Influencing Health Care Through Advocacy

Influencing Health Care Through Advocacy

Influencing Health Care Through Advocacy

Question 1 – Discuss the correlation between nursing education and positive patient outcomes. Include current research that links patient safety outcomes to advanced degrees in nursing. Based on some real-life experiences, explain whether you agree or disagree with this research.

Response – Amanda S

1 – Healthcare is constantly changing and evolving. New evidence-based practice research is constantly announced. Patient safety is increased as well as better patient outcomes. According to AACN, 2019 “hospitals with an increased percentage of RNs with baccalaureate or higher degrees had lower congestive heart failure mortality, decubitus ulcers, failure to rescue, and postoperative deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism and shorter length of stay.” Fewer deaths were associated with a better educated nurse workforce. For every 10% increase in BSN RN’s, the percentage of possible patient deaths fell by 7% (NIH, 2014).

Influencing Health Care Through Advocacy

I agree that higher education can decrease mortality and I understand why these healthcare changes are desired. I agree that BSN nurses have more evidence-based training. Nurses with years of wisdom also have high levels of critical thinking and capacity to diminish mortality rates. These nurses are in sync with the physicians, able to do whatever is required for the patient, and can often predict what is coming next for the patient.

I have become a well-rounded nurse and able to implement little changes in my workplace using the concepts I’ve learned throughout my BSN courses. Awareness of new advances in innovation and using those advancements in patient care is important to promote best practice and provide the best care we can. I will use this knowledge to inspire and advocate for my co-workers so they too may proceed in advancing their education.


National Institutes of Health (2014). Nurse staffing, education affect patient safety. Retrieved from

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2019).The impact of education on nursing practice. Retrieved from…

Niki Oden

2 – The amount of education that a nurse receives influences the care that they are able to implement. Education increases competence, which in turn promotes positive patient outcomes. When a nurse continues their education, they are better able to think critically. Critical thinking is vital when it comes to optimal patient outcomes. Quality and safety of care is increased when nurses take on the task of furthering their education. Experience and competence greatly influence positive patient outcomes. Nurses obtain more evidence-based knowledge when they continue their education, allowing them to implement the knowledge obtained creates positive patient outcomes. Today’s changing healthcare environment is calling for more nurses to take on leadership and management roles. In order for nurses to take on those roles they must advance their degree’s.

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The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) summarizes findings from studies that show that nurses with at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing optimize patient outcomes. Increasing bachelor prepared nursing on hospital units by 10% created nearly an 11% reduction in risk of patient mortality (The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice, 2019). When care was increased to being provided by bachelor’s degree nurses it showed an 80% lower readmission rates and reduced hospital stay (The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice, 2019). These lower readmission rates and reduced hospital stay saved healthcare dollars.

I agree with the research that shows that there is a correlation between nursing education and positive patient outcomes. When one advances their nursing education, they are better able to care for their patients through critical thinking skills. I work in a hospital where they require you to obtain your BSN within 3 years of being hired. I have seen firsthand the difference in critical thinking skills when education is advanced. It is safe to say that in the short time that I have continued my education through Grand Canyon, I have been able to implement more evidence-based knowledge in the care that I provide to my patients. All of the research that I have done for papers and discussion questions allows me to analyze situations in a more efficient manner.


The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice. (2019, April). Retrieved January 08, 2021, from…

Thomas, J. (2018). Professional Development in Nursing. Retrieved January 08, 2021, from…

What Is the Link Between BSN Nurses and Patient Outcomes? (2020, January 10). Retrieved January 08, 2021, from…

Shannon Bolin

3 – Over the past few decades nurse education and the effect it has on patient education has been a key topic in healthcare reform. A team from the University of Kansas looked at the differences between an associate’s degree nursing program (ADN) and a bachelor level nursing program and found that out of 109 measuring outcomes the ADN program met 42 of these metrics that include organizational and system leadership, evidence-based practices, healthcare policy, interprofessional collaboration and community health (AANC, 2019). Another study published by a nurse researcher showed that with every 10% increase in BSN to staffing ratios resulted in a 10.6% decline in patients’ mortality (AACN).

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With rising evidence that the BSN educated nurse can lower mortality rate the Roberts Woods Johnson Foundation (RWJF) published a report that encouraged healthcare leaders to adapt programs that would increase the number of BSN trained nursing in their facilities (AANC, 2019) At the time of the study only 49% of nurse were trained at the BSN level and the study challenged leaders to increase this to 80% by 2020 (AACN, 2019). While still short of its goal, the number of BSN trained nurses has gone up to 56% which shows that the initiatives made significant advancements (AANC, 2019).

