Research Medical Center March 03, 2014

Reprinted courtesy of KC Nursing News

Research College of Nursing (RCN) and Research Medical Center (RMC) have partnered to fast track quality improvement (QI) priorities while preparing new graduates to participate in improving quality and safety upon graduation.

Traditional Option undergraduate nursing students have the unique opportunity of applying what they are learning in the classroom to real-life QI in an acute care setting. Students work in groups with RCN faculty and RMC QI mentors to develop and implement QI projects related to core measures, national patient safety goals and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).

Over the last five semesters, 155 students have completed 19 projects. Recent projects include improving the medication reconciliation process, reducing catheter associated urinary tract infections, improving patient safety during intrahospital transport, evaluating nurse hourly rounding practices and determining the reliability of fall risk assessments.

Gale Hickenlooper, MPH, RN, states “Our partnership for QI is great. As a faculty member, I see how students are gaining the knowledge and skills to prepare them to participate in QI when they graduate.” Hickenlooper is conducting a study to evaluate the effect of these projects on students’ knowledge, skills and attitudes related to select Quality and Safety for Education in Nursing (QSEN) competencies and will present the findings at the 2014 QSEN National Forum.

Megan Fischer, vice president for quality at RMC believes the partnership is mutually beneficial and states, “Working with the College of Nursing enables us to bring evidence-based practices to RMC to improve our nursing care.”