Topic 3 DQ 1
Discuss the correlation between nursing education and positive patient outcomes. Include current research that links patient safety outcomes to advanced degrees in nursing. Based on some real-life experiences, explain whether you agree or disagree with this research.
Expert Answer and Explanation
Nursing Education and Positive Patient Outcome
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), an organization that has since championed nursing education across the US, education has improved positive patient outcomes by impacting nurses with skills and knowledge to provide quality and safe care. The organization notes that healthcare professionals with Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees can provide safe care as stipulated by federal, state, or local level governments. BSN nurses are prized for their leadership, critical thinking, health promotion, and case management abilities. These skills are critical in the provision of quality care. Melnyk et al. (2018) found that nursing education level is linked with positive patient outcomes. The authors found that nurse education was related to lower failure-to-rescue rate and lower mortality in their study. The researchers recommended that nurses should increase their education for them to provide quality care. I agree, will the research. In real-life experience, lowly skilled healthcare professionals often refer patients to highly skilled caregivers to help clients.
Another study done by Zhang and Cui (2018) found that highly educate nurses can help reduce the rate of falls, hospital-acquired infections, and high mortality. For instance, high educated and qualified healthcare professionals have the skills and knowledge they can use to perform proper surgical procedures, hence reducing the rate of surgical site infections. As a result, the patient being operated by qualified and highly educated healthcare professionals will have high patient satisfaction and positive outcomes, such as high bed turnover. Leadership skills are also fundamental when it comes to positive patient outcomes. Nursing leaders can make effective decisions and design policies that can improve patient outcomes.
Melnyk, B. M., Gallagher‐Ford, L., Zellefrow, C., Tucker, S., Thomas, B., Sinnott, L. T., & Tan, A. (2018). The first US study on nurses’ evidence‐based practice competencies indicates major deficits that threaten healthcare quality, safety, and patient outcomes. Worldviews on Evidence‐Based Nursing, 15(1), 16-25. https://doi.org/10.1111/wvn.12269
Zhang, J., & Cui, Q. (2018). Collaborative learning in higher nursing education: A systematic review. Journal of Professional Nursing, 34(5), 378-388. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.profnurs.2018.07.007
Expert Answer and Explanation
DNP and a PhD
Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is an educational program aimed to produce nurses in advanced clinical practice. Nurses who have undergone the DNP program have the highest level of nursing knowledge and expertise. They can work either in leadership roles or in clinical settings (Fullerton, Schuiling, & Sipe, 2019). On the other hand, a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) degree is an educational program that focuses on improving the knowledge of nurses in science and research. This degree is meant to prepare masters degree nurses in nursing research by proving them will skill in research and knowledge in science. The fundamental difference between DNP and PhD in nursing is that DNP focuses on improving nurses’ knowledge in clinical practice while PhD aims at improving advanced nurses’ skills in healthcare research and knowledge in healthcare science (Hartjes et al. 2019). Another difference is that nurses with PhD certificates can teach research in nursing schools, but DNP nurses cannot teach the same subject.
If I chose to pursue advanced nursing education, I would go for DNP. My dream was to become a healthcare professional so that I can provide care to my family and my neighboring community. I feel that if I become an advanced nurse practitioner with DNP, I will provide quality and safe care either through an administrative role or direct patient care. For instance, as a nurse leader, I will make proper decisions and design policies that promote patient outcomes. I will also supervise nurses to ensure that they provide care as stipulated by our organization and the state. I can also decide to take advanced practice way and provide direct care. I am not into research that much; hence PhD is not my specialty.
Fullerton, J. T., Schuiling, K. D., & Sipe, T. A. (2019). The doctorate of nursing practice and entry into midwifery practice: Issues for consideration and debate. Nurse education in practice, 36, 97-100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2019.02.001
Hartjes, T. M., Lester, D., Arasi-Ruddock, L., Bradley, S. M., Munro, S., & Cowan, L. (2019). Answering the question: Is the Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Nursing Practice right for me?. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 31(8), 439-442. doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000273
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