Measures and indicators of quality care—such as the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, and those developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality—inform consumers, practitioners and policy-makers about the quality of patient care. Other measures, such as those developed by the National Quality Forum, define quality by using nurse-sensitive patient outcomes. But even these measures do not capture some important aspects of quality nursing care in hospitals.
In order to inform more nursing-specific indicators of quality, researchers asked early-career (less than four years experience) registered nurses (RNs) what they thought constituted high-quality nursing. Three themes emerged as integral to quality nursing care:
- RN presence—being present with the patient at the bedside; having the time and flexibility to spend time with patients; and having a workload that facilitates both.
- Developing relationships—trust between RNs and their patients; focusing on the patient; treating the patient as if he or she were family; and being an advocate for the patient.
- Facilitating the flow of knowledge and information—informed by an evidence base; RN education and competence; and teamwork and communication.
Quality indicators need to include process measures in order to reflect the complexity of bedside nursing care.
- 1. A Comparison of Second-Degree Baccalaureate and Traditional-Baccalaureate New Graduate RNs
- 2. Understanding New Registered Nurses' Intent to Stay at Their Jobs
- 3. The Nursing Career Process from Application Through the First 2 Years of Employment
- 4. What Newly Licensed Registered Nurses Have to Say about Their First Experiences
- 5. Moving on, Up, or Out
- 6. New Nurses Views of Quality Improvement Education
- 7. Early Career RNs' Perceptions of Quality Care in the Hospital Setting
- 8. Commuting to Work
- 9. The Relative Geographic Immobility of New Registered Nurses Calls for New Strategies to Augment that Workforce
- 10. Charting the Course for Nurses' Achievement of Higher Education Levels
- 11. Verbal Abuse From Nurse Colleagues and Work Environment of Early Career Registered Nurses
- 12. Early-Career Registered Nurses' Participation in Hospital Quality Improvement Activities
- 13. Positive Work Environments of Early-Career Registered Nurses and the Correlation with Physician Verbal Abuse