The nursing workforce has evolved over the time as nurses have become more involved in the patient care and healthcare delivery. There are factors which affect the ability of nurses to deliver quality healthcare to the patients and for avoiding adverse health impacts. These are given below
Education and training is an important factor for the nursing workforce. Quality of healthcare is depended on the complex knowledge related to the patient care and training of providing health care. It has been shown in research that nurses who receive good education at the baccalaureate and are prepared at the graduate level report fewer errors in medication, higher health outcomes and lower rates of mortality especially in post-surgery patients (Kutney-Lee, Sloane, and Aiken, 2013). Thus, in order to respond to the evolving demands of the healthcare system it is important that the nursing workforce achieve higher levels of education.
The addition of new competencies are an important factor for the nursing workforce as it prepares them for providing better healthcare to the patients and improved their satisfaction levels. New competencies are acquired by the nursing workforce like evidence based practice, patient-centered care, leadership and collaboration. The nurses ability to collaborate with other healthcare professionals is critical in delivering quality healthcare to the patient. With an increased level of collaboration they are regarded as partners in the healthcare delivery with an increased responsibility and accountability. Nursing workforce at all the levels of nursing profession are required to be full partners in healthcare delivery to ensure quality healthcare (Institute of Medicine US, 2011).
A research was conducted for determining the association of the nursing skill mix at a hospital with the mortality rate of patients, rating of care by the patients and other indicators for quality of healthcare in six different countries of Europe. From the research study it was found that that variation in the skill mix was linked with the patent perception of healthcare, patient mortality and judgements made by the nurse related to quality and frequency of poor health outcomes (Aiken, et al 2017).
This study has implications for the nursing managers as they need to properly assign the jobs to the nurses which matches their level of education so that a right skill set of nursing is prepared to address the health need of the patient. The bedside nursing is an essential skill which is needed for better health outcome of the patients as the bedside nurses are quick in giving immediate healthcare to the patient. The bedside nurses work on ground zero and spend a considerable time with patients and therefore they have the highest impact on their health. There is an implication for the nursing managers to employ more bedside nurses for improving healthcare. As they have been found to be associated with the reduced rates of avoidable patient death and also linked with the improvement in healthcare delivery (Clarke and Aiken, 2003). Therefore, the nursing managers have to employ the complete set of nursing skills needed by the patient for ensuring quality healthcare delivery.
Aiken, L. H., Sloane, D., Griffiths, P., Rafferty, A. M., Bruyneel, L., McHugh, M., ... amp Sermeus, W. (2017). Nursing skill mix in European hospitals cross-sectional study of the association with mortality, patient ratings, and quality of care. BMJ Qual Saf, 26(7), 559-568.
Clarke, S. P., amp Aiken, L. H. (2003). Failure to Rescue Needless deaths are prime examples of the need for more nurses at the bedside.AJN The American Journal of Nursing,103(1), 42-47.
Institute of Medicine (US). Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing. (2011). The future of nursing Leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC National Academies Press.
Kutney-Lee, A., Sloane, D. M., amp Aiken, L. H. (2013). An increase in the number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees is linked to lower rates of postsurgery mortality. Health Affairs, 32(3), 579-586.
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