Education plays a crucial role in life and can help us attain our career goals. This entails the basic skills we pick up at elementary and high school and the advanced knowledge higher education can deliver. The importance of education for professional fulfillment becomes even more apparent when you consider that many jobs now will ask for specific qualifications to move into.

The nursing profession requires further education as it requires specific skills and knowledge, especially concerning patient safety. It also requires that to receive their nursing license, nurses must have achieved a certain number of clinical hours under supervision. Nurses who wish to work within some regions of nursing may require even more study and may achieve post-graduate degrees with concentrations in their specialized fields.

Further education not only allows nurses to specialize, but it can also improve career prospects for nurses and take them on the path of leadership.

Contents

Specialized further education advances nursing careers

One appealing aspect of nursing as a career is the chance to continually learn and develop professionally. This is achieved through further education in the sector within specialized subjects. Further education in nursing concentrations means qualified nurses pursue further studies to pick up specific knowledge in certain areas.

One way nurses can specialize in their chosen field would be to enroll in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. The MSN online programs offered by Wilkes University are designed to prepare registered nurses for advanced practice roles from clinical, theoretical, analytical and professional perspectives. The three available pathways allow students to specialize as either a Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Practitioner, or a Psychiatric/ Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

Further education like this is necessary for any nurse looking to progress in their career. This is because more specialized roles in nursing will call for specific qualifications. These on your resume are necessary to achieve your career goals and work in your desired nursing discipline.

Improving professional skills in specialized areas

A quick look at the best career tips to follow will throw up a whole range of options and choices to consider. Pursuing further education is certainly something for all nurses to consider – but it’s not purely about gaining formal qualifications, which employers are looking for.  For working nurses, there is no doubt that pursuing further education is a great way to deepen professional skills in specialized areas. But just how is this possible?

Further education in nursing, which focuses on certain specialties, allows students to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of the specialty in question. Courses like this will enable them to dig deep into a particular nursing discipline and learn about it in greater depth. This could be everything from the unique terminology used to how teams within a niche operate or the most common equipment nurses in a particular specialty use.

Read More:   How to take CPA exam in Singapore?

Learning like this is not something that initial, more generalized nursing qualifications are designed to provide. As a result, pursuing specialized nursing education allows students to pick up new professional skills needed to move into the nursing niche they desire. It also enables students to develop professional skills they already have, which might be essential in certain nursing specialties.

A nurse looking to care for cancer patients specifically, for example, might benefit from the chance to develop their people skills while on a further education course in this specialty. This is because working in this niche often involves giving people bad news or chatting with cancer patients appropriately and compassionately.

Further nursing education and enhanced specialty clinical knowledge

It is not only the development of professional skills in a particular discipline that further education can help nurses with. Further learning can also deepen students’ clinical knowledge in specific areas and their understanding of how their specialty works.

The primary way this happens is through clinical placements. These placements operate the same way as standard clinical placements on lower-level nursing degrees, but students spend all their time on one specialty instead of a broad scope. This is perfect for giving them a deep working knowledge of what it takes to carve out a nursing career in a specific niche and see if they enjoy caring for patients in that specialty.

Clinical placements on specialized further education courses also help students practice what they have learned in the classroom on real-life patients and in a real-life setting. This can help them refine what they have learned and better understand how to perform clinical procedures specific to a role. Placements also enable students to work alongside experienced, qualified staff in particular disciplines and pick up the best clinical practices for their careers.

Clinical knowledge and professional skills are important for nursing

Although the above sets out how further education in nursing can help develop professional skills and deepen clinical expertise in specialist areas, you may wonder why both matter so much. The truth is that there are multiple reasons for this.

Better patient outcomes

Unsurprisingly, enhanced patient outcomes are one reason why better professional skills and improved clinical knowledge are worth seeking out. By developing both to a higher level, nurses in more general roles can deliver much better patient care and have the latest knowledge to call on when performing their duties. Enhanced skills and knowledge leave them in a much better position to provide informed input on treatment plans, for example, directly impacting patient care levels.

More profound clinical and professional knowledge is vital in specialized nursing to provide the best care to specific patient groups. This is achievable only with the in-depth professional skills and targeted clinical knowledge of further study. Successfully guiding a female patient through pregnancy as a neonatal nurse is impossible without the right kind of specific further education, for example.

