Sample Nursing Research Paper on Nursing Core Competencies-Safety

 Nursing Core Competencies – Safety


Safety as one of the nursing core competencies is a basic aspect of nursing from which a foundation of total care is formed upon. Ensuring patient safety is an intrinsic component of aptness and eminence in the provision of care and other related services. This entails reducing the chances of faults that can violate patient care and safety. Care is a shared responsibility among all health stakeholders as it is undeniably the primary essence of nursing as a discipline. Despite the many challenges facing most health settings, keeping the patients safe remains the primary responsibility to most health care providers. This necessitates ensuring that no injuries occur from the intended patient care program. Being accountable to the patients is a prerogative condition in professional nursing practices.

Even though patient safety is simply defined as the ‘inhibition of any form of harm to the patients’, more stress is placed on the appropriateness of the system that is to be used to deliver care and to prevent possible errors. In professional nursing practice, the significance of patient safety in reducing the associated risks of adverse situations, when exposed to varied medical care cannot be ignored whatsoever. The primary reason for strong emphasis on patient safety practices is to record an improvement in healthcare provision processes. For instance, computerizing the patient order entry and applying simulators describes some of the patient safety practices common in most health care establishments. This document aims at explicitly elucidating such patient safety care practices and assessing the future of the nursing core competency. The paper further clarifies the varied ways through which patient safety care can be enhanced to improve the overall quality of the nursing practices.                  

Core Competences

First Main Point

The introduction of nursing proficiency, according to Hood (2014) spins around a number of factors with an explicit purpose of ensuring quality and prompt service delivery to the patients. Safety is reviewed from within with a clear examination of all structural elements and assertions on patient safety. Being a nurse, one must possess an ethical perception to articulately comprehend the practice coupled with the uniqueness it’s associated with. Hood (2014) further asserts that the elusive goals of taking control of patient safety practices is grounded on strong ethical and theoretical concepts that revolves around safe nursing practices. These ethical measures ranges from strict adherence to laid down measures and standards in the management and control of nursing as a virtuous profession. Such forms of management control also makes it possible for the nurses to deliver a patient-centered care, quality services and based on prompt services and higher levels of competency (Hood, 2014). In addition, the treatment of primary care and community care has been given the uppermost priority and in most case exempted from taxes as per the recommendations on the various relevant health reports. Most of the nursing training programs are currently revolving around primary public health care, prevention and patient safety by expanding the roles played by nurses and other health professionals (Hood, 2014).

Having the requisite knowledge on how to competently identify causative human factors that do affect patient safety and the basic safety designs that can help in averting such fears is a requisite condition in nursing practices. These health professionals should also be well-versed with all the safety equipment and limitations if any of using such equipment (Hood, 2014). Delineating various aspects of errors and dangers that may be detrimental to a patient’s health is also vital in a health setting. Additionally, the nurses should be in a position to define optimal procedures that can be used to communicate to those patients with adverse medical conditions. A successful description of the optimal processes will enable the health expertise devise appropriate ways through which they can promote patient safety and reduce potential errors. However, having the right attitude and behavior is crucial in establishing the safety measures and conditions (Hood, 2014). The clinicians must first ascertain all the cognitive and physical challenges that patients may be facing. This will be necessary in recognizing the purported tension existing between professional sovereignty and normalization of safety procedures. All health stakeholders must, therefore, subscribe to the fact that both the personnel and the systems are responsible for instilling a culture of safety in any viable health environment (Hood, 2014). This will successfully be initiated by being transparent with the patients on the adverse situations and ensuring effective communication on issues pertaining to health and safety.

The above proposed management controls and guidelines defines some set of functioning nursing competencies that are meant for the ‘nurse of the future’ (Hughes, Durham, & Alden, 2008). They include; relevant educational measures on patient safety standards and initiatives, patient demographic characteristics and profiles among other crucial factors. The nurses and other health professionals must do a thorough evaluation of their practices and competencies to ensure compliance with certain inherent patient-care programs, safety for example (Hughes, Durham, & Alden, 2008). The model explaining ‘nurse for the future core competencies’ is very strict and coherent on certain avowals. For instance, the model stresses on quality enhancement and competence in nursing drill (Hughes, Durham, & Alden, 2008). Additionally, the model emphasizes on proof-based and special practices as key to ensuring patient safety measures in a health setting. The essence is to comprehend the impacts of effective cooperation among health care professionals in ensuring safety and quality care of patients.            

