Patient-centered care is the most popular type of care in the contemporary world today. Within it, patients play an active role in their care. They receive services that focus on their individual needs. The patients’ involvement in patient-centered care and the shared decision making between a person and a nurse helps in improving the outcome of people’s health (Harrington, 2014).
The Texas Board of Nursing details various conditions in the provision of patient-centered care. The Texas Nursing Board stipulates that the Diploma and Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) enables nurses to provide safe and compassionate care to sick persons in hospital settings. On the other hand, such a nurse who has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing (BSN) has the skills that enable him or her to have a greater orientation to various community and public health issues. The medical practitioner also has better leadership and management skills than a registered one having the ADN or Diploma. As such, the nurse with the BSN would perform additional activities over and above those ones what the one with the ADN would do (Huston, 2013).
Nurses who have a baccalaureate degree are supposed to develop a plan of care for their patients, families, and communities. It should use evidence-based practice and the published research as its foundation (Chiappelli, Caldeira Brant, Neagos, Oluwadara, & Ramchandani, 2010). BSN students take additional units which are more than what pupils in associate degrees do. They also execute additional coursework to improve their professional development. It enables them to deal with a larger scope of activities in comparison with associate degree students. The practice of the later ones is mainly focused on acute care.
I have been surprised by the differences in competencies between ADN and BSN. I did not know that BON had varieties between the two levels of nurses. I have thought both ADN and BSN students would become medical practitioners since they are for the same NCLEX for them to ultimately get their registered nurse (RN) license. In addition, when they start working, they perform similar work in a hospital. However, I have observed a significant difference between BSN and ADN. I have noted that BSN nurses are, in most cases, the ones who are promoted to management positions in healthcare facilities. It is logical since they spend more time at school than ADN. In addition, BSN students also take management and leadership classes. It is not the case in the Associate Degree in Nursing/Diploma. BSN also provides pupils with an opportunity to advance their nursing careers. The nurses may get a master’s degree or any certifications that will help in making their status better.
The fact that a nurse who has an associate degree cannot be a community health practitioner has surprised me. I have thought that since such nurses usually assess patients, formulate a plan of care for them and their families, and teach them on how to manage their care, then they should be allowed to do the same role in a community setting. However, after this program, I have become more knowledgeable, skilled and motivated. It will help in improving the performance of my duties as a nurse in the future. This course has enabled me to appreciate the importance of using critical thinking and question certain skills due to evidence-based and research activities. The class has allowed me getting experience in various environments. It will improve my ability to provide quality care to my patients in the future.
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) in the RN-BSN Program
SLO1. Provision of patient-centered care for individuals, families, and communities
The first student learning outcome of the RN-BSN program is the provision of patient-centered care for individuals, families, and communities. As a nurse, it is vital for me to ensure that I always endeavor to provide it for people and all persons involved while undertaking my daily professional objectives. I always ensure that I provide patients with an opportunity to ask questions. They can voice their concerns freely. Persons can also provide some suggestions, which will enable me to organize my daily activities to meet their needs. I always confirm that I teach patients using terms that they can easily understand. Moreover, I provide care in a manner that will help in improving compliance after the discharge of sick persons. They will understand the treatment options available to them and the nature of their health problems. As such, the patients go home knowing the necessary information that will make them be in control of their healthcare needs. The teaching process as well includes family caregivers. The reason is that these people are an extension of a caregiving role at home.
SLO2. Patient safety
Nurses are tasked with the duty of ensuring that current practices are implemented to guarantee the safety of patients. This factor is one of the most serious issues in healthcare. Ensuring the safety of every patient is not simply a duty of a healthcare organization, it is an obligation of anyone in the healthcare system (Vincent, Burnett, & Carthey, 2013). As such, I always check that I engage in the activities that adhere to the standards of care and hospital policies. They should also align with the procedures in the process of providing care to patients under my care. Moreover, I confirm that I use at least two identifiers prior to the beginning of treatment. I all the time perform a chart check prior to dispensing medication. It ensures that I have the right doctor’s orders. Following the hospital, policies enable me to prevent failures and pressure ulcers among patients. I as well prevent catheter-associated infections through the use of evidence-based practices such as maintaining the location of an indwelling catheter.
SLO3. Work as an effective member of interdisciplinary teams to ensure continuous and safe patient care
It is vital for everyone working in the healthcare system to ensure that there is continuous and safe patient care. Therefore, I check that I promptly inform a doctor if I notice a certain patient is experiencing the difficulties in swallowing. It increases the risk of aspiration. Moreover, I check that I share vital information with other parties in the healthcare system. For instance, I provide a dietician with the data, thus, the patient may receive the right food. If the person is diagnosed with a blood clot, I always ensure that I alert the relevant healthcare professions. It guarantees that the application involved parties are informed on a change in the conditions of the patient. It will enable them to alter their care to improve a person’s safety.
SLO4. Provide safe care to individuals, families, and communities through individual performance and system effectiveness
Everyone is responsible for patient safety. As a nurse, I ensure that I adhere to laws, rules, and standards that help in improving it. I use critical thinking to confirm that I determine the risks facing the patient and to have an accurate assessment of everything. Moreover, I check that all the time to communicate the needs of the sick person to other healthcare professionals.
SLO5. Employee evidence-based practice by integrating current research with clinical expertise and patient values to provide optimal patient care
It is vital for nurses to identify and use evidence-based practice while conducting their daily professional activities. It will help in optimizing patient safety and the outcome being a major aim of nursing (Chiappelli et al., 2010). I always ensure that I use evidence-based while conducting my daily care activities. To prevent the fall of patients, I check that they lie in a low bed. I as well adhere to the best practices of catheter care. It helps in optimizing patient care.
SLO6. Utilize informatics to enhance patient safety, manage knowledge and information, make decisions and communicate more effectively
Information technology has helped in revolutionizing patient care. It facilitates the easy retrieval of medical records and tracking. Ultimately, it assists in enhancing patient care. One of the tools that I use is the bar code of medical administration technology. This system helps in reducing the probability of the occurrence of medical errors since it necessitates nurses to scan medications. It double-checks the medication with the doctor’s prescriptions. Moreover, I apply the electronic documentation of patient records. The system provides an efficient method of recording patient data.
SLO7. Apply quality improvement measures to continually improve health outcomes consistent with current professional knowledge
There is an increased need for hospitals to implement quality improvement activities. Since nurses are a primary caregiver, they may play a major role in the improvement of the services level people receive. The fact that medical practitioners spend a significant amount of time at the person’s bedside also makes them crucial in the implementation of quality improvement activities (Bahouth, Blum, & Simone, 2012). I help in installing some enhancing tasks by taking part in weekly meetings with the hospital advisory committee. I share my views on how the medical institution may improve the level of services provided to reduce errors and improve patient safety. The meetings strive to determine what has gone wrong and how to prevent the occurrence of errors in the future.