Nursing Care Education

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NursingCare Education


Withthe changing dynamics and challenges in the critical care units, ithas become necessary and important for the nurses to improve theireducational competencies. Nursing education in the critical care unitis essential, as studies have shown. Improving the educationalcompetencies of the staff in the department has shown to improve thepatient outcomes. Besides, the nurses have benefitted from improvedknowledge and skills from a critical care educator. The paper willexamine the importance of nurse education on the patient outcomes,employee motivation, and satisfaction. Further, the paper will assesseducational needs of the staff using gap analysis. We will alsoexamine the educational gaps that exist within the nursing practice,particularly in the critical care units. The method to use ingathering information will be literature review of the previousstudies and sampling method for secondary information. The inclusionof both primary and secondary information will play a significantrole in informing the readers and policy makers in the nursingpractice. The findings have shown that the critical care educator hasan important role to play in improving the educational needs of thenurses.

Nursingcare is critical area that requires the staff to have the rightqualifications and competencies. Studies indicate that the criticalcare unit demands the staff to skilled. The approach enhances therealization of better outcomes. The joint efforts are imperative inthe collaborative patient care. The participation of clinical staffimproves the collaboration by attracting a cordial relationship,motivation, and improved service delivery. The development of such aprogram not only results in positive effects for patients but alsothe discipline in the practice of nursing. The provision of the rightsupportive setting is a shared responsibility and concern forstakeholders including family members, patient and hospital staff.The contribution of the nurse in the reduction of patient’s anxietyis essential. The paper will examine the importance of critical careeducator in the provision of services and effects on staffperformance.

Nursingstaff must have the right competencies to meet the demands and needsof the clients. Through appropriate training and education, thenurses can acquire the right skills and knowledge as required in theindustry. The changing dynamics of clinical practice and humanresource motivated the development of competencies. Through theguidance of a critical care educator, the nurses can realize improvedoutcomes both at the individual and institutional level.


UsingZikmund, Babin, Carr, and Griffin’s research action methodologyinvolving business opportunities (symptoms) and systematicallyconstructing those symptoms into an actionable decision statement isa proven way to separate the relevant symptoms from less relevantsymptoms (2013). By doing so, the more pertinent symptoms become thefocus of the business research. In this case, the current situationis a busy intensive care unit with increasing complexity in patients,higher patient satisfaction expectations, growing body of medicalknowledge, more complex equipment, but a shrinking pool ofexperienced critical care nurses.

Thechallenge is to develop new nurses with little or no experience tomore knowledgeable and experienced staff. Well renowned nursingeducator, Dr. Patricia Benner, offers a framework for identifyingnursing staff competency on a continuum starting at a the “novice”level. The continuum, from least experienced to most experienced, is“novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient, and expert,”based on clinical skill sets (1982). The framework helps betterquantify unique educational needs in the clinical setting. At thepresent, the critical care unit has a heavier balance towardsadvanced beginner with a significant void of clinical experts.


Astouched upon above, a huge balance of new nurses and transfers fromother units has created a large pool of “advanced beginner’s”than the other identified staffing clinical competencies in thecontinuum. A health mix, according to Benner, is greater than 50% ofa unit designated as “skilled and professional,” clinically. Thepresent mix is about 25% in the “proficient and expert” nursingcategory. That is only part of the problem, however. The otherissue is that about 40% of the nursing staff are a novice andadvanced beginner where a healthier mix would be less than 20%. Theremaining employees are at the good stage. Understanding the currentstaffing mix reflects the need for more staff education. Thedecision statement to consider is “Do the current educational needsof the unit justify additional clinical education support such as adedicated critical care educator?”


  1. To explore the educational needs of the staff using gap analysis.

  2. To consider other methods of educating staff such as new simulation technologies and multimedia training.

  3. To examine the significance of clinical education on staff competencies and patient outcomes


  1. Do the critical care education gaps for the registered nurses warrant the hiring of a dedicated critical care educator?

  2. Are the educational gaps actual or perceived?

  3. Does clinical education affect on the employee competencies, satisfaction, and patient outcomes?


  1. Adding a dedicated critical care educator to the critical care team will offer an additional resource that can identify educational needs and create educational offerings the will rapidly move “novice and advanced beginner” critical care nurses to “experienced” nurses.”

