A highly competent nursing workforce is a fundamental element of an efficient healthcare system. However, there have been concerns revolving around poor quality nursing care and inadequate competencies among nursing students and nurses across the globe. Nursing stakeholders have produced anecdotal notes showing significant shortfalls in nursing education. Are there nurse learning opportunities to be found in a partnership?
Moreover, there exists a substantial gap between practice and theory. As a nurse, you will want to learn practical skills that are applicable in real-time so that you can address patients’ needs when they come for your services. Patient access and experience are at the forefront of healthcare. It is, therefore, essential to understanding how to improve your nursing skills through partnership. Recently, per a Beckers Hospital Review article, they cited via a survey, that many nursing education programs have started to add technology to their education curriculum. So via partnership and technology, nurses have many opportunities to expand their knowledge base.
According to an article in Patient Care Access News:
“As of January 2019, there were 270,000 nurse practitioners in the country. That is a far cry from the 248,000 reported just nine months earlier in March 2018, and certainly an increase from the 120,000 licensed nurse practitioners in 2007.
The influx of licensed nurse practitioners is likely the result of a growing primary care provider shortage. The healthcare industry is currently feeling the pinch of having too few physicians to meet patient care access needs. By 2030, the nation is expected to see a primary care physician shortage between 42,600 and 121,300 physicians, according to the Academy of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
In this article, we describe the role of partnership in expanding your nurse learning opportunities. We conducted our research based on the current news about nurses along with nursing issues, including academic-practitioner gap and college-hospital collaboration.”
Various Ways of Partnerships in Nursing:
Since ancient times, nurses have reached out to partner with other institutions and bodies to enhance the nursing experience, better health care, and improved overall nursing practice. In the early stages, nurse partnerships were conducted to facilitate the following:
- Providing care to various populations.
- Researching the learned skills in nursing.
- Addressing the nursing workforce needs in various sectors.
- We are educating students and staff on various matters of health.
Over time, the primary focus and role of partnerships have been changing, but the mode of collaboration remains pretty the same. The various places you can find nursing partnership opportunities include hospitals, nursing homes, public health organizations, schools, government agencies, and community health organizations.
Students that partner with hospitals for their practice not only learn from the working environment and practical skills but also help to address the need for more nurses working in the facilities. A partnership is, therefore, a beneficial program for both parties that get involved. Likewise, nurses can partner with other systems to provide care and awareness while they learn and do research in their programs.
The Role of Partnership in Expanding Nurse Learning Opportunities:
The number of students entering the nursing programs is growing by the day. This has resulted in numerous challenges such as overcrowding of students, shortage of nurse educators, shortage of clinical practice sites, and insufficient learning resources. Consequently, employers have been complaining of inadequate competencies among nursing graduates joining the healthcare system.
A partnership is an integral aspect of the nursing curriculum, which bridges the theory-practice gap. In nursing, the connection is a critical element that aims to develop competent nursing practitioners who can offer practical and safe services to society. The nursing curriculum must be aligned to the clinical setting so that graduates entering the job market are better equipped to face the complex and dynamic challenges associated with the healthcare delivery system.
According to the president and CEO of OnCourse Learning Patrick Sheahan, partnership enhances public safety and assists lifelong learners in their pursuit of practical knowledge and new skills. Collaborating with the Health & Safety Institute can aid in opening new doors of educational opportunity to the nursing professionals who serve society every day.
There are several reasons why the partnership is vital as far as expanding nurse learning opportunities go. Here are the top proven methods in which partnership enhances nurse learning opportunities.
Partnership in Nursing Makes Learning a Smooth Experience:
Nursing students who need to enroll in partnership opportunities usually have to change their learning environment to a medical facility instead of a traditional classroom. In the facility where they are posted, the nurse students collaborate with the trainers and the nursing staff as they maneuver through their learning process.
Instead of having to leave their classroom to visit a patient room for practicals, the partnership makes everything accessible. Regardless of what they are learning, students get the chance to put it into practice. The practices help nurse students to retain the skills they learn on the spot.
Instead of spending their time to move from class to hospitals and back, they can take their coursework and assessments right in the facility or ask for reliable assignment assistance. It also makes their research easier because most resources they may need are readily available in medical facilities. This reduces the need to visit the libraries to read materials regarding various nursing topics.
Partnership Prepares Students and Graduates for the Real-Life Work Environment:
Many nursing students who are posted for jobs after graduation meet various challenges they were not prepared for. Unfortunately, many of them end up changing their careers after a while and abandon the nursing programs. The reason is that the newly-graduated nurse usually lacks essential and fundamental skills and knowledge regarding their real working environment. A medical facility setup is different from a classroom and the expectations thereof.
When a nursing student enrolls in a partnership program, they get to learn various skills that are not provided in a typical college classroom. Apart from learning the practical skills of the nursing coursework, the students will also be equipped with relevant knowledge regarding their work environment. By encountering various challenges in the facility they are doing the partnership, and learning how to address them, puts the student in the best position to work effectively and independently once they are posted for work after graduation.
When nursing students are familiarized with the critical skills required in the medical setup, their work will be more accessible, and they will do it with total dedication. In the long-run, this helps in curbing the problem of the inadequacy of nurses in the country.
