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NLN Hosts Conversation about Proposed Changes to Master's Education

NLN Hosts Conversation about Proposed Changes to Masters Education

Ninety Stakeholders Address Preparation for Advanced Practice in Nursing Education, Nursing Administration, and APRN Roles


New York, NY — April 23, 2010 — The National League for Nursings timely Invitational Conference on Masters Education has confirmed the importance of embracing points of view that are inclusive of all types of nursing education programs when considering changes in advanced practice preparation.

The conference, which took place on Monday, April 19, gathered multiple and varied perspectives from panelists and participants representing public and private schools of nursing, nursing organizations, advanced practice nursing roles, and practice environments.

"As the voice for all nurse educators, we were excited to initiate this dialogue," said NLN president Dr. Cathleen Shultz who presided over the gathering. "The Leagues core values of caring, integrity, diversity, and excellence provided a foundation to understand divergent thinking and allowed us to come together and address vital issues."

The meeting addressed the following questions:

  • What is the role of masters education in preparing nurses to deliver advanced practice nursing care in a reformed health care system?
  • What value does the continued existence of masters programs that prepare advanced practice nurses for specialty roles bring to the nursing profession and to the delivery of health care?
  • What future models of academic progression will best serve the nursing profession in preparing adequate numbers of advanced practice nurses to meet the health care needs of individuals, populations, and communities?
  • What is the role of masters education in preparing nurse administrators and nurse educators?
  • What strategies to increase diversity are required for masters education to meet the needs of a reformed multi-racial, ethnic health care system?
  • What collaborative approaches among regulation, credentialing, accreditation, education, and health care systems are needed to fully embrace the role of the advanced practice nurse?

The conference provided numerous opportunities for open mike discussions and for essential roundtable conversations to synthesize thinking. Key recommendations include:

  • Value MSN advanced specialty practice, for example, nursing administration, nursing education, community health, nursing informatics, etc.
  • Seize the moment provided by health care reform to supply the advanced practice nurses needed to fill new roles in emerging practice environments.
  • Utilize workforce data to determine what types of advanced practice nurses graduate schools need to produce.
  • Affirm that both MSN and DNP programs have value and credibility in todays health care system.
  • Support academic progression within nursing education and develop education models that are efficient, cost-effective, and accessible.
  • Affirm the need for greater diversity in order to achieve excellence in nursing. Celebrate the uniqueness of and differences among persons and ethnicities.

Said NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone, "An NLN Reflection & Dialogue piece, describing our thinking and the perspectives offered by participants at the meeting, will be posted on our website this summer. In this way, all members of the nursing community will have the opportunity for input on this important issue. We look forward to providing continued dialogue to consider multiple and varied thoughts about reframing masters education to meet nursings commitment to build a strong and diverse workforce for the future."

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education offering faculty development, networking opportunities, testing and assessment, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 30,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members.