Must Reads, Patient Safety

6 Top Trends in Nursing for 2015 – Weekly Must Reads in Patient Safety (Dec 23, 2015)

ADVANCE for Nurses recently published top trends in nursing for 2015.

These trends represent what nursing leaders and hospitals are doing to improve patient safety, health outcomes, and workflow.

What nurses do are linked to the quality of patient care. As explained in the recently released report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health”:

Nursing represents the largest sector of the health professions, with more than 3 million registered nurses in the United States … What nursing brings to the future is a steadfast commitment to patient care, improved safety and quality, and better outcomes. Most of the near-term challenges identified in the health care reform legislation speak to traditional and current strengths of the nursing profession in such areas as care coordination, health promotion, and quality improvement. How well nurses are trained and do their jobs is inextricably tied to most health care quality measures that have been targeted for improvement over the past few years. Thus for nursing, health care reform provides an opportunity for the profession to meet the demand for safe, high-quality, patient-centered, and equitable health care services. We believe nurses have key roles to play as team members and leaders for a reformed and better-integrated, patient-centered health care system.

In no particular order, here are 6 of the trends identified by ADVANCE for Nurses.

#1 – Capnography Improves Nursing Workflow and Patient Satisfaction

Christina Holford, BSN, RN, familiarizes herself on the monitoring capnography waveform technology. Photos courtesy of Methodist Hospitals, Gary & Merrillville, Ind. Image source:

Christina Holford, BSN, RN, familiarizes herself on the monitoring capnography waveform technology. Photos courtesy of Methodist Hospitals, Gary & Merrillville, Ind. Image source:

Mary Jo Valentine, MSN, RN, CNS (Director, Nursing Professional Development, Methodist Hospitals) says, “One program that has had a significant impact on patient safety and nursing staff workflow is the continuous electronic monitoring of patients managing their pain with patient-controlled analgesia (PCA).”

#2 – Refining Care Practices with Simulation Events

Holy Redeemer Hospital has used simulation events to refine care practices:

In an effort to improve their practices and system as a whole the nursing leadership at Holy Redeemer Hospital, Meadowbrook, Pa., initiated a series of simulation events centered on high risk areas of care.

#3 – Cultivating Nurse Leaders

George Washington University Hospital is cultivating nurse leaders:

Whether they are in the C-Suite or the intensive care unit, professional development is critical to all nurses. Recognizing nurse leaders might not have the same learning opportunities as staff nurses, last year, the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., launched a front-line leadership course for nurse managers.

#4 – Advocating for Healthy Hearts

“The foundation of the nursing profession is the promotion of health and prevention of illness,” said Lynne T. Braun, PhD, CNP, FAHA, FAAN, professor, Rush University, College of Nursing, and nurse practitioner, Rush Heart and Vascular Institute, Chicago. “It’s what nurses do. And given that heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, it is critical that nurses at every level and in every setting are actively involved in heart health efforts.”

#5 – Ethical Frameworks for Decision-Making

At the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, nurses rely on ethical frameworks for decision-making. As explained by Mary K. Walton, MSN, MBE, RN, director of Patient and Family Centered Care and nurse ethicist and co-chair of the hospital-wide ethics committee, ”Nurses see the whole person”:

Their experience in the Ethics Special Interest Group teaches them to see the person not the disease. This is especially relevant as they treat patients with complex, chronic conditions and the concern becomes how patients can maintain their existing lifestyle.

#6 – Become Change Chameleons

 At Iredell Memorial Hospital, critical care nursing staff encourages each other to be change chameleons. Nina Swan, MSN, RN, CMSRN, CNL writes:

“Critical Care Chameleons” would best describe our team, which is continuously mastering the challenges of today’s adaptability needed in healthcare.




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