nursing as a specialized field of medical practice, professional associations have always tried to establish specific standards for nursing education. Both the American Nurses Association and the National League of Nursing currently define the scope, intention, and also certain specifications of different forms of nursing education, regardless of the institution where the education is obtained ("School Nursing: Scope of Practice," 2005, ANA). Some of these standards are technical, such as those which pertain to patient and nurse safety, while others are specific to nursing philosophy, such as the need for caring in the field of nursing.

Do you feel that nursing will be able to increase its power base if it does not change its entry level to practice to a level similar to other health care professions? Why or why not?

Increased professionalization, the kind that can only be conveyed through a graduate degree, seems essential for nurses, as healthcare grows more technologically sophisticated. Furthermore, as individuals without specialized training are more and more apt to be present in hospital environments dispensing care, it is all the more essential that nurses establish their identities as unique caregivers with a particular field of training and body of specialized knowledge.

What do you think about NJ's BSN in 10 initiative? What would be your position if your state took such an initiative? There are nursing groups in NJ who feel that the BSN issue needs to be addressed legislatively. Hence, the Vitale S-620 bill. Other groups feel that nursing should oversee its own issues and not take the legislative route. These two viewpoints are causing divisiveness among groups. Your thoughts on this issue?

Medical actions by untrained caregivers can have severe… [END OF PREVIEW]

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