According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Overall, job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to be good. Generally, registered nurses with at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) will have better job prospects than those without one.” With the emphasis on higher education in nursing, it has become more important than ever to pursue advanced degrees to keep up with the growing demand in health care.

Kathleen Birmingham, Manager of Nursing Quality at Mercy Medical Center-Baltimore, is a great example of how pursuing an advanced degree can be influential in furthering a career in nursing. For others looking to go into this field, Birmingham offers some insight into the role education can play in this ever-growing field.

(Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Birmingham)

(Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Birmingham)

How does your education play a part in your current role?

“I received a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 2010, and am currently a graduate student seeking a Doctorate of Nursing Practice for Family Nurse Practitioner. My graduate schooling focuses on developing students to be successful advanced practice nurses and flourishing leaders. The curriculum has consisted of classes that teach fundamentals of leadership, nursing/healthcare administration, and management.”

What have you learned through your education in nursing?

“My BSN program instructors encouraged us to get involved, use our knowledge and have a voice. I learned early on that the only way to enhance quality and patient safety is to stick to your gut, work to find a resolution or better practice and use your knowledge to guide others. My education has helped me to further my leadership techniques, nursing skills and overall understanding of health care administration which has overwhelmingly aided in my success.”

What advice can you offer others looking to enter the nursing field?

“Seek out surrounding leaders you share values with and admire, watch them and let them help to guide you. Get involved in your organization in areas you have a passion for, and stick to the achievable goals you’ve set. Develop a mission statement encompassing your skills, the skills you want to achieve and the goals of the type of leader you want to be.”

Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on