Read More:   How to get a job In Fashion and Textiles industry

Fewer mistakes

The positive impact of further education on clinical/professional skills can also lead to fewer mistakes and better patient care. For example, nurses who have successfully refined their clinical knowledge in specific areas through continued education may notice when a patient is reacting badly to prescribed medication and can move swiftly to flag this or rectify it. Better professional skills can also mean that nurses in specialized areas are less likely to make mistakes when updating patient notes with complex information, which is unique to that discipline.

Job satisfaction

Improved clinical knowledge and more refined professional skills in specialized areas through further education are also crucial for better job satisfaction as a nurse. This starts by arming working nurses with the qualifications required to move into their desired specialty. Making this career progression helps nurses move into roles they find satisfying and out of roles they may have become disillusioned with.

Better specialized clinical knowledge and professional skills can also increase job satisfaction by enabling nurses to perform better. By picking this up via further education programs, they can feel more comfortable in their role and more confident they can handle it.

Enhanced knowledge and skills can also see nurses perform to their maximum capability in a particular specialty and gain the respect of colleagues. All of this can help to boost job satisfaction levels for nursing professionals.

Career progression

Higher clinical knowledge and better professional skills can also significantly boost any nurse’s career aspirations in their area of choice. These attributes can be used to catch the attention of senior management and could open new job opportunities in specialist areas moving ahead.

Using your clinical knowledge to become a source of help for team members can also mean that people will notice you and view you as someone who can be relied upon. This is even more true when working in more specialized nursing areas, where having enhanced skills and knowledge that others might not can make you stand out.

Which are the most common nursing specialties to follow? 

Nurses have multiple specialties to follow in their career terms, all offering their unique experience as healthcare professionals. It is vital to pick one that you will enjoy working in and get the most out of and choose the right further education program to prepare you for it.

But which are some of the most common nursing specialties to know about?

Nurse practitioner

A nurse practitioner is easily one of the most popular specialties to follow in the industry and sees nurses training to work at more advanced levels than APRN’s. This niche involves delivering advanced primary care to patients and can branch into specific areas, such as family nurse practitioners. These advanced nursing professionals carry out patient examinations, order tests, prescribe medication, and help patients manage ongoing medical conditions.

Read More:   How to Choose the Right Specialization in an Online MBA in Finance Program

Critical care

Regarding the most popular nursing specialties, critical care is one niche that often comes up. These nurses deliver expert care to severely ill or injured patients across various healthcare settings. This role usually involves operating in high-pressure environments, such as ICUs and working as a team. Critical care nurses assess, monitor, and treat patients in their charge.

Oncology

This nursing specialty involves caring for cancer patients and their families. This means that nurses who specialize in oncology can care for patients from diagnosis to treatment and remission. Typical tasks included in this role are developing care plans, administering cancer treatments, managing pain levels, managing the side effects of treatments, and monitoring patient conditions.

Pediatrics

One of the most popular nursing specialties still, pediatric nurses deliver quality care to children and work closely with doctors to achieve the best patient health outcomes. Typical duties for nurses in this niche include assisting with examinations, updating patient medical histories, administering immunizations, and treating illnesses.

Gerontology

Gerontology is a specialty within nursing that cares explicitly for older patients. Although this is often assumed to be the elderly only, gerontology nursing covers patients around 13 and upward. Much of the time spent working in this role can be focused on helping senior patients, who naturally require more care as they age. Tasks for gerontology nurses include carrying out examinations, educating older patients on healthier lifestyles, and helping older patients manage ongoing health issues.

Mental health

This is another common specialty found in nursing which is more in-demand than ever. Rising mental health issues are driving the need for qualified nurses in this area on a national scale. Nurses who work in mental health provide care for patients with a range of mental health problems and work with wider care teams to give them effective support. Common duties include assessing patient progress, prescribing medication, and engaging in one-to-one or group therapy sessions.

Further education crucial in specialized nursing areas

As the above shows, there is no doubt that pursuing further education can help nurses boost their professional skills and clinical knowledge in specialized areas. This not only has a positive impact on patient care levels but also the career prospects of working nurses and overall job satisfaction levels.

Any nurse thinking of moving into a specialty would be well advised to pursue suitable further education to prepare for this. Completing this kind of program not only gives nurses the qualifications needed to work in their specialty of choice but also means they have what it takes to excel in it.