Ohio is one of three states – including California and Texas – with the largest gap and need for nurses and nursing students, according to the Health Workforce Information Center. Beyond the demand for more nurses, several research studies and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) advocate for better-educated nurses.
The IOM’s (2011) recommendations included, “Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.”
In an attempt to assist with supplying well-educated Registered Nurses (RNs) to the American workforce, Herzing University-Akron has added a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and will soon follow with a RN to BSN program. The first BSN class will be admitted in January 2016. The plan for the RN to BSN is for the first class to be admitted in January 2017. The addition of these in-demand programs will assist with meeting the need for more nurses who have the necessary education to deliver high quality patient care.
But, what is a nurse? Do nurses really matter?
As a child, I remember going to the doctor’s office and the nurse saying, “The doctor will be right in.” I thought that was what a nurse did – she went to get the doctor. As I grew up and started a family, I found out what nurses really did through various personal experiences. Nurses stayed with me when I was in labor with my first baby. In fact, I still remember my nurse’s name, Bonnie. She was with me the entire day. She assisted me in pushing and calmed me when I became frantic. She was the one health care professional that stayed in my room for hours helping me.
Move forward a few years and some great pediatric nurses taught me how to care for my child with a chronic illness. They taught me how to monitor her and how to give her nebulized medication. They taught me exactly how smart a nurse must be. They taught me how foolish I was when I believed all a nurse did was send in the doctor.
Nurses are a doctor’s eyes and ears. Nurses are the professionals who spends 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at a patient’s bedside. Nurses are the ones to see a change in a patient or a lab result that is concerning and notify the doctor. Nurses must be educated to the point of knowing what to expect from the doctor or what to ask the doctor for. Our health care system today could not function without well-educated nurses.
As our nation and the state of Ohio experience a nursing shortage that will continue to grow, Herzing University wants to assist by providing programs to educate the next generation of nursing professionals. We offer no wait list for both the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing and the BSN programs. If you are in the Akron area and are considering this remarkable profession, stop by and see us. We are happy to help you earn your nursing degree.
Dr. Christina Silva is nurse and nurse educator who is passionate about preparing the next generation of nurses. She is currently working as a perinatal staff nurse at Uniontown Hospital, Uniontown, PA 15401, and a nurse administrator at Herzing University's Akron campus.