Partnership Promotes Shared Goals in Nursing:
While imparting expert knowledge on students, an organization is a way forward when nurse graduates need to meet a common goal. Through shared communication and consensus, students approach their studies with the same objectives and ambitions. Learners and trainers share their knowledge and promote their expansion in the nursing curriculum.
With the same goals in mind, partnership students work together to address various challenges and current nursing issues. The advantage is that all participants will be well equipped with the knowledge they need when they are posted in multiple working stations. Even working together afterward will be feasible because both parties understand the applicable principles in their career.
With shared goals, visions, and philosophy, nursing learners can contribute their knowledge and findings. They also have the opportunity to receive support from both (or all) participating parties. By this, their experience will expand and not limited to the learning environment they are confined in. Learning becomes exciting and promotes success in all areas of the program, which also opens more opportunities for the parties involved.
Partnership Practices are Based on Evidence on the Ground:
In the present era, nurses face challenges in providing solutions based on evidence-centered research and practice. Through partnerships, nurse educators can implement high-quality and actionable skills through academic-practice programs. Here, the learners are exposed to the patient-centered approach to health care practices.
Students who participate in partnership programs improve their practices with results based on evidence. It is through a partnership that students get to learn more about the vital actions regarding their nursing practices. Instead of assumptions, learners have the opportunity to participate in various researches with the help of real-life information and circumstances.
An evidence-based approach in solving healthcare problems is a vital stage in the whole learning system. In partnership, student exposure is increased, and they will learn the various system issues while working with an established system. In turn, the learners are equipped to be better nurses out there once they are through with their learning.
Partnership Promotes Collaboration and Sharing of Resources:
Since partnership brings together nurses with mutual goals, there is a need for collaboration and planning together, as well as sharing of the available learning resources. This also improves the understanding of the needs and commitments of the participating parties, thus improving the support and distribution of the resources required for the learning process.
When there is an emergency, it is easier to access the necessary resource materials and expert knowledge from the trainers. The health care system will improve because services will be rendered without failure when the nurses work together with the same commitments and objectives in mind, supported by the availability of the necessary information and skills.
In the sharing of materials, expert knowledge is also shared. Apart from showing other nurses what they know in a given part of their course, the participants of partnership programs can as well work together whenever there is an emergency. Nurses can share their expertise when attending to patients to provide faster and better services to cater to their needs.
Partnership Addresses the Capacity Problems:
In various parts and regions, there is a scarcity of nurse trainers, making it hard for students who are pursuing the course. Materials and resources availability is another problem that students face. Partnerships help to improve nurse learning opportunities by addressing these significant problems.
When the various nursing institutions come together for partnership, they pull together their workforce and bring the available learning resources to be shared. When the trainers come together, they provide adequate support to the nursing students. The inconvenience of having to wait for one or a few professors to address all the student needs will come to an end.
In partnership, students also get to work together with practicing and established nurses. The practicing nurses in health care setups can help in providing training to nursing students. In this manner, the problem of nurse trainers will reduce. This opens opportunities for aspiring nursing students who fear the challenges of nursing trainers in various institutions.
Partnership in Nurse Learning Equips the Trainers with Current Practices:
Nursing educators need to instill practical and current knowledge in their students. The advancement in technology, new medical cases arising, and various complications make the old style of teaching nurses futile. Nurse educators need to update themselves with the current curriculum and the future of nursing practices.
A partnership is one such opportunity where the trainers will equip themselves with actionable plans and skills that can help the nurses to make a significant impact on the health system. Collaborating nursing tutors not only share their resources to support the learners but also their expertise in various nursing fields.
As a trainer, you will also learn the fundamentals of modern technology used in nursing and get access to current materials that improve your nursing knowledge and teaching experience for a better nursing team. This can change the whole nursing system for the better and improve the standards of health services in the community.
A partnership is Cost-Effective for Both the Trainees and the Educators:
Buying nursing materials, reference books, and other devices is not cheap. Many nursing students face challenges in finding the information they need for their coursework because of the expenses and unavailability of the same. In the same manner, the nursing colleges need to spend the right amount of money on buying the required resources for teaching.
In partnerships, the available materials and resources are shared, reducing the costs that arise from the need to buy new ones. Students can share their research materials when writing their coursework while the trainers use mutually available resources to teach their students. When the available materials and resources are brought together, you realize that only a few items need to be purchased to complete the overall teaching needs in the nursing college.
Having solved the cost of learning and running the nursing curriculum, it is easier to enroll new students and open opportunities to those who are underprivileged in terms of finance. The same addresses the limitation of the number of students a college can admit. With shared resources, colleges can accept more learners without worrying about the cost of running the programs.
The nursing partnership is a kind of redesign to the nursing curriculum that improves the current state in the nursing sector. It helps to address the current nursing capacity problems while at the same time providing solutions to approaching the current and future nursing issues by providing the most effective education and skills to learners.
Various resources provided by the government and non-governmental organizations can help learners at various levels from different backgrounds to attain their goals. A better overall health system is achievable when the nurses do their learning and practice by the partnership because they have the opportunity to be more creative and come up with solutions that require minimal investment.