First few Article Sentences
With the influx of more complex, chronic diseases, an aging, growing and more diverse population in Washington State, the knowledge and competencies necessary for nurses to do their jobs are expanding. Nurses must advance their education to provide care coordination for patients and families across the continuum of care, provide clinical leadership, use research to find evidence for care decisions, to teach patients and families, and champion system improvements. Nurses are currently the least-educated healthcare professionals nationally, yet are expected to lead quality and major change efforts, analyze clinical outcomes data, and manage populationsí care. In addition, we have a critical nursing faculty shortage in Washington; to replace retiring faculty, we must have nurses with at least a masterís degree to teach at community colleges and universities.