Running head: QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS AND PROFESSIONALISM IN NURSING
QualityImprovements and Professionalism in Nursing
QualityImprovements and Professionalism in Nursing
FlorenceNightingale’s efforts to invoke professionalism in nursing as anotable profession is still witnessed today. According to Hood(2014), Nightingale introduced quality improvement activities innursing and thereby realizing very significant results by decreasingmortality from 60% to less than 2% (490). She demanded thatco-workers taking care of wounded servicemen at the Barrack Hospitalkeep to detailed records relative to proper nutrition, fresh air, andcleanliness of patients. The records enabled Nightingale toconsistently analyze the recorded statistics which offered tangibleevidence that the quality of nursing care ultimately resulted inreduced mortality. As such, progressive literature on mattershealthcare like ToErr is Human: Building a Safer Health Systemhighlighted the “Establishment of national safety goals trackprogress in safety improvement and fund research to learn how toprevent healthcare-related errors” (Hood, 2014, P. 494). Thus, thepaper discusses the importance of Hood’s statement in the contextof safety education for nurses in ensuring continuous qualityimprovement in the profession.
Theterm quality as employed in healthcare is construed to presentvarying meanings to different entities. Hood (2014) provides that theInstitute of Medicines denotes quality healthcare as “safe, timely,efficient, equitable, effective and patient centered” (490).Healthcare consumers associate quality healthcare with technicalcompetence, caring providers, accurate billing, timely services, andbetter health status. On the other hand, nursing professionalparameters like availability of medical supplies, nurse-patientratios, educational information, quality of subordinate staff,educational assistance and resource availability for procedures asviable quality indicators (Hood, 2014, P. 490).
Indeed,professionalism in nursing has realized an exponential increase inadherence to various quality improvement initiatives spearheadedthrough professional bodies. Given that the errors noted stemmed fromcomplexities in contemporary healthcare institutions, there emerged acritical urgency towards additional endorsements towards qualifiededucation for healthcare professions. The Institute of Medicineproposed that nursing education should be solely pegged on fivecritical competencies (Hood, 2014, P. 494). These competenciesinclude: teamwork and collaboration patient-centered care QI andsafety evidence based practice and informatics.
Studieschampioned by the nation’s federal government assessed societaltrends and the results thereof pointed out that, diversity incitizenry, greater demand for top-notch healthcare service provision,and rising demographics of the elderly, could only be addressed byempowering the nursing profession (Hood, 2014, P. 495). It was notedthat nursing education and training ought to be exploited to thefullest extent thereby calling for barriers limiting nurses’potentials to maximize on attained expertise. The federal report alsoadvocated for the nursing professional to aim for greater educationand training levels. This is only attainable through improvements tothe contemporary education systems towards that promotes for smoothacademic advancement.
AsHood (2014) establishes, there is the need for the present healthcaresystem to push for an up to 80% increase in the number of practicingnursing professionals holding baccalaureate degrees (495). Thefederal reported also emphasized on the need to have the proportionof nursing professionals attached to a doctor doubled. It is onlythrough a very well educating nursing workforce that the presenthealthcare system can be able to respond to the increasing healthcareassociated complexities and healthcare consumer diversity. More so,collaborations between organizations in the healthcare industry andthe nursing faculty could the freshly educated nurses manifestskills, knowledge and attitude requisite for effective as well asefficient professional practice. As such, professionalism in nursingthrough upper educational levels plays an integral part in leadingfor changes towards enhanced quality delivery in today’sincreasingly complex healthcare organizations (Hood, 2014, P. 495).Nursing professionals with greater academic credentials are betterplaced in collaboratively engaging diversity in professional healthteams. Competition among professionals in the healthcare sectors willbe essentially eliminated through greater education which nurturesjoint efforts in appraising quality parameters for the entire system.
Sprayberry(2014) suggests that quality as the most desired aspect of thenursing profession is critical towards realizing nursing-sensitivepatient outcomes or (NSPO) (124). It is only through nursingeducation initiatives that are well inclined to evidence basednursing practice can invoke greater nursing research towardsascertaining indicators and identifiers of NSPO’s. Throughnurse-sensitive parameters, institutional policies can work towardsensuring professionals in this field of healthcare remain accountableto various quality outcomes. For instance, higher educationalcredentials among nursing professions can enable for caregivers toembrace a psychological ownership towards heightened awareness ontotal quality improvement and continuous quality improvement(Sprayberry, 2014, P. 124-125).
Inconclusion, it is imperative to note that the skills and knowledgethat nursing professionals make available to patient care is broadand deep rooted in the provision of top-notch nursing education. Asthis paper has critically shown, transformations in today’shealthcare systems within the US can only be actualized through there-invention, remodeling and redefining on nursing and morespecifically nursing education. Direct care nursing professionalshave the capacity to propel transformations in the system byemploying quality parameters to offer descriptive values what theydo, what they know and by extension, avail suggestions informingnovel ways to employ clinical practice as a method for professionalevaluation, development and education.
Hood,L. (2014). Leddy& Pepper`s conceptual bases of professional nursing.Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Sprayberry,L. D. (2014). A response to the transformation of America’s healthcare: direct-care nurses bring flowers™ to the bedside. MEDSURGNursing. March-April2014.23(2).