Nurses Play Key Role In Improving Quality Of Patient Care

Quality has become a major focus within health care, especially in the areas of regulatory quality, quality assurance, quality improvement and patient safety. As this focus increases, nurses’ involvement in quality improvement activities is likely to expand in coming years. In the December 2008 issue of Urologic Nursing, Leslie W. Hall, Shirley M. Moore, and Jane H. Barnsteiner state that by actively participating in improving health care, nurses benefit their patients and experience more joy in their work.

Nurses today have many roles. In addition to meeting the needs of patients and serving as part of the health care team, nurses also play a key role in meeting the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals in such areas as medication safety, communication and patient safety. This role allows nurses to contribute to quality improvement.

According to Hall and co-authors, nurses feel valued when asked for their expert opinions, especially when making contributions to innovations and improvements for patients. When nurses serve as patient advocates and participate on interdisciplinary quality improvement teams, they can add value to their work.

The authors say when nurses’ efforts go beyond providing care and they actually improve the quality of care (for example, by participating in improvement projects and patient safety initiatives), they experience more joy in their work.

Hall and co-authors acknowledge that getting started in quality improvement may be difficult, but they believe nurses are uniquely positioned to serve as change agents.

(Quality and Nursing: Moving from A Concept to a Core Competency; Leslie W. Hall, MD, FACP; Shirley M. Moore, PhD, RN, FAAN; Jane H. Barnsteiner, PhD, RN, FAAN; Urologic Nursing; December 2008; http://www.suna.org)

About SUNA

The Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates is a national, non-profit professional membership association with over 3,000 members and annual revenues of $1.5 million. SUNA derives its income from membership dues (only $60), conference registration fees, exhibits, advertising, grants, and the sale of educational products.

SUNA publishes a professional, peer-reviewed bi-monthly journal (Urologic Nursing Journal) and a bi-monthly newsletter (Uro-Gram). SUNA establishes the scope and standards of urologic nursing practice and the scope and standards of advanced urologic nursing practice. SUNA provides scholarships, grants and awards to deserving nurses and other health care professionals.

SUNA supports and promotes the certification of urologic nurses and associates by providing educational preparation for the examinations offered which lead to certification in three areas.

SUNA provides a variety of opportunities for participation including local chapters, task forces and Special Interest Groups (SIGS) in five major subspecialty areas.

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