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Theories and Quality Improvement in Nursing

What EBP Activities Have ARNPs in Your Area Spearheaded?

The recognition of evidence-based practice (EBP) activities and competencies remain one of the main aspects of nursing education at different levels. Hande, Williams, Robbins, Kennedy, and Christenbery (2017) underline that evidence-based practice is usually characterized by certain challenges and warrants, and every nurse has to be ready to work hard and consider all possible changes and identify improvements.

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For example, advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) who work with hospitalized children should improve the quality of offered care, as well as reduce costs on training and other expenses, by reading specialized journals, surf the web, and consult MEDLINE or PubMed databases regularly, call other departments, communicate with colleagues from other hospitals, and attend hospital libraries or special chat rooms. Another important example of EBP activities for ARPNs in child care includes the development of or participation in research in terms of which safety and quality can be achieved.

Have Health Care Consumers Benefitted?

The evaluation of theoretical perspectives and the investigation of current health care services that are offered to patients prove that consumer-driven health care may have its positive and negative aspects. On the one hand, the supporters of consumer-driven health care aim at developing lower deductible plans and programs to reduce healthcare costs and develop educated decisions (McDonald, Mecklenburg, & Martin, 2015).

On the other hand, not all nurses are able to identify the main steps, and some consumers fail to benefit from such care. However, many EBP activities help nurses understand patients and their needs and, as a result, introduce high-quality care. Therefore, it is possible to say that consumers have all chances to benefit from EBS activities and discover some new aspects of care and communication between patients, nurses, and other medical stakeholders involved in a working process.

Are the ARNPs and Other APNs the Leaders of Quality Improvement Teams?

A quality improvement team is a group of people who aim at investigating a setting and all people in it and identifying weaknesses in order to remove them and turn to strengths. Such teams are usually in need of a clearly defined leader whose commitment and experience can inspire and guide other members. Stanik-Hutt et al. (2013) state that nurse practitioners may influence the quality and safety of care offered to patients.

These people play an important role in many quality improvement programs. It is necessary to admit that such programs usually integrate diverse knowledge and skills, as well as the ability to communicate and cooperate with patients directly (Stanik-Hutt et al., 2013). Advanced practice nurses have many responsibilities that may be demonstrated independently or under close collaboration with doctors. Still, APNs can perform examinations, diagnose patients, order tests, and even prescribe treatments. They know what composes care and how to improve it. Therefore, they can be the leaders of QI teams in case they realize how to change something, how to interpret the outcomes of interventions, and how to guide other participants to do the same.

What Significant Contributions Have Occurred as a Result of the ARNPs or APNs Involvement in QI Teams?

When ARNPs or other APNs are involved in QI teams, they may bring certain contributions. First, they can use their communication experience to cooperate with different medical workers. Sometimes, these skills are necessary to gather material, ask questions, and identify what has to be changed. Second, these members are closely connected to patients and their families. They may use their relationships to understand what patients like about the care offered to them and that improvements can be developed. Finally, my thought is that nurses’ contribution to quality improvement depends on their knowledge. Lifelong learning is a key aspect of nursing, and APNs as participants can demonstrate their progress in different ways.

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Hande, K., Williams, C. T., Robbins, H. M., Kennedy, B. B., & Christenbery, T. (2017). Leveling evidence-based practice across the nursing curriculum. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 13(1), 17-22.

McDonald, P. A., Mecklenburg, R. S., & Martin, L. A. (2015). The employer-led health care revolution. Harvard Business Review, 93(7-8), 38-50.

Stanik-Hutt, J., Newhouse, R. P., White, K. M., Johantgen, M., Bass, E. B., Zanagaro, G., … Weiner, J. P. (2013). The quality and effectiveness of care provided by nurse practitioners. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 9(8), 492-500.

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