Free «Comparison of Two Nursing Education Systems» Essay Paper
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The current paper aims to perform a comparative analysis of the nursing education system in the United States and the United Kingdom. Thus, the paper examines differences and similarities between the two systems in terms of time allocation, course choice, and clinical experience. Whilst the two systems seem to be similar in many aspects, a detailed analysis reveals significant differences, particularly in qualification requirements and regulation. The paper employs qualitative description and uses secondary sources drawn from different databases to complete the comparative analysis.
The United States’ nursing education system is multi-tier. Thus, it includes different levels depending on one’s qualification and clinical experience. The basic level is the licensed practical nurse (LPN), which requires an applicant to undergo 12-month training in a technical or vocational state-approved college. After completing training, the trainee is expected to pass a state licensure examination in order to qualify as a licensed nurse. In order to become a registered nurse (RN), one must undergo a 4 years’ Bachelor of Science nursing degree, after which they should pass a state licensure exam (Robinson & Griffiths, 2007). Finally, advanced practice nurses (APN) must have a Master’s degree to acquire advanced theoretical and practical skills, such as prescribing medication, diagnosing and conducting physical examinations.
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Contrary to the case in the U.S., the U.K nursing education system pre-registration requirements have one level only, which is a Registered nurse. For one to qualify as a registered nurse, an application must be over the age of 17 years and have completed 11 to 12 years of general education (Robinson & Griffiths, 2007). In addition, the aspirants are required to have attained or exceeded good standing grades in a number of predetermined subjects. Moreover, for one to become a registered nurse, an applicant must have a degree or a diploma, with degree program running between three and four years and diploma running for at least 3 year (Furlong & Smith, 2005). Post-registration requirements are a part of professional development and may require taking specialist education in different subject areas.
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The states or territorial authorities in the U.S. regulate the nursing education for first-level nurses. Each state has a Nurse Practice Act, which defines the process of formation of a nursing board with legal power to influence nursing education. All state boards are represented in the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), which is responsible for providing licensure examinations. For advanced nursing practice, the individual state’s Nurse Practice Act exercises the control. In addition, the advanced degree applicants are also viable for national accreditation (Dolton & Vignoles, 2000). It is important to note that LPN should also pass the national licensing examinations established by NCSBN.
In the U.K. nursing education system, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) govern first level nurses. The council has statutory authority to protect the public wellbeing through the education standards for first level nurses. The NMC assures that the education standards include institutional and course approval, quality monitoring, and periodical reviews of the education system (Robinson & Griffiths, 2007). Equally, the council has the responsibility to ensure the competence and professional conduct among registered nurses. The government provides legislation of advanced nurses at the early stages. The council has shown efforts to introduce rules to govern qualification and standards for advanced nursing practice.
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The comparative analysis sought to explicate the difference and similarities in the nursing education system in the U.S. and the U.K. in terms qualification requirements and regulation. Whilst the two systems have some similarities, a close analysis indicates notable differences. First, the U.S. nursing education system is multi-tier and consists of various levels including LPN, RN, and APN. The levels require different educational qualification and practical experience. On the other hand, the U.K system has one basic level of a registered nurse. Second, state and national boards of council regulates the U.S. nursing system, while the Nursing and Midwifery Council only governs the U.K. nurses.