Definitions of Quality


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Week 2: Definitions of Quality

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How do we improve our work? How do we define quality, and how do we know we are doing the best for our patients?


Consider how the role of quality improvements and quality improvement theories might affect how you interact and treat your patients. How do you determine what will meet the needs of those you serve, as well as what will meet the needs of your nursing practice?

Whether through specific data driven inquires, government agencies, advocacy groups, or education, there are many ways in which quality is measured, assessed, and evaluated in the field of nursing. With the focus always on patient care and safety, these quality measures allow a future DNP-prepared nurse to consider the best approaches to treating and caring for patients.

This week, you will explore quality indicators to improve patient care. You will explore the different theories and practices of quality improvement and consider the influence of these theories and practices on the field of nursing.



Chen, Q., Liu, D., Zhou, C., & Tang, S. (2020). Relationship between critical thinking disposition and research competence among clinical nurses: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 29 (7–8), 1332–1340.


Learning Objectives

Students will:


Analyze nurse-sensitive indicators

Analyze influence of quality improvement theories and philosophies on development of nurse-sensitive indicators

Evaluate nurse-sensitive indicators in influencing nursing practice and practice settings

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)


Discussion: Quality Indicators

Florence Nightingale introduced research to the field of nursing, and with this introduction, a focus on improving patient care has continued to be at the forefront of nursing practice. Improving patient care lends itself to the study of quality care and patient safety, and nurse-sensitive quality indicators highlight the elements of healthcare in which patients are directly impacted by the care provided by nurses.



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What are nurse-sensitive indicators? What elements of a patient’s care are directly impacted by the role and delivery of care of nurses? How might these nurse-sensitive indicators change healthcare delivery and the nursing profession for a future DNP-prepared nurse?


For this Discussion, you will explore your understanding of nurse-sensitive indicators of quality by reflecting on those quality indicators that may pertain most to your practice setting. You will conduct a literature search for articles that address these quality indicators and reflect on the connections between the quality indicators and quality improvement theories and philosophies.


To Prepare:

Review the Learning Resources on quality indicators for this week. Focus on those quality indicators that most pertain to your practice setting.

Consider the influence of early quality improvement theories and philosophies on the development of those quality indicators.

Using the Walden Library, locate at least two scholarly research articles to focus on, for this Discussion, that discuss how quality indicators may influence your practice setting.

Select one definition of quality published by any peer-reviewed source that particularly resonates with your thinking about quality.

Identify and select at least two nurse-sensitive indicators of quality related to patient care. Note: Do not select nurse-sensitive indicators related to staffing.

By Day 3 of Week 2

Post a brief description of the two nurse-sensitive indicators of quality that you selected. Analyze the influence of early quality improvement theories and philosophies on the development of the quality indicators you selected. Be specific. Then, cite the two (2) nursing research articles you selected, and explain how these indicators may influence your practice setting. Be specific and provide examples.


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