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Improving Patient Outcomes: A Guide for Nurses

Improving patient outcomes is a key area of concern for nurses, and indeed, all medical and healthcare workers.

Needless to say, successful patient outcomes can be the direct result of the treatment and care that medical staff provide.

As such, patient outcomes are, in many ways, reliant upon the level of care that is delivered by medical caregivers such as doctors and nurses.

For nurses in particular, completing higher education and training in their field of expertise can assist them in elevating their skills – ideally, to the level of being able to actively influence, determine, and improve patient outcomes. 

Let’s discuss.

Medical Training and Education: Learning How to Positively Influence and Impact Patient Outcomes

For nurses looking to make impactful changes in terms of successful patient outcomes, rigorous and extensive training and education in the field of medical healthcare is required. 

Aside from the requisite undergraduate qualifications – such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (or BSN), for example – registered nurses who aspire to rise above the ordinary can also choose to pursue postgraduate studies.

Postgraduate options, such as a DNP (or Doctor of Nursing Practice) or even a doctoral PhD in nursing, are popular choices for many registered nurses (RNs) who are looking to take their existing education and training to the next level.

But what are the differences between a DNP vs PhD? Essentially, the key differences lie in the practical applications of each qualification. Importantly, a PhD – also known as a Doctor of Philosophy – is heavily focused on the execution of in-depth analysis and research into the chosen area of specialization.

It also requires the Ph.D. candidate to complete a lengthy doctoral thesis on their selected theme. A DNP, on the other hand, has arguably more pragmatic outcomes. A DNP allows a graduate to attain the highest levels of nursing, where they can be responsible for overseeing the delivery of patient treatment and care in real-world medical settings.

As such, graduates of a DNP can have a direct, meaningful, and practical impact in determining live patient outcomes. For this reason, DNP courses are intended for nurses who are more interested in applying their learnings in the practical sense – rather than pursuing the scientific research side of nursing.

Working to Reach the Best Possible Patient Outcomes: How can These be Consistently Achieved?

It almost goes without saying – achieving positive patient outcomes is the end goal for any medical team. For nurses in particular, being on the front line of patient caregiving means they can be held directly responsible for the results of the medical treatments they provide to their patients.

As such, nursing staff needs to be highly educated, well-trained, and adequately prepared to deliver hands-on treatment and care in real-world medical and clinical settings. Higher education is not all it takes to be an excellent nurse, however. Being a competent nurse also depends on gaining practical experience in delivering successful patient outcomes.

For this reason, before commencing as a fully-fledged nurse in the professional sense, nursing students are required to undertake on-the-job training. Often referred to as a professional internship or job placement program, this is both a mandatory and essential part of getting through nursing school

During a job placement program, nursing interns will be able to observe their superiors in real-time, and also, experience firsthand what is involved in directly influencing patient outcomes through medical treatment and care. Most importantly, they will gain exposure to the huge impact nursing staff can have on patient outcomes, and will – hopefully – also come to realize how truly valuable their knowledge, skills, and training as nurses can prove to be to the lives and health of their patients. 

Delivering, determining, and cultivating positive patient outcomes is a core focus of the role of nursing, medical, and healthcare staff. Undoubtedly, the important work that nurses and medical teams carry out when caring for patients can have a direct result on patient recovery. 

It follows, then, that the outcomes patients experience during and post-treatment are somewhat dependent on the accuracy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the efforts of their medical team. For this reason, nurses, in particular, need to be adequately trained, educated, and experienced, to ensure the best possible recovery outcomes for their patients. 


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