Alabama nurses encouraged to continuously pursue education

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — During National Nurses Week which began on Wednesday, University of Alabama in Huntsville Doctors Susan Alexander and Martha Howell Adams remind nurses that education doesn’t stop after receiving an associate’s degree or a baccalaureate degree.  Dr. Adams is Dean and Professor of Nursing at UAH, and Dr. Alexander is a clinical associate professor and President of Nurse Practitioners of Alabama.

“It’s very important that we continue lifelong learning because it actually makes our practice better,” Dr. Adams said.

Typically, nurses are the first people visitors see when they arrive at their appointments; and the people who patients rely on to answer questions once the physician leaves.

“Nurses are the front line of healthcare,” Dr. Alexander said.

In October 2010, the Institute of Nursing released a report which laid out a blueprint for nurses to follow that would allow them to give patients top-level care. The Alabama Health Coalition concentrates on carrying out these recommendations.

“It addressed quality care, access to care and cost effectiveness,” Dr. Adams said.

The Alabama Health Coalition helps those nurses with associate’s degrees to move onto the baccalaureate level and then to the graduate level. The group has two major goals they hope to accomplish within the next five years.

“By 2020, 80 percent of the nurses in the country, would have at least a baccalaureate degree,” Dr. Adams said.  “By 2020, we would double the number of doctorally prepared nurses.”

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