Patient Outcomes

Encompasses validation of foundational skills that ensure optimal patient outcomes–interprofessional communication and patient handoffs, professional boundaries, engaging patient and family in care planning, care prioritization, patient/family education, clinical judgement and reasoning, patient and family advocacy–as well as knowledge and understanding of metrics for nursing sensitive outcomes and public reporting.

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Leadership for the Staff Nurse

Professional nursing practice requires leadership skills even in the absence of a formal leadership role or title. Delegation, communication, management of care delivery and evaluation of outcomes, managing resources and conflict, problem solving, management of effective teams and lateral violence, are all essential to effective nursing practice, regardless of setting.

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Clark Workplace ‘Civility Index’ [Revised]©. 2013. Reprinted here with express permission of the author, Cynthia Clark, RN, PhD, ANEF, FAAN.


Informatics and Nursing

A rapidly growing competency for professional nurses is mastery of technology in the work place. Electronic health records are being adopted to house patient information and facilitate the sharing of information across practice settings. Compliance with regulatory requirements such as confidentiality and HIPAA have created new challenges to assuring reliable and secure information-sharing. Determining operational processes and policies for how EMRs and other technology are applied and maintained, and the information needed specific to areas of service, is a growing need. Additionally, documentation to meet regulatory requirements for meaningful use, billing compliance and quality outcomes is critical to the success of organizations. The professional nurse’s role in application of technology in effective interprofessional communication across sites and levels of care has become a core competency.

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Integration into Practice

In early transition-to-practice, the socialization of the professional nurse entails establishing meaningful team relationships through effective communication, stress management, cultural competence, ethical decision-making and identifying and utilizing resources. This content focuses on the early transition–the first months of practice.

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Lachman, V.D. (2007). Moral courage in action: Case studies. PDF.
Reprinted from MEDSURG Nursing, “Moral Courage in Action: Case Studies” Volume 16, Number 4, p. 275-277. With permission of the publisher, Jannetti Publications, Inc., East Holly Avenue/Box 56, Pitman, NJ 08071-0056; (856) 256-2300; FAX (856) 589-7463; Web site: www.medsurgnursing.net. For a sample copy of the journal, please contact the publisher


Process of Quality Improvement and Safety

An important component of the professional nurse role is identifying opportunities for, and facilitation of, the process of quality improvement and safety. This content incorporates use of data to identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement and/or performance gaps, knowledge of performance improvement and practices and how to apply them, identifying and evaluating barriers to success, improvement planning, evaluation and sustaining the change.

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The Business of Healthcare

Knowledge of business, including the evolving horizon of healthcare reform, resource management, revenue stream and financial implication associated with established performance standards, are critical competencies for the professional nurse. The ability to converse in a knowledgeable manner with business colleagues is a necessary skill set to advocate for judicious and fiscally responsible resource allocation to assure safe and competent patient care. Translation of business knowledge– such as understanding financial challenges–into effective and positive leadership at the bedside is crucial to maintain a positive work environment, productive teamwork, identification of waste, participation in cost effective problem-solving and change management.

Managing Resources in the Changing Healthcare Environment

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Business of Healthcare: Communicating with Patients and Staff

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Professional Role Progression: Moving Beyond Novice

Extending beyond the early months outlined in Integration into Practice, this content focuses on taking the novice nurse to the next professional level. It incorporates the journey toward competence, describing and implementing evidence-based practice, use of data to drive improvement initiatives, assessment of strength of evidence, participation in professional organizations and research and ongoing career planning.

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