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[ANSWERED 2022] Discuss the correlation between nursing education and positive patient outcomes

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.

Zhang, J., & Cui, Q. (2018). Collaborative learning in higher nursing education: A systematic review. Journal of Professional Nursing, 34(5), 378-388.


Alternative Expert Answer and Explanation

The correlation between nursing education and positive patient outcomes

According to research, nursing education results in positive patient outcomes. This is because nurses, when they decide to increase their knowledge, they become aware of new and better methods that can be used in handling patients. By so doing, the quality of services that they will be offering their patients improves (Cotterill-Walker, 2022). During the current time, diseases have evolved, and the old practices in offering care that had been effective for decades most of them are turning out to be obsolete and they cannot be relied on. When a nurse fails to educate themselves on these changes, they will continue to offer substandard services, and their patients will continue to suffer as a result. Due to this fact, it is recommended for nurses to always update themselves on the new information that will help better the services that they offer.

Current research that links patient safety outcomes to advanced degrees in nursing

Research conducted by Doctor Aiken in Medical Care proved that a 10 percent increase in the proportion of BSN-prepared nurses led to a reduction in the risk of death by 5 percent (Dubois, 2019). This research was conducted with the intensions of figuring out whether nursing education had a positive effect on patient outcomes.   The findings were true that education helped nurses in offering better and improved services.

My opinion on the research

I agree with the outcomes of the research since the more a nurse was informed, the more likely they were to offer better services to their patients, unlike those who failed to increase their knowledge in their field of expertise.


Cotterill-Walker, S. M. (2022). Where is the evidence that master’s level nursing education makes a difference to patient care? A literature review. Nurse Education Today, 32(1), 57-64.

Dubois, C. A., D’amour, D., Tchouaket, E., Clarke, S., Rivard, M., & Blais, R. (2019). Associations of patient safety outcomes with models of nursing care organization at unit level in hospitals. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 25(2), 110-117.


Topic 3 DQ 2
Discuss the difference between a DNP and a PhD in nursing. Discuss which of these you would choose to pursue if you decide to continue your education to the doctoral level and explain why.

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.

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

Alternative Expert Answer and Explanation

Difference between DNP and a PhD in nursing

DNP in nursing is a practice doctorate, while PhD in nursing is a research doctorate. It should be noted that nurse graduates with a PhD have the right to do independent research and share their findings. However, on the other hand, DNP gives graduates the tools and skills that are needed in assessing the evidence that has been gained through the process of nursing research. However, these two have one thing in common, which is to increase knowledge in nursing so that nurses can improve the levels of care that they can offer to the patients (Canady, 2021). In nurse DNP, mentored a teaching experience is an option, while in nurse PhD the mentored teaching experience is a minimum of 140 hours but the more the hours, the better. DNP has a scholarly project which has to be undertaken by all students taking the program, but it is absent in nurse PhD.

The one I would choose

I feel that nursing DNP would be the best option for me this is because it is nursing in practice, and I like offering services to patients. I get a feeling of fulfilment whenever I attend to a patient, and they recover from their ill state. This gives me the reassurance that I play an important role in the lives of other people who need me when they are in ill health (Dracup, 2019). However, I will still continue to update myself with recent information as this will help me provide better services that I will be offering to my patients. Nonetheless, the well-being of the patient has to come first in all situations.


Canady, K. (2021). Practical and philosophical considerations in choosing the DNP or PhD in nursing. Journal of Professional Nursing, 37(1), 163-168.

Dracup, K., Cronenwett, L., Meleis, A. I., & Benner, P. E. (2019). Reflections on the doctorate of nursing practice. Nursing Outlook, 53(4), 177-182.

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