The Education Action Team is a specialized group within the Michigan Nursing Action Coalition that develops health care solutions through education. The team has three main focuses; the first is to increase the amount of BSNs in Michigan. The second is to increase the amount of RNs with doctorates (PhD, DNP). And the third is to educate nurses about public and population health. The team met late this June to identify and discuss barriers to education progression. They found the following four barriers:
Clinical sites. This was thought to be perhaps the greatest obstacle on the list. Identifying and placing clinical rotation spots can be challenging to nursing programs. Students rely on clinical experiences to learn and get their degree. The action team identified the need to grow a network of clinical liaisons, document where problems occur, and create a database for students and instructors to utilize in the process.
Lack of qualified faculty. There are not enough candidates who would like to pursue PhDs in order to become educators. This is partially due to the lack of a financial incentive, with the rising cost of education often outweighing an educator’s salary. There also seems to be an issue with focus. There are many educational paths which health professionals can take, with varying challenges and benefits. The education team discussed creating an infographic to reflect the various educational pathways in order to help professionals and students alike make an informed decision.
Funding education. There are countless men and women who would like to continue their education, were it not for the financial barriers. Often, employers will offer to help pay for education with certain requirements. However, the knowledge and expectations between employers/employees are not always clear. For the Education Action Team, communicating where and how to receive financial aid is vital. There are also those who simply may not want to continue their education, because they’re happy with where they’re at. While this is okay for some, it may be useful to communicate the professional, financial, and personal benefits of continuing education.
Affiliations and transitions between ADN & BSM. Students who transfer from community college to a four year university can often find that classes they took don’t actually transfer to their desired school. This can be both mentally and financially strenuous on students looking to further their education. Streamlining requirements across higher education could lead to major reform.
After discussion, debate, and a vote, the team decided to make clinical sites and funding education their main focus for the next meeting. In the next month, the Education Action Team will form a plan. In order to combat the clinical site barrier, the team will start to develop a database and list of where sites are having problems so that they know exactly where and how to address the issues. In order to combat financial barriers to education, the team will start to research past/existing agreements with benefactors in order to inform their next steps.
Do you have thoughts on other potential barriers to education? If so, contact Stacie Hill at Stacie.Hill@mhc.org.
To receive updates or to join the Education Action Team, click here.