Nurses who work in administration fulfill roles such as nurse managers and supervisors or are involved in the business of nursing. These types of nurses often have less contact with patients, doing bedside care, but still work with others to guide decisions, educate staff, and implement new practices.
Nurses who work in administration often have an advanced degree in nursing, such as a master’s or a doctoral degree. They may have worked as nurses caring for patients in a specific area and decide to return to school based on skills, the satisfaction of working with others, or interest in a particular setting. For example, a nurse working in a certain unit who has learned many technical aspects of that particular kind of care may decide to return to school to get a master’s degree so she can use her skills to guide others in similar forms of practice.
Many undergraduate nursing schools offer some beginning courses in nursing administration for students studying to become registered nurses. Some of these types of courses may include legal or ethical aspects of nursing, nursing management and decisions, nursing research, and nursing theory. Master’s degree programs in nursing administration may involve classroom work that studies health care organizational structures, health policies, and economics.
Nurse administrators play an important role in health care settings. Although they may be in charge of many important decisions and may manage the work environments for other nurses, they have also often worked as bedside caregivers themselves and understand some of the daily demands put on the staff. This knowledge can help to guide decisions that they make regarding the health care institution that can meet the needs of the hospital or clinic as well as those who are working there.
Nursing Science Studies
Nursing science is the inclusion of all aspects of nursing: the bedside care of patients, education, and research and policy development, which is all part of the field of nursing. Studying nursing science means looking at the nursing profession as a whole, rather than one or two different jobs.
Nurse scientists often conduct research in the area of nursing practice, working to improve patient conditions and the methods in which nurses work. Research results are then used to educate nurses who practice patient care to provide better care and prevent illness and injury. Nursing research has facilitated many changes in the practice of nursing, as it often uncovers new methods of patient care in such areas as safety, comfort, and illness reduction.
Nursing has advanced from the role of bedside caregiver who works only under the direction of others to its own independent discipline that collaborates with other professionals. Nursing theorists have historically worked to develop nursing into this modern-day discipline by promoting nursing interventions and developing nursing diagnoses. These theorists proposed certain types of care models for nurses to follow in order to promote nursing as its own science.
Some nursing schools instruct students on the historical development of nursing, and many students learn about specific concepts as presented by past nursing theorists. Depending on the school, nursing theory may be part of any registered nurse program. Nursing research is often included as a part of many baccalaureate programs, and students who receive a bachelor’s degree in nursing may study past research or may be expected to conduct some research projects themselves and discuss the results as part of their class work.
Nursing continues to develop as a science, with innovative ideas forming all the time. Beyond the daily tasks of nursing lies a realm of study to continuously reflect on how to provide better patient care and broaden the scope of nursing, solidifying it as its own profession.