Nursing is a continually evolving profession due to the dynamic nature of the healthcare landscape. Once nurses enter this profession, they start a lifelong journey of learning. This learning encompasses the novel nature of illnesses they must learn about for treatment and prognosis in their practice. As the nature of disease changes, so does the nature of patients; hence nurses during their careers must enhance their knowledge to ensure that they are equipped with better skills to take care of the patients. Furthermore, the contemporary era of technology has also mandated nurses to build their technical capacity. These skills come in handy in using nursing technologies that are now becoming a permanent feature of the healthcare sector. Hence, lifelong learning is imperative for a nurse to ensure her capacity to deliver quality clinical and patient care using the latest medical and technological resources. This article will shed light on four reasons why lifelong learning is essential in nursing.
- Lifelong learning catalyzes growth
The ethos of lifelong learning is crucial for nurses as translating it into action can catalyze their career and personal growth. Registered nurses often get stuck in their roles, which restricts their overall growth. One of the reasons for that is their lack of an undergraduate degree. Therefore, nurses need to pursue higher education and improve their nursing profile. A relatively more straightforward and convenient way is through an online bachelor of science in nursing program. Online programs like these provide registered nurses a unique one-year program to transition from an RN to a BSN. Acquisition of academic credentials could increase the nurses’ existing pay scale. Moreover, these courses can also open new career pathways within or outside the nursing arena for nurses. Lifelong learning cannot be understated as it allows nurses to grow academically, professionally, and financially.
- Lifelong learning fosters leadership skills
Nurses who believe in lifelong learning garner diverse and critical experiences while operating in clinical and other healthcare settings. This wealth of exposure births ambition in nurses to aspire for leadership roles in nursing and the healthcare sector at large, as well. Nurses acquire leadership skills through graduate-level studies or extensive and diverse field experiences to fulfill their ambition. These nurses can easily qualify for leadership roles in various nursing settings. By employing lifelong learning, nurses foster leadership skills that propel their status as nursing professionals and allow them to transition from clinical nursing to nursing management. Nursing professionals who go a step further academically by attaining graduate-level degrees solidify their knowledge and skills as nurse leaders. These nurse leaders are high in demand and are prioritized for a job by healthcare entities.
- Lifelong learning is mandatory in the age of technology
Nursing professionals’ impetus for lifelong learning is now more significant than ever due to technology’s monumental changes in their field. Integration of a variety of new technological resources in nursing improves nursing care for the better, for both nurses and the patients. Therefore, nurses must strive to improve their technical skills using nursing technologies. For instance, hospitals worldwide have started using innovative equipment such as SMART intravenous (IV) pumps. These SMART IV pumps allow nurses to remotely track patients’ vitals and change their IV medication or dosage. Nurses need to equip themselves with such types of equipment and other technical skills being adopted the world over to remain relevant in the nursing field and increase their chances of climbing the professional ladder.
- Lifelong learning builds critical thinking skills
Lifelong learning is of great importance in nursing due to its role in shaping nurses to become critical thinkers. It is an invaluable trait in nursing as critical thinking skills enhance decision-making and judgment. Nurses who exhibit this trait are considered indispensable. They can be relied upon by doctors and their fellow nurses to make swift clinical and patient care decisions. It is wise to keep changing and upgrading your skills with time.
Nurses play a critical role in improving patient outcomes and reducing mortality rates by working with patients, doctors, and hospital administration. Lifelong learning is necessary for nursing professionals to forge a successful career. Lifelong learning achieved through career and academic experiences leads to exponential growth for nurses in their professional and personal lives. Moreover, learning plays a vital role in fostering leadership skills amongst nursing professionals to prepare them for leadership positions in the nursing and healthcare arena. Furthermore, in the contemporary technological era, a commitment to lifelong learning is necessary for nurses due to technological innovation’s rapid pace. Technological changes have culminated in integrating SMART gadgets and equipment for nurses to provide quality and prompt patient care. Lastly, learning builds nursing professionals’ capacity as critical thinkers and decision-makers who can be relied upon in management positions and emergency settings.