[ANSWERED 2023] Discuss the correlation between nursing education and positive patient outcomes. Include current research that links patient safety outcomes to advanced degrees in nursing

Written By: Dan Palmer, RN

Discuss the correlation between nursing education and positive patient outcomes. Include current research that links patient safety outcomes to advanced degrees in nursing

Discuss the correlation between nursing education and positive patient outcomes. Include current research that links patient safety outcomes to advanced degrees in nursing

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.

References

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

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.

References

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.

Discuss the correlation between nursing education and positive patient outcomes. Include current research that links patient safety outcomes to advanced degrees in nursing

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.

References

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

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.

References

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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FAQs

Importance of advanced education in nursing

Advanced education in nursing, such as a master’s or doctoral degree, is becoming increasingly important in today’s healthcare system. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Expanded roles and responsibilities: Advanced education in nursing prepares nurses for leadership roles and advanced clinical practice, such as nurse practitioner, nurse educator, or nurse researcher. These roles require specialized knowledge and skills that can only be gained through advanced education.
  2. Enhanced patient care: Advanced education in nursing enables nurses to provide higher quality, evidence-based care to patients. Nurses with advanced degrees have a deeper understanding of disease processes, health promotion, and prevention strategies, which can improve patient outcomes.
  3. Increased earning potential: Nurses with advanced degrees typically earn higher salaries than those with a bachelor’s degree or diploma, which can lead to financial stability and job satisfaction.
  4. Improved job prospects: The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and employers are increasingly looking for nurses with advanced degrees to fill specialized roles. Advanced education in nursing can open up new job opportunities and career paths.
  5. Professional development: Pursuing advanced education in nursing can provide opportunities for professional growth and development, as well as networking and collaboration with other healthcare professionals.

Advantages of BSN in nursing

There are several advantages to obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Here are some of the most significant benefits:

  1. Improved job prospects: Many healthcare facilities prefer or require nurses to have a BSN degree, particularly for roles in management, leadership, or education.
  2. Higher earning potential: Nurses with a BSN degree typically earn higher salaries than those with an associate degree or diploma.
  3. Expanded career opportunities: A BSN degree can open up opportunities for specialized roles in areas such as pediatrics, critical care, or public health.
  4. Better patient outcomes: Research has shown that hospitals with a higher percentage of BSN-prepared nurses have better patient outcomes, including lower rates of mortality and complications.
  5. Development of leadership and management skills: BSN programs typically include courses in leadership, management, and healthcare policy, preparing nurses for leadership roles in healthcare organizations.
  6. Preparation for advanced education: A BSN degree is a requirement for most advanced nursing programs, such as nurse practitioner or nurse anesthesia programs.
  7. Increased knowledge and critical thinking skills: BSN programs emphasize evidence-based practice and critical thinking skills, preparing nurses to provide higher quality, patient-centered care.

The impact of education on nursing practice

Education has a significant impact on nursing practice, influencing the knowledge, skills, and competencies of nurses. Here are some of the ways that education can impact nursing practice:

  1. Improved patient care: Education helps nurses to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to provide high-quality, evidence-based care to patients. Nurses with higher levels of education are better equipped to assess and diagnose patients, provide appropriate treatments and medications, and monitor patient outcomes.
  2. Increased critical thinking and problem-solving abilities: Education prepares nurses to think critically and solve complex problems, which is essential for providing safe and effective patient care. Nurses with advanced education are better able to analyze data, identify patterns, and make informed decisions.
  3. Enhanced communication skills: Education helps nurses to develop effective communication skills, which are crucial for building relationships with patients, families, and other healthcare professionals. Nurses with advanced education are better able to communicate complex medical information to patients and their families, as well as collaborate with other members of the healthcare team.
  4. Expanded scope of practice: Education can open up opportunities for nurses to pursue advanced practice roles, such as nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or nurse educator. These roles require specialized knowledge and skills that can only be gained through advanced education.
  5. Improved job satisfaction: Education can increase job satisfaction by providing opportunities for professional growth and development. Nurses who pursue continuing education or advanced degrees are often more engaged in their work and more satisfied with their careers.

How can the application of the christian worldview help improve patient outcomes?

The application of the Christian worldview can have a positive impact on patient outcomes in several ways:

  1. Focus on holistic care: The Christian worldview recognizes the importance of caring for the whole person, including their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. This focus on holistic care can lead to improved patient outcomes, as patients feel more supported and cared for.
  2. Compassion and empathy: The Christian worldview emphasizes the importance of treating others with compassion and empathy. This can help nurses to build strong relationships with their patients and provide care that is truly patient-centered.
  3. Ethical decision-making: The Christian worldview provides a strong ethical foundation for nursing practice, emphasizing the importance of treating others with respect and dignity. This can help nurses to make ethical decisions that are in the best interests of their patients.
  4. Hope and healing: The Christian worldview provides a message of hope and healing, which can be particularly important for patients who are struggling with serious illnesses or facing the end of life. This message of hope can help to improve patient outcomes by promoting a positive outlook and a sense of purpose.
  5. Service to others: The Christian worldview emphasizes the importance of serving others, which can inspire nurses to provide care that is truly selfless and focused on the needs of their patients. This can help to build trust and rapport with patients, which is essential for improving patient outcomes.

