New nurses feel ill-prepared to implement quality improvement measures, research finds

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New nurses feel ill-prepared to implement quality improvement measures, research finds
New nurses feel ill-prepared to implement quality improvement measures, research finds

A large number of new nurses feel “poorly” or “very poorly” prepared to implement quality improvement measures. More than 12% say they hadn't even heard of “quality improvement,” according to a new report.

Researchers at New York University's College of Nursing analyzed survey responses from 436 newly graduated nurses with bachelor's and associate's degrees from around the country. A total of 38.6%, or roughly 168 of those nurses, felt either “poorly” or “very poorly” prepared by their degree courses to implement quality improvement measures. A further 41.7% said they were "not at all prepared" to use national patient safety resources, including the National Quality Forum, according to the report. The authors defined quality improvement as the "use of data to monitor the outcomes of care processes and use of improvement methods to design and test changes to continuously improve the quality and safety of health care systems."

Study authors allow that there is some debate over who is responsible for teaching quality improvement measures. Some believe it is the responsibility of the school, while others say it falls on the employer, according to researchers. Still, they note that only 23.3% of survey respondents called their employer-provided quality improvement training "very helpful." The full report appears in the January edition of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.