One of the goals of the nursing profession is to increase the number of nurses with baccalaureate degree by 80 percent by 2020. This ambitious goal is not surprising in the light of the emerging demographic trends such as aging population. I will be contributing towards this goal by now pursuing my undergraduate degree in nursing. I also agree with IOM’s recommendation that nurses engage in lifelong learning. Patients now have higher expectations and in addition, healthcare technologies have been improving at a rapid pace. Thus, nurses have professional obligation to continuously improve themselves so that they can provide higher quality of care to patients by employing the latest tools and knowledge available to them. In order to make sure I am continuously improving myself, I do not only read course books but also internet article, industry journals, and nursing magazine such as Nursing, American Journal of Nursing, and American Nurse Today. In addition, I also network with nursing professionals to learn about the latest trends in the profession.
I have associate degree in nursing and one of the major reasons I am now pursuing an undergraduate in nursing is to enhance my competitive position in the job market. After completing my undergraduate degree, I plan to take National Council Licensure Exam to become a registered nurse (RN) . As an RN I will have a wide range of career options. For example, I may choose to work in a hospital setting or at a physician’s office. I may also choose to work at nursing care facilities or choose other sectors such as correctional system or the military . Since I enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, I will most probably choose to work in a hospital setting. Working in a hospital setting will not only help me learn more but will also improve my soft skills such as time management, teamwork, communication, and leadership.

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I believe the role of nurses will continue to change over time and increasing my level of education will help me take on greater roles in the future. First of all, more and more healthcare organizations are being run like business corporations, with greater emphasis on operating efficiency, healthcare quality, and profitability. As a result, stakeholders such as nurses do not only perform their basic roles but also work closely with the management to identify areas for improvement and reduce waste. Due to my academic credentials, I expect to work in leadership positions where some of my responsibilities will be related to operations rather than healthcare.

I also expect preventive healthcare to grow in demand because it doesn’t only improve the overall quality of life for the general population but also reduce healthcare costs. Due to my academic credentials and work experiences, I expect to become an educator as well in addition to being a healthcare provider. I will not only educate my patients but also communities and assist nonprofit organizations to improve healthcare delivery.

I also expect nurses to require greater cross-cultural skills because U.S. will continue to become culturally more diverse. Higher education qualifications will also provide me with more opportunities to work with patients with diverse cultural backgrounds who may have different communication styles. In addition, I may also be required to train my fellow nurses on cross-cultural skills.

    References
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). Registered Nurses. Retrieved March 20, 2014, from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm
  • MGH Institute of Health Professions. (n.d.). Licensing adn Careers.