  2. Adding a critical care educator will substantially improve patient outcomes while also improving staff satisfaction.”


Thedependent variables signify the expected results. In this study, thedependent variables are staff competencies, satisfaction, and patientoutcomes. The independent variables are inputs where in this thenursing care education is the one likely to cause the expectedvariations. Time is also another independent variable. The length oftime for the study will help the researcher in addressing all theareas of the study. The blocking variables in the study may includeeducational level and competency level of the care educators.Extraneous variables include issues such as cooperation,attentiveness, and work experience.


Throughexamining previous literature, the researcher was able to generateinformative data on critical nurse education. In forming thetheoretical framework, past reading and review of literaturegenerated an on-going process. Data was collected using an assortmentof search engines that offered access to various journal articles andbooks. The study serves a series of interrelated significances inclarifying the importance of critical care nurse educator. The studyserves a platform to understand why a supportive environment isthought to serve as the best approach to handle the nursingchallenges. Further, it generates a better understanding of theimpact of continuous education for the critical nurses (Elliott,Aitken, Chaboyer, &amp Australian College of Critical Care Nurses,2012). Besides analyzing the structures of the supportiveenvironment, the study is significant in demonstrating thefundamental basis for education in the nursing practice. Finally,addressing the stated problem provides a platform in compliance withthe necessary course work for my education.

Accordingto Kaplow (2002), professional improvement in the nursing professionis crucial to guarantee the safety of the patients and efficiency inservice provision. Under the program, the nursing staffs were able tomeet and interact with the patients and other stakeholders. McHughand Lake (2010) observe that education helps in inculcating the rightvalues and knowledge to the nurses. The significance of superiorvalues and the need to acquire advanced skills in nursing influencesthe decision to carry out their assignments. Educationhelps in providing the necessary information to the nurses for betteroutcomes (Tanner, 2006). Theattitudes, decisions, and behaviors of the followers influence thedelivery of health care services in an institution. In their study,(McHugh &amp Lake, 2010) argues that the relationship between thenurses, support staff and their leaders in a clinical setting isimperative for the establishment of a healthy working environment.Hence, the need for proper training and education is paramount.

Understandingthe educational requirements is vital to drive behavior change andrealization of positive outcomes. Competenciesdepend on clinical leaders and followers who must develop a peoplestrategy and style to maximize performance and accomplish the vision.Competenciesare clusters of attributes that are highly interrelated and mayinclude skills, knowledge, and abilities that give rise to thebehaviors that are appropriate for the effective performance of ajob. The competency-based model was developed by a good chain of jobanalysis methods with the actively engaging the global human resourcecommunity (Deakin University, 1994). Tanner (2006) observes thatstaffing, training and development will be the particular aspectsthat will be addressed with the audience. Staffing, training, anddevelopment were preferred due to the great role that they play inthe overall success in a clinical setting. Employees work on a dailybasis to achieve their organization’s goals and objectives.


Thesampling method is the appropriate method to help in generatingvaluable information about the study since it is a qualitativeresearch. In the study, the population to be considered includesnurses, educators, hospital administrators, and patients. Accordingto Ngechu (2004), a research population is a distinct set of people,elements or firms under investigation. The target populationrepresents the different or particular set elements, people or issuesbeing investigated by a researcher. In the nursing practice, thehealth outcomes are not only dependent on the nurses but also theircompetencies. The target population will be representative to ensurethat credible data is gathered. Random sampling of the participantswill help eliminate selection bias that generates incredible results.The researcher will randomly access the sample from random points ofoperation across the sampling area. The sampling areas determined thesample size by a considerable number of nurses working in the careunit. One consideration will be the results of the outcomes in acriticalcare unit with and without critical care educators.

Anyresearch has the potential to experience various forms of bias. Inthis research study, some of the expected research biases includeselection and spectrum biases. Selection bias occurs when individualparticipants are more likely to selected compared to others. In thisstudy, it is likely that the administrators will be chosen as opposedto the nurses who great influence on the objective of the study.Another form of bias likely to emerge in the study is the spectrumbias that arises in the evaluation of diagnostic tests on predisposedpatient samples. Spectrum type of bias may lead to over-estimation ofthe sensitivity of the study. Proper randomization aids in theelimination of biases, such as selection bias. The most precisemethod to find out the relationship between the treatment of patientsin health care and its outcome is randomized control trials. It wouldmost certainly not be erroneous to call these randomized controltrials as the most powerful and useful tool for health care andmedical research. However, researchers need to employ and exploitother research designs and data collection methods in health relatedtopics for better comprehension of health phenomenon (Munhall, 2007).