Relationship between nursing education and patient outcome

Nursing education is a key factor that influences patient outcomes. Nurses with higher levels of education are better equipped to provide high-quality, evidence-based care that can lead to improved patient outcomes. Here are some of the ways that nursing education can impact patient outcomes:

  1. Improved patient safety: Nurses with higher levels of education are better able to recognize and respond to potential safety issues, such as medication errors or falls. This can help to prevent adverse events and improve patient outcomes.
  2. Better patient outcomes: Nurses with advanced education are better equipped to provide evidence-based care that has been shown to improve patient outcomes. For example, research has shown that hospitals with a higher percentage of nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) have lower rates of patient mortality and complications.
  3. Enhanced critical thinking skills: Nursing education emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills, which are essential for providing safe and effective patient care. Nurses with advanced education are better able to analyze data, identify patterns, and make informed decisions that can lead to improved patient outcomes.
  4. Improved communication skills: Nursing education helps nurses to develop effective communication skills, which are crucial for building relationships with patients, families, and other healthcare professionals. Effective communication can help to improve patient outcomes by ensuring that all members of the healthcare team are working together to provide high-quality care.
  5. Enhanced leadership skills: Nursing education prepares nurses for leadership roles in healthcare organizations. Nurses with advanced education are better equipped to lead teams, make strategic decisions, and implement quality improvement initiatives that can lead to improved patient outcomes.

Importance of DNP and PhD in nursing

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) are advanced degrees in nursing that provide nurses with the opportunity to gain advanced knowledge, skills, and competencies in their chosen field. Here are some of the ways that these advanced degrees can benefit nurses and the healthcare system as a whole:

  1. Improved patient outcomes: Nurses with advanced degrees are better equipped to provide evidence-based care that has been shown to improve patient outcomes. This can lead to better quality of care, increased patient satisfaction, and reduced healthcare costs.
  2. Enhanced leadership skills: The DNP and PhD programs help nurses to develop advanced leadership skills, which are essential for leading teams, implementing quality improvement initiatives, and advancing the nursing profession.
  3. Expanded scope of practice: The DNP program prepares nurses for advanced practice roles, such as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists. These advanced practice nurses can provide a wide range of healthcare services, including diagnosing and treating illnesses, prescribing medications, and managing chronic conditions.
  4. Increased research capacity: The PhD program prepares nurses for careers in research, allowing them to contribute to the development of new knowledge and the advancement of nursing science. This can lead to the development of new treatments, improved healthcare policies, and better healthcare outcomes.
  5. Improved healthcare delivery: The DNP and PhD programs emphasize the development of advanced knowledge and skills in healthcare delivery, quality improvement, and patient safety. This can help nurses to design and implement more effective healthcare delivery models that can improve the overall quality of care.

Difference between DNP and PhD

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) are both advanced degrees in nursing, but they have different focuses and prepare nurses for different roles in healthcare. Here are some of the key differences between the DNP and PhD in nursing:

  1. Focus: The DNP program focuses on clinical practice, leadership, and healthcare delivery. The PhD program focuses on research, theory development, and nursing science.
  2. Career path: The DNP program prepares nurses for advanced practice roles, such as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists. The PhD program prepares nurses for careers in research, academia, and leadership roles in healthcare organizations.
  3. Curriculum: The DNP curriculum emphasizes the development of advanced clinical knowledge and skills, healthcare policy, leadership, and quality improvement. The PhD curriculum emphasizes research methods, nursing theory, and nursing science.
  4. Research: While DNP programs may include some research coursework, the focus is on using evidence-based practice to improve patient outcomes. PhD programs emphasize the development of research skills and the production of original research.
  5. Length of program: DNP programs typically take 2-3 years to complete, while PhD programs can take 4-6 years or more.

Similarities between DNP and PhD in nursing

  • Advanced degree: Both the DNP and PhD are advanced degrees in nursing.
  • Focus on nursing: Both programs have a primary focus on nursing practice, theory, and research.
  • Emphasis on evidence-based practice: Both programs emphasize the importance of evidence-based practice in nursing.
  • Require completion of a research project or dissertation: Both programs require the completion of a research project or dissertation.
  • May lead to academic and research roles in nursing: Both degrees can prepare nurses for academic and research roles in nursing.
  • Require a master’s degree in nursing for admission: Both programs typically require a master’s degree in nursing for admission.

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