Skip to content

Nurses Directly Affect Patient Outcomes

Today's nurses face the challenge of caring for an aging population with diverse healthcare needs. Nurses not only have to provide patient care, but they also must be technologically savvy and aware of current policies and procedures. In addition, they should understand how to include research into their nursing practice.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) prepares nurses with the comprehensive knowledge and skills needed to deliver holistic care to patients while working in a complex healthcare environment.

Why Is Baccalaureate Preparation Significant to Patient Outcomes?

Ever since the Institute of Medicine (IOM), renamed the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in 2015, released its 2010 report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health the BSN has become the preferred minimal requirement for preparation. Healthcare organizations have heeded the call for increasing the number of BSN-prepared nurses in the workforce.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) also stands behind the BSN as the necessary level of preparation for nurses. The AACN believes that a BSN provides nurses with the skills required for critical thinking, leadership, case management and health promotion. Research has shown a correlation between BSN-prepared nurses and improved patient outcomes. Here are some of the studies:

Nurse Staffing and Education and Hospital Mortality in Nine European Countries: A Retrospective Observational Study - Researchers found that hospitals with a higher ratio of BSN-prepared nurses have lower rates of patient mortality.

An Increase in the Number of Nurses With Baccalaureate Degrees Is Linked to Lower Rates of Postsurgery Mortality - The study correlates a higher proportion of BSN-prepared nurses with a drop in fatal surgical outcomes over time.

Baccalaureate Education in Nursing and Patient Outcomes - A higher percentage of BSN-prepared nurses in hospitals results in lower rates of congestive heart failure mortality, decubitus ulcers, failure to rescue, and postoperative deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism as well as shorter stays.

Why Is Patient Satisfaction Important?

When patients are satisfied, they tend to be more relaxed and therefore more open to communication with healthcare staff. Nurses who build a trusting and respectful relationship with their patients are more likely to gather useful information and engage them in taking a proactive role in their care plan. Nurses can increase the chances of a positive patient outcome by doing the following:

  • Ask about patient preferences.
  • Actively listen and show attentive body language.
  • Follow through on patient requests.
  • Show compassion, empathy and concern.

Why Is Research Essential?

By using research in the nursing practice, nurses can pinpoint the best course of action for successful outcomes. Through the application of knowledge, hands-on experience and the latest evidence from research, nurses can help patients recover from serious illnesses or learn methods to manage their medical conditions.

Patients rely on nurses to provide safe, quality care. Nurses can take steps to reduce the occurrence of injuries, falls, complications, errors and fatalities. Completing an RN to BSN degree program, like the one offered by the University of North Carolina Wilmington, prepares nurses to improve patient outcomes, prioritize patient satisfaction and incorporate research into nursing.

Learn more about the UNCW online RN to BSN program.


Sources:

The Lancet: Nurse Staffing and Education and Hospital Mortality in Nine European Countries: A Retrospective Observational Study

Nurse Journal: Best Types of Nursing Degrees

Elsevier: Yes, Nurses Do Research, and It's Improving Patient Care

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Building the Case for More Highly Educated Nurses

National Academy of Medicine: The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health - Report Recommendations

RegisteredNursing.org: Do BSN-Educated Nurses Provide Better Patient Care?

NBCI: An Increase in the Number of Nurses With Baccalaureate Degrees Is Linked to Lower Rates of Postsurgery Mortality

Nurse.org: Nursing Satisfaction Impacts Patient Outcomes, Mortality

American Association of Colleges of Nursing: The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice

TravelNursing.com: Nurses' Compassionate Care Affects Patient Outcomes

Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.

Need More Information?

Submit the form below, and a representative will contact you to answer any questions!

Need More Information?

Submit the form below, and a representative will contact you to answer any questions!

*All fields required.
Or call 855-306-4734 855-306-4734
By submitting this form, I am providing my digital signature agreeing that University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) may email me or contact me regarding educational services by telephone and/or text message utilizing automated technology or a pre-recorded message at the telephone number(s) provided above. I understand this consent is not a condition to attend UNCW or to purchase any other goods or services.

Ready to get started?

Start your application today!

Apply Now