Evidence-Based Education: Integrating Quality and Safety Education for Nurses

Monday, 22 July 2013: 2:10 PM

Gwen Sherwood, PhD, RN, FAAN
School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Learning Objective 1: Describe evidence base for integrating the six quality and safety competencies in nursing education described in the QSEN project

Learning Objective 2: Examine global implications for transforming nursing education and practice with the six quality and safety competencies


The seven year US based Quality and Safety Education for Nurses(QSEN) national project has transformed nursing curricula by defining the six quality and safety competencies: patient-centered care, teamwork and collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, safety, and informatics. Are the competencies applicable globally?


A national advisory panel, advisory board and expert faculty team identified the knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) for each competency to help lead continuous improvement of quality and safety in healthcare systems. Evidence for helping schools and clinicians to integrate the competencies will be presented from a survey of 538 US schools of nursing, an 18 member Delphi project on curriculum placement of the KSAs, and Student Self-Assessment (n=539) of their achievement of the competencies. An interprofessional training session (n=264 nursing and medical students) tested most effective pedagogy for teaching teamwork and collaboration.


Results from the three studies are synthesized in a mixed methods examination for teaching the competencies, placement in the curriculum and assessing student achievement of the competencies. Across all studies, evidence based practice, quality improvement and informatics were the most difficult to teach, although focus group data revealed teamwork and collaboration was the most challenging competency. Teaching strategies were broad and revealed content based teaching is the least effective pedagogy.The fourth study reports lecture and low fidelity role play  in small groups is an effective pedagogy in teaching teamwork and collaboration.


Growing efforts to adopt new views of quality and safety science are changing the way health care organizations ask questions about traditional practices and measure outcomes. To challenge the status quo for accepting poor quality, nurse educators are inspiring graduates to adopt a new mindset to improve quality and safety outcomes. Sharing evidence across countries can propel educational and practice changes.