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Development in Nursing Practice through Education

Introduction

The current healthcare environment is dynamic and undergoing massive reforms and developments. In order to address the complex patient needs effectively, nurses require requisite competencies in various fields, including psychology, leadership, research, teamwork, collaboration, health policy, cultural education, and evidence-based practice amongst others. Fundamentally, nursing education prepares professionals to enter the uncertain, complex, and constantly evolving workforce and maintain excellent performance. In addition to equipping nurses with vital skills, academic progression instills in these professionals values, such as integrity, flexibility, critical thinking, and empathy (Masters, 2013). These are instrumental in enhancing and sustaining high level efficiency at all times. This paper provides an insightful reflection regarding my personal development in nursing practice through education.

With respect to the role of cultural competence, it is worth appreciating that globalization is leading to emergence and expansion of diverse communities. Nursing education has enabled me to understand and acknowledge the special health needs of diverse segments of our populations. In particular, I know the influence of culture on the behavior of patients from different backgrounds. This knowledge informs critical and creative thinking during the design and implementation of culturally competent healthcare programs. The understanding that a wide range of health care problems relate to lifestyle choices and social issues helps in formulation of workable solutions to these concerns. Through interaction with the population during community based initiatives, I am able to customize intervention measures and ensure that they address specific health problems, including substance abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and family abuse.

Education has enabled me to be aware of my professional roles and responsibilities. Through internship programs, I have assumed the role of an advocate and on different occasions championed for the needs of the less fortunate in the society. Besides enabling them to access quality healthcare, my efforts have helped them benefit from various resources that the government provides. As a teacher, I educate these groups about their rights and privileges and advocate for the nursing profession in learning institutions in order to increase enrollment. I undertake research on various health issues that the current society faces. Findings are vital for ensuring objective decision making, especially with respect to formulating effective and sustainable solutions (Nelson, 2014). Further, I monitor the changes within the healthcare system in a bid to ensure that projects meet fundamental goals and objectives. Besides making constructive criticism, I give my contributions pertaining to practical measures that can be undertaken to ensure successful implementation and enforcement of the projects. As a health professional, I assist other health practitioners, clinicians, and mid wives during the execution of their duties (Nelson, 2014). My contributions in these settings contribute to provision of quality healthcare.

Equally imperative to effective nursing practice is the establishment and sustenance of strong relationships. Nursing education has enabled me to acknowledge the importance of strong relationships at all levels. This is achieved through effective communication with patients and collaboration with other health professionals. In order to satisfy patient needs, it is important for nursing professionals to understand the specific needs of patients. In his research, Dinkins (2011) posits that empathy enables nurses to appreciate the needs of patients. Perception of these patient requirements from their point of view enhances adoption of effective intervention measures. In addition, it strengthens relationships between patients as well as amongst health professionals.

Unlike previously, I have developed great interest in preventing diseases and promoting health. In his research, Nelson (2014) asserts that healthy communities are productive and enhance societal functioning in different ways. The courses have empowered me with relevant skills to draw valid inferences pertaining to the health statuses of patient populations. Using practical approaches, such as counseling and teaching, I am now well positioned to preserve and promote health by encouraging patients to assume healthy lifestyles. Through establishment of viable relationships, I am able to garner numerous resources. These empower the client community and help them to attain and maintain maximal wellness. Although I undertake these initiatives on a low scale, they influence legislative, regulatory, and public policy in different ways. Most importantly, they motivate various stakeholders to contribute to promotion and preservation of healthy and productive populations.

I appreciate the central role that ethical functioning plays in nursing practice. Masters (2013) indicates that with the current expanding health technologies, it is important for nurses and other health professionals to exercise ethics at all times. In addition to providing counselling about ethical issues to patients, I value ethical functioning because of the recognition that my decisions affect patients and communities by influencing their decisions in different ways. Through nursing education, I am knowledgeable about my personal beliefs, values, and core principles. Various experiences have given me a chance to evaluate the implications of my values to decision making and professional practice. Besides respecting patient decisions, moral education has taught me the importance of maintaining confidentiality at all times. On several occasions during my internship programs, I was able to analyze the differences between individual and organizational values. In most instances, differing perspectives and interests of health professionals and their institutions compromise effective performance (Masters 2013). During such incidences, I was able to appreciate conflicting points of view regarding various issues and reconcile the same accordingly. Most importantly, it taught me the value of critical decision making.

Finally, nursing education has given me a chance to understand the complex and intricate nature of the health care delivery system. Currently, I know the organization of varied healthcare delivery systems including population based and community based systems. Notably, I have had an opportunity to deliver health care services in various settings including pediatrics, emergency department, psychiatrics, labor, and delivery units. The experiences instilled in me leadership abilities that are useful in the modern day health settings (Masters, 2013). At this point, it is worth noting that healthcare delivery is challenging and as such, it requires one to have the ability to make credible decisions at all times.

Conclusion

Education and training enables nursing professionals to attain and sustain efficient functioning at all times. Specifically, it equips nurses with sufficient skills and knowledge to perform their duties effectively. In the current complex and dynamic environment, the skills empower nursing practitioners to address emergent and existent problems with ease. From an individual standpoint, education has empowered me and enabled me to develop to a higher level. Besides cultural competence, the courses provided me with a wealth of information pertaining to my roles and responsibilities. Further, practical experiences gave me a richance to exercise ethical functioning and leadership skills as well as understand the nature and complexity of healthcare systems.

References

Dinkins, C. (2011). Ethics: Beyond Patient Care: Practicing Empathy in the Workplace. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 16 (2). Web. 29 Nov 2014. Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/Columns/Ethics/Empathy-in-the-Workplace.html

 Masters, K. (2013). Role development in professional nursing practice. New York: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Nelson, A. (2014). Best practice in nursing: A concept analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 51 (11), 1507-1516.