The numbers increased greatly from 2011, when 74 percent of nurses were satisfied with their career and 55 percent said that they “planned to continue working as I am.”
Survey experts speculated that the jump could have come from the positive attention nursing has received since the publication of the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing Report, which showed that nurses have a bright future and called for them to be key players in transforming health care in the future.
To meet the recommendations of the IOM report and a looming nursing shortage in Georgia, universities and colleges across the state have launched new nursing programs, more bridge programs to allow registered nurses to earn BSN degrees, and more advanced nursing degrees.
“Regardless of how the Affordable Health Care Act is implemented, we know that we are going to need more nurse practitioners serving in our communities and a higher level of practice at the bedside. That’s the real emphasis behind educating more nurses at the baccalaureate level,” said Linda Streit, RN, DSN, dean of Mercer University’s Georgia Baptist College of Nursing .
With a bachelor’s degree, nurses can provide a higher level of care, and continue their education to work in advanced practice roles.
While nurses are working to raise the bar, the public already holds them in high esteem. According to a 2012 Gallup Poll, nurses ranked highest (85 percent) among all professions. Technically, the poll measured Americans’ perceptions of honesty and ethical standards, but pollsters note that the approval rating is indicative of a broader measure of the profession’s image.
Opportunities for nurses and how people perceive the profession are on the upswing. That’s a lot to celebrate.