After graduation I accepted a position in a hospital that required that I obtain my BSN within 5 years from the date of my employment. At this time, I had little interest in returning to school but understood that the requirement was aimed at increased quality patient care. Throughout my short time at a nurse in the last two and a half years, I have worked with many BSN and ADN trained nurse. For the last year I have served as a preceptor for both and while I can say I can notice a difference in training for both programs, I don’t feel that the ADN program nurses on our floor have any disadvantages in patient care. I do believe that the BSN trained nurse may have a better background when it comes to leadership and interprofessional collaboration, but I feel a supportive environment that is committed to its nurse will be able to offer these skills through ongoing education and learning through the workplace setting. Now that I am close to finishing my BSN education, I still do not feel that the BSN route should be mandated in nursing but I support the workplace to continue to encourage it through tuition reimbursements and flexible schedules as well as the RN-BSN programs to continue to evaluate ways to make the transition smoother and more affordable.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN] (2019). The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice. News & Information: Fact Sheet. Retrieved from…

Eunhee Cho, Sloane, D. M., Eun-Young Kim, Sera Kim, Miyoung Choi, Il Young Yoo, Hye Sun Lee, & Aiken, L. H. (2015). Effects of nurse staffing, work environments, and education on patient mortality: An observational study. International Journal of Nursing Studies52(2), 535–542. Retrieved from

Nathanaelle Joseph


4 – In 2017, NYS signed the “BSN in 10” law, which requires Associate degree RN to get their BSN within 10 years of passing the NCLEX. A 2003 study found that a 10% increase in the proportion of nurses with BSN decreased the risk of patient death and failure to rescue by 5%. According to the American Association of college, nursing has studies that show a direct correlation between nurses with a Bachelor’s degree and positive patient outcomes. Increasing the number of BSN nurses by 10% was linked to about 11% reduction in the risk of patient mortality. Even in patients with complications, there was a 10 point increase in the percentage of BSN-RN was associated with 7.47 fewer deaths per 1000 patients. Hospitals with a greater amount of BSN-RN had lower rates of CHF mortality, decubitus ulcers, failure to rescue, post-op, deep vein thrombosis, and patients had shorter stay. When hospitals increase by 80% led to lower re-admission rates, reduced the length of stay, cost the hospital less money. BSN nurses place more emphasis on evidence-based practice, nursing leadership, management, data analysis, and the use of quality improvement.

In my opinion, it doesn’t matter if the nurse that is taking care of me has a BSN or ADN, I want them to treat me with respect and show kindness. When I am sick, I want to be treated well: bring the pain meds on time, answer the call bell, provide me with the right information for me to make the best decision, and help me to the best of their ability. I have both nice and mean nurses, I prefer the kindness of the new nurses over the rudeness of the experienced nurses.

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American Association of college of nursing. (2019). Enrollment and graduations in baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing. Retrieved from

Charelle Tolentino

5 –

IOM report made recommendations for the improvement of nursing as they play a primary role in changing the future of healthcare. Fundamental changes such as preparing a use to meet a patient’s diverse needs. functioning as a leader, advancing science to benefit patients, and delivering safe quality patient care are needed in order to reach the goals of the IOM report. Nurses make up the largest workforce in healthcare. A more educated workforce leads to improved patient care. Studies have linked a higher educated level nurse to hospital mortality rates. Hospitals with registered nurses that hold a baccalaureate degrees or higher had lower rates of congestive heart failure mortality, decubitus ulcers, failure to rescue, and postoperative deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism and shorter length of hospital stay (Blegen et al., 2013).


Based on real life experiences I’m not sure I would completely agree. Nurses with higher educations lie a BSN or MSN are more likely to obtain leadership and management positions. But from my experience the nurses were given those positions based on degree and not their experience. I have witnessed and experienced many incidents when a nurse with a lower degree acted as a team leader in an emergency in the presence of RNs with a DNP or MSN. A coworker of mine with a MSN degree was promoted to assistant nurse manager within less than year starting as a new grad nurse. She was helping us on the floor and was assigned as medication nurse. She gave a patient a beta blocker who had bradycardia. She was with the nursing assistant when the vitals were being taken and she continued to give the medication. That is just one of many incidents I have experienced.

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Blegen, M. A., Goode, C. J., Park, S. H., Vaughn, T., & Spetz, J. (2013). Baccalaureate education in nursing and patient outcomes. The Journal of nursing administration, 43(2), 89–94.

Question 2 – Discuss the difference between a DNP and a PhD in nursing. Discuss which of these you would choose to pursue if you decide to continue your education to the doctoral level and explain why.

Cara Harris

6.2 – The DNP and PhD are both considered highest advanced nursing degrees and experts in their clinical fields of practice. The DNP is more focused on the clinical practice and the PhD is more focused on research and teaching. (GCU,2018) My career route will always continue to be towards the clinical scope of practice. While I appreciate the expert level component to the PhD and appreciate research I believe that my strengths are much more strategically focused and targeted to the clinical practice. There is also more advancement opportunity to me as a nurse pursuing a DNP. My career path started as a Certified Nursing Assistant in a skilled nursing facility. From there I advanced my continued education to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, and then from there further continued to become a Registered Nurse. My education and career path has been very successful for me, and this was complimented with the real life nursing experiences. So with that said, it would be in my best interest if I chose to do so would be to pursue my DNP.


Grand Canyon University (Ed). (2018). Trends in health care: A nursing perspective. Retrieved from

Influencing Health Care Through Advocacy