During the first week of our course, I was intrigued by the discussion on the disparities between baccalaureate-prepared and master-prepared nurses. Initially, I believed that the only difference lay in the degree itself, with the greatest distinction coming from experience rather than education. However, as the week progressed and I read the posts of my peers, my perspective underwent a significant shift. While I still acknowledge the importance of experience, I now recognize the benefits of obtaining a master’s degree due to the advanced education it provides.
One point that resonated with me was that being a master’s prepared nurse equips you to influence and enhance patient outcomes (Woo et al., 2017). As the course continued, I gained a deeper understanding of this concept. While baccalaureate-prepared nurses can undoubtedly make a positive impact based on their education, master’s prepared nurses possess greater authority in shaping patient care and treatment. Thus, acquiring further education is crucial if one aspires to make a difference in patient care and outcomes. With the rise in chronic diseases, there is an increased demand for well-educated master’s nurses to fill the gap left by the ongoing shortage of physicians (Clark et al., 2015).
I intend to use my advanced knowledge as an advanced practice nurse to advocate for my patients. I want to be the person they can confide in, working together to develop a care plan that aligns with their needs and desires. At times, physicians seem burdened with heavy workloads, leading to a lack of attentiveness and an incomplete understanding of the patient’s story. As a master’s prepared nurse, I believe I can listen and truly provide superior care. Of course, my education is in its early stages, and there is still much to learn. Nevertheless, after this course, this is how I envision leveraging my teaching for the benefit of my patients.
NR 500 NP Week 8 Discussion on Empowering Nurses to Shape Patient Outcomes
I am fully committed to succeeding in this new chapter of my life. With almost 18 years of nursing experience, the experiences I have witnessed, particularly over the past two years, have strengthened my resolve to advocate for my patients and have a greater say in their treatment. This was the primary reason why, at almost 40 years old, I decided to return to school. Additionally, I strive for success to set an example for my children. My eldest will be starting college in August 2022, and he has witnessed my journey through education three times already. He had seen me endure sleepless nights balancing school and work, witnessed my disappointment when receiving a poor grade, and celebrated with me when I succeeded.
Throughout it all, he has never seen me give up. Likewise, my youngest child is currently enrolled in advanced courses in junior high, and he sometimes becomes frustrated when he doesn’t grasp a concept immediately. However, observing me spending hours on the computer, tirelessly working to understand and complete my school assignments, motivates him to persevere. I want my children to strive for what they want, and I believe that leading by example significantly contributes to their drive and determination. Fortunately, I have a supportive husband who is a stay-at-home dad. With his help, I can effectively manage my responsibilities as a parent, student, and employee. I am currently busy and anticipate this will continue for the next two years. However, I firmly believe all the sacrifices and hard work will be worthwhile.
Woo, B. F., Lee, J. X., & Tam, W. W. (2017). The impact of the advanced practice nursing role on the quality of care, clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and cost in the emergency and critical care settings: A systematic review. Human Resources for Health, 15(1).
Clark, L., Casey, D., & Morris, S. (2015). The value of master’s degrees for registered nurses. British Journal of Nursing, 24(6), 328–334.