Randomassignments are to ensure the control and treatment of the groups issimilar during an experiment. The method is normally used ina “between-subjects design” with the aim of assigning the variousparticipants placements in a random manner. According to Goodwin(2009), the approach is significant to help in dispersing theparticipants evenly hence reduce incidences similar characteristicsin a similar group. The approach contributes to reduce bias as wellas enhance the validity of the findings.The study will encompass a quasi-experiment. It is an empirical studythat estimates the outcomes of a given intervention on the targetsample.

Measurementof Scale

Theappropriate measurement scale for the exercise is the summatedscales. In research, summated scales refer to a collection relatedquestions are used to measure an underlying matter. When using it, aresearcher should provide evidence of reliability and validity. Thescale should also connect with the measures of related or similarfeatures. It should not reflect any correlation with the measuresfrom unrelated features. It is important that the responses generatedfrom the scale indicate a form of consistency when tested again. Thepattern in the range enables the researcher to make conclusivefindings. The range allows theresearcher to differentiate the data collected based on theirclassification. One can use factor analysis to validate the data. Theresearcher should select the best questions as well as use norms tocompare the individual scores with that of the population. Thequestions relate to similar matter, healthcare outcomes. Inaddressing the question, variables such as criticalcare education, patient outcomes, and staff competencies are relatedto the education gaps.Inthis study, the research utilizes the measure of the scale where theinformation is generated by using factor analysis that aids invalidating the content of the findings(Rubin &amp Babbie, 2010).Measuring sensitivity in the study is realizable using regressionanalysis or emulators.

Lookingat the consistency of the data is one of the measures used by theresearcher to confirm the reliability of the collected and analyzeddata. Methods that produced positive results in other studies are anindication of reliability. When discussing research, many conceptsare important to consider however, the issue of validity is centralto any concrete measure and research design. There are also severalapproaches to establishing validity: construct validity, criterionvalidity, and content validity. In this particular study, theresearcher should use the content validity to measure the degree towhich the data collected correlates with the population. Theconsistency in the degree of measure signifies the content the testis designed to investigate and measure. To increase reliability, theresearcher can consider including numerous identical items of measureby testing a dissimilar sample of respondents and by using consistenttesting procedures (Frank-Stromborg &amp Olsen, 2004).


Researchersencounter various forms of ethical dilemmas such as (confidentiality,anonymity, conflicts of interest, informed consent, and debriefing,among others. Theseethical factors may have adverse impacts on the exercise. Theresearcher needs to generate measures to enhance the reliability andcredibility of the information collected. Necessary preparations suchas resources, work plan, and awareness are needed before theactivity. Participants should be well informed of the resources suchas time and energy that are required in the participation of theexercise. It helps in making the participants to understand therepercussions of choosing to participate either independently ordependently. Permission from the relevant authorities and hospitaladministrators is essential to safeguard the legality of theexercise. Protecting the confidentiality of the information such asacademic qualifications of the nurses is necessary.Care to observe ethical considerations as required by researchprinciples are expected in all research studies. The research shouldensure that the right to privacy, anonymity, voluntary participation,and withdrawal from participation at any point is all protected(Burns,Grove, &amp Gray, 2015).Nurses need assurance from the researcher that the informationgenerated is only for research.


Benner,P. (1982). From novice to expert. AmericanJournal of Nursing, 83(3),402-407. Retrieved from:

Burns,N., Grove, S. K., &amp Gray, J. (2015). Understandingnursing research: Building an evidence-based practice.Missouri: Elsevier.

DeakinUniversity. (1994). Acollection of readings related to competency-based training.Geelong, Vic: Deakin University.

Elliott,D., Aitken, L. M., Chaboyer, W., &amp Australian College of CriticalCare Nurses. (2012). ACCCN`scritical care nursing.Chatswood, N.S.W: Mosby/Elsevier.

Frank-Stromborg,M., &amp Olsen, S. J. (2004). Instrumentsfor clinical health-care research.Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Goodwin,C. J., &amp Goodwin, K. A. (2014). Researchin psychology: Methods and design.Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Kaplow,R. (2002). Applyingthe Synergy Model to Nursing Education.CRITICALCARE NURS, 22(3),77-81.

