Professional Development in Nursing – Topic 3 Assignment Solution

This article discusses correlation between nursing education and positive patient outcomes as part of Professional Development in Nursing.


Topic 3 DQ 1     Discuss the correlation between nursing education and positive patient outcomes. Include current research that links patient safety outcomes to advanced degrees in nursing. Based on some real-life experiences, explain whether you agree or disagree with this research.

  Topic 3 DQ 2     Discuss the difference between a DNP and a PhD in nursing. Discuss which of these you would choose to pursue if you decide to continue your education to the doctoral level and explain why.

Reflection Paper

The IOM published report, \”Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,\” makes recommendations for lifelong learning and achieving higher levels of education.

In 1,000-1,250 words, examine the importance of nursing education and discuss your overall educational goals.

Include the following:

  1. Discuss your options in the job market based on your educational level.
  2. Review the IOM Future of Nursing Recommendations for achieving higher levels of education. Describe what professional certification and advanced degrees (MSN, DNP, etc.) you want to pursue and explain your reasons for wanting to attain the education. Discuss your timeline for accomplishing these goals.
  3. Discuss how increasing your level of education would affect how your competitiveness in the current job market and your role in the future of nursing.
  4. Discuss the relationship of continuing nursing education to competency, attitudes, knowledge, and the ANA Scope and Standards for Practice and Code of Ethics.
  5. Discuss whether continuing nursing education should be mandatory. Provide support for your response.

You are required to cite to a minimum of three sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and relevant to nursing practice.  

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required. 

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion. 

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.


Professional Development in Nursing

The nursing profession is gradually evolving and changing, and nurses need always to be open to more educational opportunities and career growth. Professional development is the process of practice enhancement through continuing education and training.

Professional development helps nurses stay relevant, and it can be career enhancement, in which a nurse is seeking promotions and positions or elevating responsibilities. It can also be continuing education that brings a nurse close to the current and emerging technology, techniques, and new practices. Nurses should evaluate themselves continually to determine their learning needs, such as gaining particular skills and knowledge to advance patient care.

Professional growth is indeed a fundamental element in the nursing profession as it allows nurses to pursue certifications and advanced degrees, remain focused on their career goals, and seek advanced opportunities to lead quality improvement.

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Options In The Job Market

There are multiple job opportunities and options for a nurse manager. A nurse manager can be a clinical nurse manager whose main job is to ensure the highest patient and business outcomes. Role and responsibilities include collaborating with physicians to develop treatment plans, conducting rounds to check on patients, recruiting, evaluating, and supervising other nurses, and ensuring patient satisfaction (Walden University, 2018).

As a nurse manager, I can also work as a nurse administrator, which requires a strong combination of clinical experience and an advanced degree. Roles and responsibilities include creating schedules for employees, giving performance reviews, developing the organization’s policies. A nurse administrator in some care settings is removed entirely from clinical operations and found in the office setting most of the time.

I can also work at mid-level management, mostly operating in the clinical practice. The duties of middle management are addressing emerging trends and challenges, improving the efficiency and quality of care delivery, and implementing creative ideas. They offer strategic support to nurses, leading them to provide care.

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Professional Development in Nursing
Professional Development in Nursing

Another option is being ahead nurse working in larger health care facilities like hospitals, nursing homes, and other treatment centers. Roles and responsibilities include coordinating all clinical nursing tasks and working closely with the doctors. A head nurse can be the nurse leader of a division or team. A nurse manager can also work as a patient care director, providing supervision and leadership.

Professional Certification And Advanced Degrees

Professional certifications are essential for nurses seeking to acquire advanced skills to work in a more specialized position. I want to have a Nurse Executive Certification, which equips an individual with advanced managerial skills to manage an entire unit daily. To be certified, I need to sit for an exam with 175 questions, done in 3.5 hours.

I need a nursing license and at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. An Informatics Nursing Certification would equip me with information technology knowledge and skills vital in the healthcare industry. After the applicants complete a 175-question test, the ANCC awards this certification that assesses the nurses’ nursing informatics knowledge and skills.

I also want to be a certified pediatric nurse. I need an associate’s degree, a BSN, or an MSN to be eligible for the certification and have pediatric nursing experience. The certification requires at least two years of educations and several months of hands-on training. With a CPN certification, I can hold a free campaign for resources in pediatric nursing and enjoy freed continuing education no matter the certification status.

I want to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) that allows me to specialize in a specific type of nursing. I need to undertake advanced clinical training and research, which can take 18-24 months. There are various MSN programs in-campus and online that are very rigorous. With an MSN, I can experience career growth faster over the next decade, and my pay will also be higher.

