Title : Nurse characteristics and the impact on quality
The release of the Institute of Medicine’s quality study in 2001, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Healthcare System for the 21st Century sparked a new challenge to healthcare providers to deliver safe, quality care to their patients. Since nurses constitute the majority of the healthcare workforce much of the research has focused on nursing’s contribution to quality and patient outcomes. The effect of nursing characteristics on patient outcomes and quality care has been the area of focus of much of this research and widely published in the literature. Research has focused on two primary categories of nursing characteristics: demographic data and emotional intelligence and personality traits. Quality of care and patient outcomes have been defined in many ways. Consistently the research has shown a correlation between nursing characteristics and quality care and patient outcomes. This presentation focuses on the characteristics of nurses and how to build successful nursing teams. Demographic data such as specialty certification status, years of experience, tenure on a unit, and level of formal education are all factors that contribute to the quality of care delivered to patients. Emotional intelligence, or the awareness that emotions drive behavior both positively and negatively and the importance of learning of how to manage those emotions, requires a high level of self-awareness, self-management, empathy, and social skills and also impact the quality of care patients receive. Other contributing factors in the quality equation include hospital teaching status, type of unit, unit skill mix, hospital safety culture, and total nursing hours per patient day. Knowing this information can assist management in developing care delivery teams with members that compliment thus providing the base for the deliver of care of the highest quality. The information is also important when hiring new staff to improve the selection process and minimize staff attrition.