Improving Patient Safety: The Effect of Professional Nurse Certification
There have been reported cases of decrease of patient quality outcomes in the organization. The result is that the care for patients has declined over the years. Recent research has revealed that this is attributed to a low number of certified nurses in the facility. Such has resulted in reduced competence in offering patient care and consequently reduced patient safety (Durgun & Kaya, 2018). Many patients have reported wrong usage and handling of medications due to wrong insufficient instruction and prescription from the nurses. In as much as this does not necessarily show lack of competence for these nurses, it shows negligence and lack of concern to patient safety due to inadequate proper training and certification to promote patient safety in the facility. This paper will examine the importance of certification of the nurses in the organization with respect to achieving patient safety.
Review of Literature
Research done by Jia-Wen, MSRN, and MStat (2016) indicated that nurse who obtains certification are able to expand their knowledge base. This means that such nurses are able to work with different patients who have a wide range of medical needs. Expanding their knowledge base also entails such nurses being able to apply their class knowledge to practical problems of the patients such as their safety. A nurse with the correct certification will be able to give the right instruction on the use and handling of medication.
Further, when the nurses obtain the required certification such as patient safety certifications, they are able to evolve professionally and grow within their fields. Such nurses are able to expand their expertise in dealing with patients and become fully competent nurses who can offer and assure quality outcome from patient care. Again, like Johnson, Ferguson, McKenzie, and Brassil (2015) argue, obtaining such certification helps in improving the standards of practice in the entire profession and consequently improve on the safety of the safety. The right certification helps in developing the standards of the services rendered because such nurses can improve their competence from specialized training offer to the nurses. For instance, some specialized training can include training on drug safety and the prevention of nosocomial infections. Such training improves the professionalism of the nurses and ensures they are well versed with the current trends in the field of healthcare. The end result of such training will be to achieve patient safety in all aspects.
According to Hawkley, Long, Kostas, Levine, Molony, and Thompson (2018), many employers tend to hire those employees with individual training since it serves as an indicator for complete dedication and appreciation to their profession. They argue that the community allows nurses to provide most-relevant service to the patients as well as their families. Nurses with correct certification are often viewed as having the capacity to have complete responsibility and hence advancement in career opportunities. This is the reason why some nursing jobs require the completion of specific certification to ensure improvement in their careers continuously.
Beaudoin, St-Louis & Alderson (2016) said certification provides more in-depth certification and competence in the nursing profession. According to them, it also gains one respect from the coworkers, patients and even the employer. It also opens up for opportunities for promotion and advancement. Further, there is a growing realization in evidence-based health care. This means the health professionals offer health services based on evidence collected from their records and medical decisions. It also entails the provision of patient-centered healthcare where the services are provided based on the individual needs of the patients. Research conducted by (Boyle, Bergquist-Beringer, and Cramer (2017) showed that there was a relationship between the nursing specialization certification and 1 of 4 patient outcomes.
Specialized training can significantly reduce the number of patient fatalities, injuries, and illnesses (Boyle, Bergquist-Beringer & Cramer, 2017). This is by far, patient safety and positive healthcare outcomes. This is so because such nurses are able to work safely with the patients and also train them on their own safety. For instance, training patients who have undergone caesarian delivery the types of food they should eat, the appropriate exercises for their bodies and how to take care of their scars while at home. Certified nurses are also able to respond to medical emergencies promptly and without mistakes hence greatly help in saving lives. Again when patients are taken care of certified nurses, they felt comfortable and assured that their safety is well-taken care and this consequently improves the patients’ outcomes.
Synthesize of Evidence
From the literature review, it is clear that there is a close relationship between patient safety and nurse certification. Acquiring the correct certification for nurse helps in ensuring competence in providing healthcare services hence improves healthcare outcomes. It is also true that it improves on their knowledge base thus expanding on their skills to practically deal with patients. Proving specialized training also significantly reduces patients’ injuries, fatalities or illnesses since the nurses are able to train the patients on safe methods in medications. Certified nurses also have certain respect from their patients, co-workers and their employers (Johnson, Ferguson, McKenzie & Brassil, 2015). It also serves as an indicator for devotions and appreciation of the healthcare profession. From the above evidence, I strongly recommend that this organization provides certification to its nurses in the form of specialized training to significantly improve patient safety and quality healthcare outcomes.
