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Nursing Practice: The Main Components

Quality and Safety

Within the field of nursing and nurse education, quality of care and patient safety are components that are essential to the practice. Within medical fields, quality can be assessed by relating it to standards of care that have been set prior. Essentially, the degree to which health services can assist in reaching desired health outcomes define the quality of a practice, establishment, or professional. However, within more modern practices, quality is not only assessed with quantitative indicators but also through qualitative factors, such as the assessment of a health service’s safety, timeliness, effectiveness, and patient-centered focus. Similarly, patient safety can be defined as practices and procedures which adhere to the notion of preventing harm to patients (Sherwood & Barnsteiner, 2017). Professionals that regard patient safety perform in ways that offer patients freedom from avoidable, preventable, or accidental injury during care.

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Within personal experience, the prevention of errors has come up most frequently when discussing quality of care and patient safety. Working with and observing professionals, I have been able to distinguish the importance of errors within the field of nursing. Primarily, it is vital to prevent all potential for any mistakes during a medical procedure. However, in the case of an error occurring, it is also vital to understand and learn from it. Using the gathered information, adjustments can be made to the work culture among professionals working in the sector. Having observed both error prevention and evaluation, I am now more prepared for the implementation of error analysis within the culture of safety and quality in places where I work.

Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-based practice has very early beginnings that emerged from Florence Nightingale, a leader of modern medicine and the first to begin linking clinical statistics with injuries and diseases. In the current day, evidence-based practice can be defined as a process that utilizes research data in a way that elevates medical practices and patient outcomes (Chien, 2019). It relates to quality of care, as the goal of evidence-based practice is often focused on the improvement of the quality and cost-efficiency of medical procedures and services. Evidence-based practice can be implemented in a five step process. First, a question is posed regarding a medical issue. Second, evidence that is of high quality and trustworthiness is gathered. Third, the research findings can then be analyzed through appropriate methods or tools. Fourth, the evidence that emerges from the analysis can be applied to current clinical practices. Fifth, the results of the implementation should also be observed and evaluated.

In my own experience, I was able to observe the numerous benefits that manifest as a result of implemented evidence-based practice. First, the research findings had made it possible to make better-informed and appropriate decisions as a nurse. Second, it caused me to be more aware of recent protocol and administer the best patient care available. Third, new technology became more cohesive with patient care, as substantial research indicated the effectiveness of certain tools and methods. Third, there was a noticeable improvement within patient outcomes when compared to the utilization of findings that emerged as a result of evidence-based practices. Over all, the component was vital to general as well as specific improvements within clinical practices that I observed.

Applied Leadership

Leadership in nursing is common and incredibly important in achieving desired health outcomes and safe procedures. However, applied leadership differs slightly as it is a skill directly utilized to seek desired results and quality of performance. As such, applied leadership can be defined as direct use of certain leadership skills in order to manage a collective successfully. These skills can include communication, critical thinking, or guidance, and usually acts directly to either guide, motivate, or supervise a nursing team (Stanley & Stanley, 2018). Applied leadership aims to utilize these skills in order to achieve a high quality of patient care and the appropriate health outcomes.

Leadership skills are one of my less-developed skills as a nurse, but my exposure to the applied leadership of colleagues as well as professionals have clarified the ways in which I can improve. Communication is the most vital aspect of leadership in nursing as it dictates the ways in which information is relayed. Concise and clear communication can directly affect not only the relationship between professionals but also a decrease in preventable pr accidental errors. As such, my experience has shown that communication is a component of applied leadership that I should continue to develop.

Community and Population Health

Community and population health refer to two related but distinct components of nurse education and nursing. Community health is primarily focused on the collective efforts of individuals and organizations in promoting and maintaining health in a culturally or geographically linked group (Maraccini et al., 2017). Population health is more concerned with managing groups of individuals with specific characteristics. Some of these can include groups with high blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes that work as health status indicators. Due to the size of these groups, most of the efforts within population health projects are led by large organizations.

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As I was exposed to ideology and practical applications that related to community and population health, I became more aware of the intricate processes that related to them and nursing. For instance, community health requires a level of sensitivity and knowledge when engaging with cultural or geographical groups that has to be implemented into nursing practices. As such, my perspective of certain approaches towards patients has shifted as I see the benefits of engaging with communities in meaningful ways while aiming to achieve the bay possible health outcomes.


Chien, L. (2019). Evidence-based practice and nursing research. The Journal of Nursing Research, 27(4). Web.

Maraccini, A. M., Galiatsatos, P., Harper, M., & Slonim, A. D. (2017). Creating clarity: distinguishing between community and population health. The American Journal of Accountable Care, 5(2). Web.

Sherwood, G., & Barnsteiner, J. (2017). Quality and safety in nursing: a competency approach to improving outcomes. 2nd e.d. Wiley-Blackwell.

Stanley, D., & Stanley, K. (2018). Clinical leadership and nursing explored: a literature search. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(9), 1730-1743. Web.

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