Adult Education News

Highly Educated Nurses Will Play an Increasingly Critical Role in Health Care Delivery

Posted by Brianna Neuser, MSN, Director of BSN Completion Program Silver Lake College of the Holy Family on February 28 2013

An aging population and rising levels of chronic disease related to obesity began driving an increased need for health care long before the Affordable Care Act was signed; however, the move to mandate health care coverage for all Americans has dramatically increased the urgency of providing for this need.

Hospitals and health care systems have recognized the need for more highly educated nurses to cost effectively fill critical leadership roles in patient care and preventive health care education, creating higher demand for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) graduates. American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) survey data released in December of 2011 found that 88% of new BSN graduates had job offers within six months of graduation. For MSN graduates that number was 92%. When surveyed, over 30% of nursing schools responded that employers in their area require BSN preparation for new hires, and nearly 77% indicated that it was strongly preferred. 

Silver Lake College of the Holy Family is responding to this demand by providing a uniquely effective and accessible BSN Completion Program designed specifically for the working RN, recognizing not only the limitations imposed by a busy professional and family life, but also the unique contributions experienced nurses brings to the classroom. Delivery is accelerated, with classes available online, or face-to-face one night per week. Students take one course at a time with a new course beginning every eight weeks. The curriculum fosters an increased sense of professionalism while focusing on nursing theory, research, community health, and the development of leadership skills. Liberal arts courses develop intellectual inquiry, integration, commitment, service, and motivation for lifelong learning in the spirit of the Franciscan tradition.

At Silver Lake College we strive to graduate nurses prepared to integrate principles of management, education, and research into professional practice as clinicians, leaders, managers, teachers, client advocates, and change agents. Nursing major courses include Health Assessment, Disease Management and Health Promotion, Theoretical Foundations, Nursing Research, Community Health Nursing, Nursing Management and Leadership, and Nursing Capstone.

Upon completion of the BSN Completion Program, the baccalaureate graduate will:

  1. Incorporate effective communication techniques and collaborative skills within the professional roles of nursing.
  2. Utilize a holistic approach to advocate for and improve access to health care for vulnerable populations locally, nationally and globally.
  3. Collaborate with other professionals to provide health promotion and maintenance, disease prevention, illness management, and end-of-life care across the life span.
  4. Effectively apply frameworks, theories, concepts, models and evidence-based practice to maximize positive health outcomes for individuals, families, groups, and communities.
  5. Apply leadership concepts, skills, and decision making in the provision of high quality nursing care, health care team coordination, and the oversight and accountability for care delivery in a variety of settings.
  6. Recognize personal accountability of shaping health care delivery by participating in political and regulatory processes as a member of the nursing profession.
  7. Synthesize theoretical and empirical knowledge from the liberal arts and science with nursing to enhance professional practice.
  8. Articulate the value of pursuing practice excellence, lifelong learning, and professional engagement to foster professional growth and development.

Quality patient care hinges on having a well-educated nursing workforce. Research has shown that lower patient mortality rates, fewer medication errors, and more positive patient outcomes are all linked to nurses prepared at the baccalaureate and graduate degree levels (AACN, 2011). For more information on the impact of nursing education, check out the AACN Fact Sheets.