This paper is aimed at discussing the essentials of nursing education presented in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing. The paper informs the reader of their importance to the nursing profession and why they should be taken seriously. Extensive research was conducted on this topic and data collected on the existing number of essentials and how they are critical to practicing nurses.
Healthcare delivery sector is quite dynamic. Therefore, it is important for people venturing into this industry to know the qualities and needs that they as professionals are required to solve and address. The essentials discussed below reflect the nature of Master’s education in nursing which calls for the continued self-education, dedication, critical thinking, and change in the nursing sector (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 1996).
The Nine Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing
Background for practice from sciences and humanities is the first essential that is discussed. This essential emphasizes that a nurse who obtained Master’s degree should be able to integrate knowledge and findings from different fields like genetics, public health, physiology, nursing, and quality improvement to continually enhance nursing care across the different diverse settings.
The second essential concerns organizational and systems leadership. This essential recognizes that systems and organizational leadership are crucial in the promotion of safe and high-quality patient care. Therefore a nurse should possess leadership skills that ensure critical and ethical decision-making as well as promote a systems perspective and effective working relations.
The third essential focuses on quality improvement and safety. It implies that a nurse must be able to be careful in the usage of the methods, tools, standards, and performance measures that are said to be quality related. The nurse should apply these aspects of quality in an organization.
The fourth essential talks about translating and integrating scholarship into practice. According to this essential, a nurse should apply the information and knowledge gathered from research and the outcomes used in a practice setting. The nurse should also work as an agent of change, should be amicable, find solutions to problems encountered during practice, and be in a position to disseminate results of research.
The fifth essential talks about informatics and healthcare technologies. Nurses are expected to be aware of technologies that exist in healthcare and should be in a position to use these technologies to disseminate care, and apply the communication mechanisms in these technologies to coordinate care.
The sixth one deals with health policy and advocacy. A Master’s level nurse should be in a position to advocate for the policies and strategies that directly or indirectly influence healthcare delivery and health outcomes of a patient.
The seventh essential is about inter-professional collaboration with the aim of enhancing health outcomes among patients and population. Nurses are advised to confer with professionals in other related fields so as to get new and informed approaches of delivering care as there are new advancements in health care across the different disciplines. Maintaining a professional relationship with each other enables nurses to get informed about these advancements much more easily (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 1996).
The eighth essential discusses clinical prevention and population health for improving health. Nurses should be in a position to integrate and apply appropriate broad, cultural, or organizational concepts in the delivery, planning, and management of clinical prevention and provision of services to families and individuals who need care.
The ninth essential deals with Master’s level nursing practice. Nurses who have completed Master’s level education in nursing should have an advanced understanding of nursing and all the relevant sciences. They should also be able to integrate the acquired knowledge into practice.
Master’s education is an important level in any field of any sector. For nurses, acquiring this status comes with the equipment of the above-mentioned essentials that guide them to be able to know what is expected of them once they obtain their Master’s degree (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2011).
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (1996). The essentials of Master’s education for advanced practice nursing. ERIC Clearinghouse.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2011). The essentials of Master’s education in nursing. Retrieved from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/education-resources/MastersEssentials11.pdf.