Changes in nursing education that will support nurses in achieving the skills and competencies needed for the future using the criteria from the professional nursing literature and the Flexner report.
Historically, nursing was considered a field of work for women who wanted to take care of others. Today, it is still a highly female-dominated field; however, it has taken large steps toward being viewed as a profession that encourages diversity and values education. The nursing profession also advocates for the use of evidence-based practices, professionally accepted ethical procedures, and high-quality patient care.
Educational opportunities continue to guide the professional development of nursing and expand the role of the nurse. Today, nurses and advanced practice nurses deliver a wider range of care encompassing responsibilities previously reserved for physicians. Nursing education programs continue to expand, and researchers continue to examine the relationship between levels of education, quality of care, and positive patient outcomes.
The profession of nursing is continually improving in a variety of ways. Licensure, certification, credentialing, and accountability are all customary practices of nursing. For the past 100 years, at the most basic level, nursing licensure has assured the public that individuals calling themselves a nurse are nurses. Boards of nursing (BON) bring quality and expertise to the regulatory arena. The decisions made by a BON regarding licensure, enforcement and other aspects of regulation are reliant upon thorough knowledge of nursing education at all levels, competency testing, certification, professional standards and scope of practice. This level of expertise is held only by members of the nursing profession and is beyond the capacity of an employer or a non-nursing board.