Suggested Courses of Outcomes
The above evidence provides a basis for the implementation of a strategic plan to address the issue of patient safety through the certification of nurses in the organization. This will involve the organization organizing for specialized training to the nurses. Here, the organization will link with certified institutions that offer such training and take their nurses there for further training. Nurses will be able to learn much about evidence-based practice in nursing as well as patient-centered health care. This will require financial input from the organization.
Despite the fact that the organization will have to spend some cash on the implementation of the plan, the outcomes outweigh the costs. There will be minimal or no patience safety related injuries, fatalities or illnesses in the organization, and this will significantly reduce the costs that the organization incurs in compensations packages for patients injured. Again, this is a lifelong investment meaning the organization will benefit from the plan on a long-term basis. The main aim of the organization is to achieve quality outcomes and patient safety. By implementing this plan, the organization will also be in a position to accomplish its mission and vision.
Certification of nurses has been proven to increase the patient comfort and assurance in the quality of the services provided. It also helps in ensuring that the nurses are fully competent in working with a different patient with diverse needs. Further, nurses will even understand the need to utilize evidence-based practice when providing their services to patients. A tool that can be used in the implementation of the plan is the SWOT analysis. This is a technique that used to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a given plan that is to be implemented. This technique provides a baseline for deciding on the best course of action and whether to implement the plan or not. The following is a SWOT analysis for this plan;
The plan will provide a platform where the nurses can grow their competencies and skill in their profession. It will also allow for better achievement of the organizational goals and objectives. Again, the main problem of patient safety will be addressed. The organization will also be able to cut down unnecessary expenses such as competing injured or ill patients in the organization.
The organization will have to incur financial costs to implement the plan fully
Nurses will be able to get promotions and advancements in their profession after obtaining certifications. Further, patient safety will boost the profitability of the organization by increasing the market demand for its services.
Some nurses might exhibit the projected competence even after such certification.
Summary and Conclusion
Certification of nurses is key to obtaining patient safety in any health care organization or facility. Certified nurses have been proven to be competent in their professions, have a broad knowledge base, are respected by co-workers, patients as well as their employers, have an increased chance of advancement and getting promotions in their professions. Above all, it helps in reducing patient fatalities, illnesses, and injuries. From the above evidence, it is clear that there is a need for implementation of a plan that will boost patient safety such as outlined above. Having such a plan will also help the organization to meet its objectives, goals, vision, and mission.
Beaudoin, G., St-Louis, L., & Alderson, M. (2016). Supporting and empowering nursesundergoing critical care certification. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 30(4), 216-226.
Boyle, D. K., Bergquist-Beringer, S., & Cramer, E. (2017). Relationship of wound, ostomy, andcontinence certified nurses and healthcare-acquired conditions in acute carehospitals. Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing, 44(3), 283.
Durgun, H., & Kaya, H. (2018). The attitudes of emergency department nurses towards patientsafety. International emergency nursing, 40, 29-32.
Hawkley, L. C., Long, M., Kostas, T., Levine, S., Molony, J., & Thompson, K. (2018). Geriatricstraining for nurses in a skilled nursing facility: a GWEP feasibility study. GeriatricNursing, 39(3), 318-322.
Jia-Wen Guo PhD, R. N., MSRN, S. A. Q., & MStat, M. A. P. (2016). Oncology nursingcertification: Relation to nurses’ knowledge and attitudes about pain, patient-reportedpain care quality, and pain outcomes. In Oncology nursing forum(Vol. 43, No. 1, p. 67).Oncology Nursing Society.
Johnson, T., Ferguson, S., McKenzie, J., & Brassil, K. J. (2015). Design and outcome of acertification preparation program for outpatient nurses. Journal of NursingAdministration, 45(10), 518-525.