Clinical Nurse’s Professional Capstone and Practicum

Approaches to Clinical Practice

During the Professional Capstone and Practicum course, I received new knowledge and skills regarding my future profession and learned how to integrate them into practice. I discovered new practice approaches such as transformational leadership and evidence-based management. The combination of the mentioned approaches leads to the effective patients’ treatment and suggests one of the most critical conditions for improving their health outcomes (Stetler, Ritchie, Rycroft‐Malone, & Charns, 2014). At the same time, it creates appropriate working environment for nurses, helping them to collaborate and communicate. Not only nurses, but also other care providers are to work in a team in the framework of intraprofessional collaboration that is likely to ensure timely and coordinated care delivery.

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As for health care delivery and clinical systems, I learned that it is important to provide care at different levels, considering them simultaneously. For example, the individual patient, the care team, the organization, and the environment levels. This course made it clear that a nurse is to apply a comprehensive approach to patient assessment and selection of the corresponding treatment based on a doctor’s order. I understood that diversity awareness needs to be implemented in nursing, so that every patient regardless of his or her gender, ethnicity, age, etc. would feel comfortable in both outpatient and inpatient care delivery. Moreover, ethical considerations in health care should also be ensured. My role as a nurse is to respect a patient’s right to privacy and confidentiality, thus keeping his or her sensitive data secured.

Improving Health Outcomes

This course also outlined some population health concerns, including obesity, diabetes, stress, and alcohol-related harms. Among the ways to address these challenges, there are adequate nutrition, patient education, and physical activity – seemingly simple activities that can significantly enhance patients’ quality of life. I discovered that my personal strength lays in health promotion initiatives as this course explained that people need relevant education to understand their diseases and effectively cope with them. For example, speaking of patients with diabetes, it is possible to note the recent study that revealed crucially insufficient awareness of the role of self-management in them (Shrivastava, Shrivastava, & Ramasamy, 2013). Thus, I would like to emphasize my intention to focus on disease prevention and health promotion strategies.

The role of technology in improving health care outcomes is rather important, and IT is now becoming an integral part of health care. Modern medical organizations record and store huge amounts of data. I agree with Wager, Lee, and Glaser (2017), who consider that the quality of medical care, the general standard of living of the population, and the level of development of the country as a whole and of each of its territorial subjects in particular depend on how effectively this information is used by doctors, managers, and nurses. The key goal of using technology in health care is to create a single medical information space that allows experts to communicate with each other and access archives and libraries of medical knowledge and technologies. Electronic health records (EHRs) allow making the process of treatment more timely, accurate, and effective.

Health policy can be regarded as my weakness, since I discovered that I know little about this aspect of health care. However, I learned that compliance with health policy is critical to nurses and other health professionals as it serves as the foundation for care delivery. I need to use additional resources such as official websites and scholarly sources to improve my knowledge and become an excellent nurse. Most importantly, during this course, I learned that a nurse is expected to continuously monitor the current changes, challenges, and opportunities occurring in the country and worldwide in relation to health policies. This helps to remain aware and competent in spite of varying requirements.

The Professional Capstone and Practicum course was also useful in exploring leadership and economic models. Following the ideas of MacLeod (2014), I believe that the significance of fundamental economic concepts for nurse leaders cannot be overestimated. Currently rising costs of health care, insurance challenges, changing system of health care, access difficulties, etc. are associated with economic terms. Therefore, knowing the basic financial concepts, nurse leaders would better understand the overall situation and come up with the most relevant solutions.

The issue of health disparities implies that health outcomes are considered more or less important for people of some race, ethnicity, or any other minority. In addition, I discovered that women living in rural areas, sexual minorities, and disabled people are the most common victims of health disparity. To reduce and eliminate it, health equity is to be proposed and promoted among the population, making it more sensitive to this problem. In general, I can state that I met the competencies aligned with the course well. Now, I understand the key problems, potential ways to resolve them, and the expected goals as well as my strong and weak points that I will improve in the future. Thus, I consider that this course was rather important for my professional development.

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MacLeod, L. (2014). The importance of fundamental economic concepts for nurse leaders: No margin, no mission. Clinical Nursing Studies, 2(2), 96-104.

Shrivastava, S. R., Shrivastava, P. S., & Ramasamy, J. (2013). Role of self-care in management of diabetes mellitus. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders, 12(1), 14-19.

Stetler, C. B., Ritchie, J. A., Rycroft‐Malone, J., & Charns, M. P. (2014). Leadership for evidence‐based practice: Strategic and functional behaviors for institutionalizing EBP. Worldviews on Evidence‐Based Nursing, 11(4), 219-226.

Wager, K. A., Lee, F. W., & Glaser, J. P. (2017). Health care information systems: A practical approach for health care management. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

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