According to the discussion, Ms. Johnson has recently been offered the position of director of nursing at a long-term care facility. While she has an associate’s degree and is currently serving as assistant director of nursing, it is crucial for her to consider the importance of higher education and specialty certifications in nursing management positions. Research suggests that nursing homes with nurses who have higher credentials experience lower rates of deficiencies compared to facilities with less credentialed nurses (Trinkoff et al., 2015). Additionally, studies have shown that hospitals and facilities prefer BSN prepared nurses as they are associated with decreased mortality and morbidity rates (Saver, Cichra, & Kline, 2015).
As a newly appointed director of nursing, Ms. Johnson should recognize the value in pursuing a BSN degree. BSN programs equip nurses with essential skills in evidence-based practices, leadership, and management. These skills are vital for a DON as they are responsible for motivating nursing staff to adhere to standards and implement best practices. Moreover, credentials in nursing distinguish the level of certification among healthcare professionals and demonstrate their expertise to patients and their families (Tabloski, 2014). By attaining a BSN degree, Ms. Johnson would not only benefit from a substantial salary increase but also enhance her ability to fulfill the responsibilities associated with her role.
However, it is important for Ms. Johnson to be aware of the potential risks and challenges that may arise with assuming such a demanding position without the necessary education and training. DONs are accountable for the development, implementation, assessment, and improvement of nursing care quality in their facility. A nurse with an associate’s degree may have had fewer educational courses and training compared to a nurse with a BSN degree, which could result in a decline in patient health outcomes. For instance, there may be an increase in pressure ulcers, catheter use, and pain levels without the knowledge and expertise gained through a BSN program. This highlights the importance of education among nursing leaders in hospitals and facilities, as it is linked to lower adverse outcomes (Trinkoff et al., 2015).
In conclusion, while Ms. Johnson has the opportunity to become the director of nursing at the long-term care facility, she should carefully consider the benefits and potential risks associated with her current level of education. Pursuing a BSN degree would provide her with essential skills and knowledge that are highly valued in nursing management positions. Moreover, higher credentials among nurses have been shown to positively impact the quality of care provided in long-term care facilities. By investing in her education and obtaining a BSN degree, Ms. Johnson can enhance her leadership capabilities and contribute to improved patient outcomes in her new role as director of nursing.
Saver, C., Cichra, N., & Kline, N. (2015). The BSN connection: How empowering registered nurses enhances patient outcomes. Journal of Nursing Administration, 45(5), 257-2571.
Tabloski, P. (2014). Professional Nursing Concepts: Competencies for Quality Leadership. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Trinkoff, A. M., Han, K., Storr, C. L., Lerner, N. B., Johantgen, M., & Gartrell, K. (2015). Realities of nursing management: The role of baccalaureate education in a nurse manager’s ability to provide effective oversight in resident nursing facilities. Journal of Nursing Administration, 45(1), 7-9.