How the Skills of a Nurse Include Patient Education
Providing effective patient care is just part of the range of skills of a nurse, and in today’s nursing careers, it’s important that nurses also teach patients how to care for themselves. From helping patients living with chronic conditions to showing new moms how to feed and bathe their babies, nurses must ensure that their patients leave a doctors office or hospital prepared to continue care at home.
Much of a nursing education today centers on the important role of patient education. Find out more about how nurses can help patients have better health outcomes, and how you can make the transition from a registered nurse with a BSN to a nurse who holds an MSN when you enroll in a nursing degree program through an online nursing school.
Leadership in Nursing Through Patient Education
Nursing schools have not always focused on teaching students how to educate patients about their own healthcare, but in today’s hospitals and doctors offices, nurses are increasingly expanding their role as patient educators.
From the time patients enter a hospital or doctors office, they’re likely to experience a steep learning curve regarding their own health. Upon a patient’s admission, a nurse plays a key role in educating him or her about a condition or illness, offering symptom assessment and explaining a medical diagnosis. During this time, a nurse must speak in terms that a patient will understand rather than relying on medical jargon and professional shorthand, which many patients won’t understand.
Once a nurse has helped admit a patient into care, education and support continue through clear communication about the next steps involved in treatment. Here, it is important that nurses take the time to explain what comes next, answer any questions, and listen closely to concerns. In cases where language or cultural barriers exist, they must take steps to ensure the patient understands the prognosis and care plan, offering it in the same polite and compassionate manner as all other patients receive.
A nurse’s work as an educator continues as he or she prepares patients for discharge. Some patients may see a full recovery with no need for follow-up, while others will need to continue care for a chronic condition or ongoing injury at home with medication, treatment, physical therapy, or outpatient procedures. In either case, patient education is crucial at the time of discharge—a nurse must emphasize the importance of sticking to a recovery plan and care regimen to help ensure a patient is not readmitted.
Get On the MSN Track
Choosing a nursing school is a big decision, particularly for those ready to commit to the rigorous academic environment of an MSN degree program. If you’re ready to take your nursing education to the next level by earning your master’s, Walden University offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program.
Today’s online nursing schools are a great option for busy RNs. With Walden, aspiring nurse practitioners, nurse leaders, and nurse management professionals don’t have to step away from their 9-to-5 to advance their skills and training. Walden’s MSN degree program gives you the freedom to set your own schedule, choosing when and where you complete your online classes.
There are many online MSN programs to choose from, but at Walden you can choose from several degree specializations that will help tailor your nursing education and give you the career in nursing you’ve been dreaming of. Most importantly, earning your master’s degree in nursing can help you reach your full potential as a nurse and allow you to offer your patients the very best in medical care.
Don’t put off this next phase in your nursing education. Find out how you can start earning your Master of Science in Nursing with Walden.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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