Graduate Study Challenges and Strategies for Success Essay

IntroductionNursing education is becoming more demanding each day. At the time, nursing students are confronted with a variety of issues that will make their student years full of all kinds of challenges. Future nurses have to consider both theoretical and practical aspects of their careers, attend to a number of subjects, and enhance their skills in the practical activity, complementing it with theoretical background. This paper will identify the major challenges in the nursing education especially those faced by graduate nursing students and outline strategies that can be used to cope with these challenges.

Changing EnvironmentToday’s nurses have to function in a rapidly changing environment in which they continuously adapt to the new standards, policies, and procedures. Now, many believe that “nurses need to claim the power to raise educational standards for the profession” (Nelson, 2002). The changing environment experiences rapid transformations in the role of the nurse as this professional position acquires more responsibility, getting ready to deal with a large variety of issues. If requirements for baccalaureate and associate studies are heightened, the graduate study programs can experience the same, in which case nurses with a Master’s degree will be prevented from having a large advantage over their professional colleagues. In this case, they will have to compete with professionals who have a higher-level background than before. An increase in the number of nurses with a Bachelor’s degree will further raise the standards of the profession.This challenge means that nursing students have to keep up with the demands of the profession. In part, this can be accomplished via a broad acquaintance with a range of subjects in their field that students can enhance by reading a broad range of periodicals.

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American Journal of Nursing, Journal of Nursing Education, Online Journal of Issues in Nursing are all good sources of information that will allow students maintain a high level of qualification in the rapidly changing environment. Students should also join professional alliances that will permit them to explore new opportunities in their profession. Learning beyond the curriculum should become the norm that will inspire students to improve their qualifications and raise their personal qualification requirements.SpecializationSince graduate study deals with advanced concepts and is in most cases the last barrier to the career of a nurse, it is important to realize that it is a good time to choose an area to specialize in. Many nursing students in graduate programs will select specific areas in which they want to continue their careers.

Andreoli (1987) argues that specialization is an important attribute of graduate study, signifying its advanced level. At the same time, students should not lose the “big picture” of medical issues as a meaningful career in a medical field is unthinkable without a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the human organism. Striking a balance between specialization and broad scope of knowledge is important to working out an effective approach to studies.

To cope with the challenge of specialization, students should first of all address their professors, advisors, and personal mentors if they have any. Talking to a wide range of professionals, students will be able to find their specialization early in their careers, focusing on the area they like most or feel the greatest inclination for. In most cases, students will have enough professional experience to help them make an informed choice about their future career options.When the specialization direction has been chosen, nursing students should once again consult their advisors so as to structure the course schedule in such a way as to meet the requirements for their profession. Inclusion of a wide range of general courses remains the cornerstone of ultimate success as students need to complement skills and knowledge specific to the area with ones that are important to nursing in general.

At the same time, the curriculum should permit enough time and scope for adequate specialization.Transcultural NursingIn today’s rapidly globalizing world, nurses have to confront the challenge of dealing with a variety of people who will come from different cultures. During graduate studies, students have to prepare themselves to deal with such challenge. Typical graduate programs in nursing offer little or no training in Transcultural Nursing. Yet this area can soon become one of the most important in the profession. At the time, “transcultural nursing has become recognized in nursing and other fields as one of the most significant and growing trends in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries” (Murphy, 2005).Students in graduate nursing programs have to learn to see beyond medical facts to people for guidance on the culturally sensitive nursing practices. Throughout their clinical experiences, they should seek to identify and cope with cultural challenges that emerge in a world where patients can come from differing backgrounds with radically divergent understanding of care and health.

In this way, they can prepare for the challenge of dealing with diverse patient body in their professional careers.ConclusionNursing has become a highly complex profession balancing many requirements at the time. Graduate students are in the position to acquaint themselves with all aspects of their profession in their courses. To accomplish this, they need to learn to respond to speedy transformations in nursing environments that can raise the standards for the profession. Learning to specialize and at the same time maintain a focus on the general picture, students can improve their skills and learn to cope with difficulties.

Development of specific strategies to cope with challenges can become a viable tool of improving one’s educational outcomes.ReferencesAndreoli, K.G. (1987, February). Specialization and graduate curricula: finding the fit. Nursing in Health Care 8(2), 64-9.Murphy, S.

C. (2006, April). Mapping the literature of transcultural nursing. Journal of the Medical Library Association 94 (2 Suppl), E143–E151.Nelson, M. (May 31, 2002).

Education for Professional Nursing Practice: Looking Backward Into the Future. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 7(3), Manuscript 3. Retrieved July 24, 2006, from 


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