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Postgraduate nursing programmes 'enhance practice'


Postgraduate programmes enhance practice and further professionalise nursing, say Welsh researchers.

The team interviewed 19 nurses who had completed a Masters course.

Data was collected in the United Kingdom and Germany from August 2006 to February 2007.

The researchers found that nurses who had completed a Masters course increasingly used research-based evidence to underpin changes made to practice and multi-professional working was enhanced.

Writing online in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, they said nurses’ confidence had improved, and they had “rediscovered and championed the profession”.


Readers' comments (44)

  • michael stone

    It is hardly surprising, that a Masters would make someone more confident - although, 'the more you learn, the more you realise how much you don't properly understand', which qualifies 'confident'.

    But personally, I'm getting confused by the question of 'what are the different roles of nurses and doctors ?'. Prsumably these titles - 'nurse', 'doctor', etc - do mean something ?

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  • No sure I understand what your comment means?

    How about a Doctor of Nursing which is probably the highest academic qualification in the profession?

    Anonymous, MSc, RN!

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  • Of course it does! This goes without saying!! And it is only going to increase and get better over time.

    To Michael, the roles of a Doctor and a Nurse are primarily different in their paradigms, even though we both have the same aim (treatment and care of our patients) and both do work very closely together and do intertwine a lot, but both are highly skilled and qualified professions in their own right. The blurring of the lines is becoming more apparent now with the advent of increasing numbers of Nurses undertaking postgraduate courses and becoming as highly qualified, if not more so than a doctor. (Remember, an academic Doctorate is technically superior to a medical degree for a physician, who have the title 'Doctor' as an honorific). This does not mean one is better than the other, it certainly means Nurses are no longer the inferior second class to the medical profession they once were. It does mean that Nursing and the medical profession are finally starting to stand together as equal professionals.

    What I see/hope to see happening in the future is a vastly increased numbers of Nurses with Masters and Doctorates performing in a Nursing career and giving Nursing care at the highest possible level (perhaps at the highest level with the title Nurse Physician or Doctor of Nursing or whatever) but with the same pay/status and respect that a Doctor/Physician gains now, where Nurses are viewed in the same way as a Doctor is, but with slightly different roles.

    I admit that there is a long way to go before this happens and we have a huge fight on our hands, particularly in the way of pay/terms and conditions. But it WILL happen, if we fight for it.

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  • Go Mike!!

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  • When it comes to patients the only doctor who can legally give a 'medical diagnosis' is a medical doctor. Although I admire nurses that go on to achieve a PhD, but having many colleagues that are 'proper doctors' in the academic sense, they don't have the same clout as 'medical doctors'. A PhD can be very topic specific in relation to a medical doctor, who may eventually become specialised. I'm afraid that is fact, there is no comparison. Neither should there be, as both have such a valuable contribution to make. Both medical and academic doctors should appreciate each other. The nursing MSc and Doctorate course vere towards specialisation in most cases.

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  • Post graduate means what it says - after a period of time as a trained practitioner Degree, Dip, whatever, with a substanial level of experience under the belt

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  • "When it comes to patients the only doctor who can legally give a 'medical diagnosis' is a medical doctor. "

    That's not correct - a ward clerk could give a medical diagnosis if they chose to, although their empoyer might not look too favourably on this. It would only be illegal if they pretended to be a doctor while doing it.

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  • Always love reading your comments, Mike.

    Same pay and status ...? Not in my time I suspect, but then so said Margaret Thatcher about women Prime Ministers ....

    Lets just keep pushing along together!

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  • Anonymous | 3-Jun-2011 0:37 am you are wrong, on so many levels, but specifically there are Nurse diagnosis courses now too.

    I agree that Nurses, wether Doctors or not, do not have the same clout as medical Doctors, but this should, and is - slowly - changing.

    I also agree that we should not be considered in the same light as a medical Doctor, as I have said many times before, our professions are different. BUT we should be viewed at that level with the same amount of respect, clout and status. If a Nurse for example diagnoses something, why should that be seen in any less of a light than a Physician diagnosing it?

    Anonymous | 3-Jun-2011 11:34 am thank you, we can always keep on hoping, and fighting!

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  • "...having many colleagues that are 'proper doctors' in the academic sense, they don't have the same clout as 'medical doctors'. "

    they have a totally different role and a PhD in nursing indicates that academically they have the highest qualification in their profession. one does not undertake a doctorate in nursing or even an MSc to get more 'clout'!

    Nurses make nursing diagnoses to plan the nursing care that their patients require which works in parallel to a medical diagnosis. A doctor is no more able to prescribe nursing care than a nurse to prescribe some medical care and a patient cannot be effectively be looked after without both of these. it is time that people understood this and stopped comparing the two professions whose purpose is to work side by side and not for one to dominate the other!

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