A doctorate nursing degree program can also help me enjoy a growing demand and gain skills in health care administration, advanced clinical practice, and clinical research. The program can take three to five years, and it is full-time. To acquire all these certifications and advanced degrees, I would require about ten years of education and training.

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Impact Of Increasing Level Of Education On Current Job Market Competitiveness and Future Nursing Role

When nurses further their level of education, they gain additional and specialized knowledge and skills to work in positions with higher job demand. Extending education and training improves a nurse’s productivity. Continuing education allows an individual to access more personal and professional development opportunities, which open further job opportunities (Granger, 2021).

Additional nursing certifications and degrees place a person in better positions to get a job, especially if many people seek the same job position. Education is a vital step in enhancing nursing skills to attain more job competitiveness. An individual becomes competitive in their current workplace and the overall job market.

Developing additional and specialized skills opens up more responsibilities and job roles for nurses. For instance, a doctorate nursing degree program equips the student with health care administration, clinical research, and advanced clinical practice skills (Granger, 2021).

Nurses also acquire skills to work in a specific type of nursing. Nurses should continue gaining knowledge and skills to be able to handle more complex tasks and responsibilities. Many nursing degrees and certification programs allow nurses to specialize in an advanced area, hence changing to more specific roles.

For instance, a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) program emphasizes leadership development through clinical practice. It equips nurses with the leadership and managerial skills necessary to lead a nursing team. At the Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc) level, an individual can work as an analyst, educator, or administrator. Indeed, as nurses advances in education levels, roles and responsibilities tend to change.  

Relationship of continuing nursing education to competency, attitudes, knowledge, and the ANA Scope and Standards for Practice and Code of Ethics

Nurses need to maintain competence and ethical behavior throughout their career lives. Professional competency is the foundation of nursing practice. Continuing education allows nurses to gain knowledge and skills necessary for continued career development, competence, and ethical behavior maintenance (Fukada, 2018). Continuing education assures the competence of the nursing profession.

It allows nurses to be effective decision-makers and gain interpersonal and psychomotor skills, critical in nursing practice. Nurses need to ensure competency in their career lives as a commitment to improving patient care. Continuing education enhances clinical reasoning demonstrated by improved nurses’ attitudes in practice, which leads to better nursing activity.

Attitude is vital as it helps nurses comprehend diverse perceptions and processes in care and determine what is right for a particular patient. Continuing education ensures professional development and career growth. Nurses gain the relevant knowledge to remain up to date and advance clinical care and treatment. Nurses adopt lifelong learning to gain new knowledge and improve on their existing knowledge consistently. Continuing education impacts nursing competency, attitudes, and knowledge.

The ANA Scope and Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics provide a nursing competent level determined by a nursing process that includes assessment, diagnosis, outcome identification, planning, implementation, and evaluation (Fukada, 2018).

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ANA approves continuing education resources associated with nursing scope and standards of practice. ANA creates the documents that guide nursing practice and specialty practice. It also founded the Commission on Continuing Education that oversees nursing staff development.

Continuing education is fundamental to enable nurses to remain committed to the scope and standards of practice and the ethical obligations and duties ANA requires for everyone entering the nursing profession.        

Why Continuing Education Should Be Mandatory

Continuing education is not only a personal thing, but it also impacts the quality of care and patient outcomes. Therefore, continuing education should be mandatory as it helps to improve health care delivery. Furthering education allows nurses to remain up to date in technology, techniques, and other new developments in care and treatment.

Nurses get opportunities to seek knowledge in other nursing areas such as pain management, geriatrics, case management, home health, and wound care. Nurses develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes that improve nursing activity and overall health care (Price & Reichert, 2017).

Nursing education impacts patient care, and the government and healthcare organizations should effectively integrate continuing education into nursing practice and make it easier for everyone. Continuing education helps maintain competence and improve quality.

Nurses also become more coordinated, confident, and efficient in their practice. Nurses should, therefore, embrace lifelong learning to enhance job satisfaction and improve patient outcomes and quality of nursing care.


Fukada, M. (2018). Nursing competency: Definition, structure, and development. Yonago acta medica, 61(1), 001-007.

Granger, T. (2021). Types of Nursing Degrees and Levels. NurseJounal.

Price, S., & Reichert, C. (2017). The importance of continuing professional development to career satisfaction and patient care: meeting the needs of novice to mid-to late-career nurses throughout their career span. Administrative Sciences, 7(2), 17.

Walden University. (2018, September 25). 8 Great Job Options for Nurse Managers | Walden University. Accredited Online University | Online Degree Programs | Walden University; Walden University.

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