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Nursing Quality Greatly Influences Patient Outcomes

More than a decade of research has shown that the quality of nursing care has a direct effect on patient outcomes across a range of clinical scenarios. Multiple studies show a positive correlation between a baccalaureate nursing education and patient outcomes.

Nursing Education and Patient Outcomes

A 2013 Journal of Nursing Administration study reveals a lower incidence of pressure ulcers and postoperative deep vein thrombosis for bed-ridden patients receiving care from nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. A 2014 study published in Medical Care found that BSN-prepared nurses lower patient mortality, with mortality rates dropping 10.9 percent when the proportion of BSN-prepared staff nurses increased by 10 percent.

The quality of nursing care will also affect patient outcomes in the long term as our healthcare system continues to evolve. With Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, a greater proportion of hospital patients will require more robust and complex care. This care may mandate the use of advanced procedures and interdisciplinary collaboration, necessitating a more highly educated nursing workforce.

Secondary Benefits of Quality Nursing Care

Baccalaureate-prepared nurses also contribute to benefits beyond the bedside. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a growing body of research shows that nurses with a BSN are better prepared to move up the healthcare ladder to fill leadership and management roles and contribute to a safer work environment. They are more satisfied with their careers, which leads to lower turnover rates. These benefits translate to savings and improved staffing coverage for healthcare facilities.

Given the growing body of evidence linking nursing education and patient outcomes, nursing leaders and policymakers will continue to look for ways to support programs that foster an increase in the number of BSN-prepared nurses. There are many accelerated RN to BSN programs for nurses, and hospitals and states are investing in these programs through tuition reimbursement and other incentives. In the end, all entities involved share the same goal of finding ways to improve nursing care within the healthcare system in order to benefit patients.

Learn more about the Purdue Northwest online RN to BSN program.


The Journal of Nursing Administration: Baccalaureate Education in Nursing and Patient Outcomes

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: The Case for Academic Progression: Why Nurses Should Advance Their Education and the Strategies That Make This Feasible

HealthLeaders Media: Tools for Assessing Nursing Quality Including Surveys

American Association of Colleges of Nursing: The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice

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