Second Main Point

The primary objective of most healthcare providers is to enhance patient safety and overall quality improvement in the provision of medical services (Hughes, Durham, & Alden, 2008). Some of the patient safety practices includes; curbing the spread of some infections, for instance, encouraging the washing and sanitization of hands and medical equipment before making contact with the patients (Hughes, Durham, & Alden, 2008). Also, the nurses should ensure a correct identification of the patients’ medical information and history to help in formulating the correct medication. For example, checking on the individual patient blood group and rhesus factors before commencing the transfusion of blood. The correct use of medicines and medical equipment on the patients is also a very important patient safety practice (Hughes, Durham, & Alden, 2008). This entail correct labelling of medicines to reduce the probability of drug misuse or even abuse. Another safety practice in nursing is the avoidance of surgical mistakes by preventing ‘a wrong-site or wrong-person’ surgery performances and inappropriate medical procedures. Every medical staff must ensure that they personally verify any imminent medical process according to the laid down standards as a safety precaution (Hughes, Durham, & Alden, 2008). A successful elimination of hospital-acquired VTE which is a major cause of avoidable hospital deaths is also a vital patient safety practice.

Additionally, a customized hospital discharge program detailing comprehensive follow-up plans will decrease the chances of readmission and ensure the implementation of the prescribed medical procedures. Patients’ medical data and information should also be shared among medical staff members to ensure quality treatment and to facilitate appropriate prescription of drugs. Such culture of open communication among health professionals will considerably reduce mistakes and guarantee patient safety (Hughes, Durham, & Alden, 2008).                                     

Ensuring the fruitful execution of the above specified safety practices and culture variations takes time, vigor, edification, follow-up, and tracking of outcomes.” (Howell, 2015). As above-mentioned, all relevant stakeholders such as physicians in nursing are unswervingly responsible for ensuring patient care and safety. As such, they are under obligation to work in unison to ensure an efficient provision of safe and high quality care to patients. According to the IOM (Institute of Medicine) report (a comprehensive policy document in the United States of America that vehemently calls for a total revamp of the nursing industry), nurses and other health professionals should assume more responsibility in the health care and patient safety system.

In essence, this document recognize the fact that it was crucial for the nurses take greater roles in the complex healthcare system in the USA to ensure a safe health setting (Howell, 2015). The issues in this report spins around guidance in nursing practice, training and the scopes of nursing as a practice. Also, the future of health care system in the US is explicitly analyzed and the critical roles played by the nurses in ensuring patient care, safety and quality health service provisions ascertained. Close cooperation among these health professionals is key to ensuring overall patient safety and care that is vital in nursing practices (Howell, 2015). This encompass creating a positive work ethics and instilling self-esteem among these health professionals. A highly self-motivated and competent workforce inspires quality work output and warrants patient safety and care.         

The clinicians must, based on the above assertions demonstrate efficient application of appropriate technological application and normalized practices support safety observes in health systems (Howell, 2015). In addition, they must validate their core competency in the use of safety and care policies to subsequently reduce the harm that may be leveled against the patients. In addition, being in a position to design unique measures that will be crucial in executing safety measures is a definite plus to these health professionals. They should also be active participants in the collection and analysis of diverse safety data and information in an institution (Howell, 2015). This will also involve reporting errors and probable dangers to enable a prompt elimination and control. The data on safety that is aggregated will be effective in transferring patients to other treatment programs to avoid any adverse reactions that are associated with such changes. The analysis of the identified errors should be done by all health specialists to prepare them for related future responsibilities (Howell, 2015). Ultimately, nurses should an in-depth deliberations on all clinical scenarios that may be sensitive with a possibility of introducing skillful corrective management practices. This is necessary in reducing the emotional distress to those patients and close relations that may be victims of these minor medical errors.                          


Indeed, patient safety is patently an important element in the provision of quality health care services to patients. As such, clinicians must possess the necessary skill, attitudes and knowledge that will be crucial in ensuring patient safety and care. As aforementioned in the document, the significance of nurses in surveying and coordinating patient safety measures to prevent such adverse outcomes cannot be underrated. They are responsible for certifying the successful implementation of safety standards and supporting the affected persons to overcome their conditions.                 


Hood, L.J. (2014). Leddy & Pepper’s conceptual bases of professional nursing (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Howell, R., A. (2015). Patient Safety First: Celebrating Colleagues and Their Efforts to Maintain a Culture of Safety. Association of perioperative Registered Nurses.

Hughes, R. G., Durham, C. F., & Alden, K. R. (2008). Enhancing patient safety in nursing education through patient simulation.

Wakefield, A., Attree, M., Braidman, I., Carlisle, C., Johnson, M., & Cooke, H. (2005). Patient safety: do nursing and medical curricula address this theme?. Nurse education today, 25(4), 333-340.