In addition to their core subjects, nurses need to enroll for additional courses which enhance their competence in patient-centered care, professionalism, leadership, systems-based practice, information and technology, communication, teamwork and collaboration, safety, quality improvement, and evidence-based practice. Some of the relevant courses for a future nurse include statistics, religion, fine arts, and English literature.
It has been found out that one of the most frequently reported barriers to nurses utilizing research findings in practice is their difficulty in understanding statistics. Although critical care nurses need not necessarily be statisticians, they need to possess a working knowledge of statistics so that they can effectively apply research findings in their practice. According to Riackard (2008), statistics is very critical for nursing practice for a number of reasons presented in the subsequent part of this discussion. Statistics help nurses to back up their arguments clearly. Statistics of patients help nurses to understand more about issues of patients. Statistics also help nurses to understand themselves since they can use statistics to measure or describe their own performance. Statistics help nurses to compare options for their practice since statistics helps them in not only decision-making but also choosing the right ones. Further statistics also help nurses avoid making bad decisions by challenging them to rethink their assumptions. Statistics is useful for a nurse interested in developing and informing best practice in nursing since statistics is one of the requirements. Statistics apply a lot in personal life since a nurse need to quantify risk, make decisions, or even use statistics to understand the news. Statistics teach nurses to be cautious because they understand that even perfect statistics will not make up for any errors introduced during data collection.
Religion is very important for nurses. Nurses handle patients from diverse religious backgrounds and they frequently encounter an ethical dilemma in their duties which include refusal of treatment and telling the truth (Battista, 2010). Such situations are challenging, frustrating, and stressing for nurses. Provision of quality care is partly contributed by how well a nurse attends to a patient in line with his/her religious affiliation. Some of the issues that a nurse need to include prayers, diet, visitors, clothing, holy days, religious symbols, and views regarding terminal illness and death (Griffith, 2009). There is an intersection between certain religious teachings, values, and/or practices, and code of ethics for nurses. For example, the golden rule and virtue ethics are consistent with some religious beliefs and practices. Although certain ethical issues in nursing are consistent with religious teachings, some are not in line with religious teachings. A nurse who is conversant with religion understands how to balance ethical and religious issues for improved collaboration with other professionals, leadership, teamwork, quality improvement, communication, and patient-centered-care.
It has been reported that the pioneer of the nursing profession, Florence Nightingale, perceived nursing as a form of fine arts. According to Nightingale, nursing profession requires a great amount of devotion equivalent to that of a sculptor or a painter (Nightingale Awards, 2015). Nurses trained in fine arts appreciate the amount of effort required to transform an object which can be ugly to the most attractive. Nurses handle patients, some of them are on the verge of being declared useless. However, through their dedication/devotion, the nurses can transform the patients from helpless state to sound health in total contrast with their sick status. Concepts from fine art can be used to improve nurses professional life including communication and observational skills, empathy, and abilities for narrative sequencing (Frei, Alvarez, and Alexander, 2010).
In their day-to-day activities, nurses interact with fellow professionals, patients, and their family members. An understanding of English literature is essential where advanced communication skills in stressful situations are required. Nurses also need to be conversant with English literature because they occasionally attend meetings and conferences where the language used is English. Nurses also need to read and examine documents of latest research findings in medical research or disciplines related to healthcare. Nurses need to be good in speaking English especially when they are working in an environment where their colleagues, patients, and family members are not native English speakers. Poor English literature skills may lead to misunderstandings with colleagues, misinterpretations between nurses and patients, misinterpretations between nurses and patients relatives, and/or medical errors (Corrizzato and Goracci, 2013).
Battista, A. (2010). American Nurses Association Code of Ethics and the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services Crosswalk. Retrieved from: https://www.chausa.org/docs/default-source/general-files/american-nurses-association-code-of-ethics-pdf.pdf?sfvrsn=0
Corrizzato, S., & Goracci, G. (2013). English for nursing: the importance of developing communicative competencies. Journal of Teaching English for Specific and Academic Purposes, 1(2), 177-184.
Frei, J., Alvarez, S. E., & Alexander, M. B. (2010). Ways of seeing: using the visual arts in nursing education. Journal of Nursing Education, 49(12), 672-676.
Griffith, J.K. (2009). The Religious Aspects of Nursing Care. Retrieved from: https://nursing.ubc.ca/sites/nursing.ubc.ca/files/documents/ReligiousAspectsofNursingCareEEdition.pdf
Nightingale Awards. (2015). Nursing: Fine Art. Retrieved from: http://www.nightingaleawards.org/scholarships/nursing-fine-art/
Rickard, C. M. (2008). Statistics for clinical nursing practice: an introduction. Australian Critical Care, 21(4), 216-219.
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