McHugh,M. D., &amp Lake, E. T. (2010). Understanding clinical expertise:Nurse education, experience, and the hospital context. Researchin Nursing &amp Health, 33(4),276–287.

MMunhall, P. 2007. Nursingresearch a qualitative perspective (4th ed.).Sudbury Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett.

Ngechu,M. (2004). Understandingthe research process and methods. An introduction. Nairobi: Starbright Services.

Rubin,A., &amp Babbie, E. R. (2010). Essentialresearch methods for social work.Belmont: Cengage Learning.

Tanner,C. A. (2006). Thinking like a nurse: A research-based model ofclinical judgment in nursing. Journalof Nursing Education, 45(6),204-211.

Zikmund,W. G., Babin, B. J., Carr, J. C., &amp Griffin, M. (2013). Businessresearch methods (9th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western.

Nursing Care Education

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NursingCare Education

Thepart discussed below will help in designing a basic experiment toassess a cause and effect relationship based on the researchquestion. The question under study is to examine the significance ofnurse education in an acute care unit. The assessment will help ingenerating recommendations to help in enhancing the competencies ofthe nurses for positive healthcare outcomes. The study will encompassa quasi-experiment. It is an empirical study that estimates theoutcomes of a given intervention on the target sample. In this study,the objective is to examine the significance of nurse educators onthe healthcare outcomes. The method is similar to the randomizedcontrolled trial. The designs used in the research study enable theresearcher to control the experiment although with appropriate cutoffmarks. Quasi-experiment is appropriate for this experiment as itallows the researcher to examine the impacts fully. Additionally, itis not possible to control all the factors, as is the case with atrue experiment. The experiment will involve two groups, subjected todifferent conditions.

Thehypothesis of the study is that the addition of a nurse educator willhelp improve the outcomes of the care unit team within a healthinstitution. Further, critical care education will improve thecompetencies, satisfaction of employees, and patient outcomes. Theassumption is that improve the educational needs of the care unitstaff will potentially enhance their skills. The provision of qualityservices will also enhance patient outcomes and satisfaction (Polit &ampBeck, 2008). Testing a hypothesis is less likely to experience biasedoutcomes. The procedure improves the legitimacy and consistency ofthe findings hence making the method more credible. Kothari (2011)observe that it is easier to utilize a pre-determined approach incollecting data through an experimental method. The dependentvariables signify the expected outcomes. In this study, the dependentvariables are staff competencies, satisfaction, and patient outcomes.The independent variables are inputs where in this the nursing careeducation is the one likely to cause the expected variations. Time isalso another independent variable. The length of time for the studywill help the researcher in addressing all the areas of the study.The blocking variables in the study may include educational level andcompetency level of the care educators. Extraneous variables includeissues such as cooperation, attentiveness, and work experience.

Developingstringent methods and strategies to strengthen internal validity isthe best way for researchers to avoid misinterpreting data. Relyingon random selection alone for an even distribution of potentiallyrelevant variables in a study exposes it to uncontrolled confoundsfrom subject selection effects. Appropriate sampling by thoroughlyexamining the characteristics of the participants will help deal withthe issues surrounding external and internal validity. The idealprocessof evaluating the content validity of a measure is to utilize anexperienced nursing care educator (Grove, Burns, &amp Gray, 2013).

Inconclusion, the accuracy of the data and relevance to the studyconducted proves the validity of the research process. Thedegree to which the findings of a study are methodologically soundand free of errors that may threaten internal and external validityis a fundamental consideration in research design and theinterpretation of the results. Further, the researcher needs toevaluate all the variables that might influence the outcomes. Theresearch above might take time before the outcomes of the study areanalyzed. Time is also a crucial factor for consideration by theresearcher.


Grove,S. K., Burns, N., &amp Gray, J. (2013). Thepractice of nursing research: Appraisal, synthesis, and generation ofevidence.St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier/Saunders.

Kothari,C. R. (2011). ResearchMethodology: Methods and Techniques.New Delhi: New Age International Ltd.

Polit,D. F., &amp Beck, C. T. (2008). Nursingresearch: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice.Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/lippincott Williams &ampWilkins.

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