As nursing constantly migrate toward professionalism and development of the profession, the notion of erudition becomes increasingly important. Erudition in nursing is defined as those actions that steadily advance nursing practice and nursing research through rigorous inquiry that is important to the profession, is creative, documentable and can be elaborated. Practical nursing program therefore is a foundational factor in nursing that analytically and methodically strengthen the basic principle of nursing. Notably, developing the science of nursing education is an expedition that entails many people and activities. In fact, a constant task integrates the continual questions asking and the ongoing search for understanding (Billings & Halstead, 2009). Particularly, practical nursing program supports participation in continuing educational activities. In this regard, this paper highlights the outcomes of practical nursing program, its objectives, outcome measurements, its relationship to the target population and objectives besides identifying learning theories that acts as its foundation.
Practical nursing program is a course that allows provision of education leading to basic knowledge of physical, behavioral, psychological, sociological and biological sciences and nursing procedures (Harrion, 2001). Practical nurses and students nurses, who form the target population practical nursing program, employ the use of standardized processes in the observation and care of the ill, infirm and injured as well as in the maintenance of health. They do so in efforts of safeguarding health and life in treatments and medications administration (Bunker & Kowalski, 2007). Notably, practical nursing program allows nurses to use the nursing procedure that involves decision-making and critical thinking. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) can as well assume the role of charge-nurse in a long-term care facility, but LPNs nurses operate under the supervision of a registered nurse, osteopath, podiatrist, dentist or a physician (Harrion, 2001) . Therefore, practical nursing is the action of providing specific services to patients under direct supervision of RN or a licensed physician. The provision of services takes place in a structured setting surrounding the caring of sick, rehabilitation of the injured and sick as well as prevention of injury and sickness.
The practical nursing program allows practical nurses to help people, well or sick, to perform activities that add value to their health, their recovery or help them experience a peaceful death. The activities include all actions that patients would carry out without assistance if they had the required strength, knowledge or will (Harrion, 2001). The program also allows nurses to help patients achieve independence as quickly as possible. A practical nurse get trained to be a responsible member of a team of health care, performing fundamental therapeutic, preventive and rehabilitative care to those who requires it.
Notably, practical nursing program supports accountability of one's own nursing practice within the legal and ethical framework. The program also helps nurses to serve as advocates for patients besides accepting their roles in upholding and developing principles of practice in provision of health care. In the contemporary world, the responsibilities and role of LPNs has developed from bathing patients to carrying out skilled tasks required to offer health care to people within illness or wellness continuum.
Objectives of Practical Nursing programs
The practical nursing program prepares people wishing to engage into the nursing practice as practical nurses. The objectives for practical nursing practice are to gain the specialized skills and knowledge required to meet the health requirements of patient in different setting. The program also prepares students to graduates from state-approved practical nursing program, an aspect that allows them to obtain a state license to practice (Bunker & Kowalski, 2007). The practical nursing program is designed to offer nursing education that will allow the practical nurse to employ basic communication for assessment, documentation and teaching in a well thought-out setting. The program also allows nurse to carryout fundamental therapeutic and preventive nursing processes needed by assigned patients through basic principles. Identification of developmental level, cultural beliefs and knowledge are educational objectives of a practical nursing program (Billings & Halstead, 2009).
Other objectives include demonstration of professional values when interacting with fellow students, clients and health care team. More so, students are able to utilize fundamental evaluation skills to determine deviations from ordinary health status in clinical areas and lab. Moreover, students are in position to communicate deviations to suitable healthcare team members. Students also learn to use suitable interventions to support positive client outcomes as well as help them alter standard care plan to optimize client's outcomes (Billings & Halstead, 2009). The program allows students to identify legal and ethical needs besides learning options and needs for constant professional development.
The statues describes the duties of a LPN as the assumption of accountability and responsibilities for nursing practice in accordance with skills and knowledge obtained through an approved practical nursing program (Bunker & Kowalski, 2007). LPNs may function at the guidance of licensed practitioner. However, the performance and responsibilities of LPN must follow procedures that lead to predictable outcomes, which include
Contribution to the evaluation of individual and group is health status
Participation in the growth and alteration of care plan
Execution of suitable plan of care aspects
Maintenance of effective and safe nursing care provided indirectly or directly
Participation in the assessment of reaction to interventions
Directing and assigning nursing interventions that can be carried out by other people with creation of conflict.
Upon completion of a practical nursing program, students are able to support the philosophy and mission of the nursing field through practicing safe, productive and culturally sensitive nursing care. The functions of practical nurses get support through supervision of other healthcare providers in different healthcare setting as LPN. Moreover, students are able to carryout their nursing activities as participants in the healthcare sphere. They are also able to identify deviations from normal health conditions and start nursing interventions besides communicating their findings to healthcare teams (Billings & Halstead, 2009).
Students also carryout fundamental therapeutic nursing process safely and recognize ethical and legal roles. Successful completion of the course allows students to communicate efficiently with families, clients and other interdisciplinary healthcare team members (Geverson & Oermann, 2010). With the knowledge required for practical nurses, students become qualified practical nurses with potential to secure career prospects in different health-care settings such as rehabilitation services, acute care, long-term care, community services, psychiatry and complex care. More importantly, the program allows graduates to measure their competencies and knowledge of engaging effective and safe nursing practice.
A qualified and licensed practical nurse should be able to provide care and must illustrate comprehension of client/family or individual across illness/health and the effects of environment to health. The graduate should ascertain the psychosocial, developmental, spiritual, and physiological needs of their clients. Helping clients or families achieve optimal well-being helps in ascertaining the outcome of practical nursing program. Responding to the needs of clients through participating in the nursing procedure measures the positive outcome of a practical nursing program (Bunker & Kowalski, 2007). More so, making sound clinical decisions, assessment, diagnosis, planning, execution and evaluation of nursing process also measures the positive upshots of a practical nursing program. Engaging problem-solving perspective that helps in identifications of client's requirements as well as implementation of client-centered treatment intervention that connect to psychosocial and physiological integrity, health maintenance and promotion are paramount. Effective and safe care atmosphere are also important (Billings & Halstead, 2009).
The practical nurse should be in a position to gather data, identify the needs of clients, execute therapeutic nursing interventions and assess the efficiency of nursing interventions as assigned by supervisors. The nurse should as well engage critical thinking in resolving problems relating to needs of clients. A practical nurse helps in quality enhancement measures through assessing the efficiency of performed nursing interventions, and through identifying hazards and errors linking to nursing care. More importantly, a trained practical nurse should be able to initiate and manage care (Billings & Halstead, 2009). They should also respond to identified needs of clients through executing culturally competent, evidence-based treatment interventions that add value to a client's health, peaceful death or recovery.
Precisely, the major course outcome measurement procedure include, professional behaviors and values, identification of needs of clients, critical thinking, cultural competence, communication, appropriate data collection procedures, teaching-learning and therapeutic interventions. Other forms of measurement include performance of licensure exam, completion and satisfaction of the program, job placement and lifelong learning (Geverson & Oermann, 2010).
Theories Used As Foundation of Course
Nursing philosophies are methodical descriptions and accounts of a professional nursing. The theories range from regular construction to everyday guides to nursing practice. However, all the theories are applicable to patient care situations. The foundation of the course is on provision of effective, safe and culturally competent nursing care to all who need it, and in different healthcare atmosphere. The program stresses on professional values, dedication to excellence and lifelong learning. Particularly, the course foundations starts from the theory of caring. Notably, caring is the core concept and essence of the nursing practice. The major apprehension for human poise and the realization of…