Quality Assurance in Nursing

Just like with any other profession standards, regulators created quality assurance in nursing standards. According to the National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR), quality assurance in nursing is defined as the "activities intended to ensure that the best available knowledge concerning the use of health care to improve health outcomes is properly implemented. This involves the implementation of health care standards, including quality assessment and activities to correct, reduce variations in, or otherwise improve health care practices relative to these standards."

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Nursing quality assurance actually begins with the education institution that the student attends to receive his/her education. The educational institution sets a quality assurance guideline to make sure that all of their students receive the proper education and training. This makes the student knowledgeable and competent to pass the standards of the college/training facility, as well as pass their state board exams.

Most education institutions require that any nursing program, pre-requisite course, etc, be passed by the student with a grade of a "C" or better. Because the content of these demanding programs, it becomes necessary that the students attend class as much as possible. Therefore, many institutions enforce a strict attendance policy upon their students.

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State Board

The state requires the student to pass a state board exam in order to practice as a nurse. If they want to practice as a nurse outside of their home state, they must also pass the state board exam in the other state. Each state within the United States maintains its own guidelines. Nurses must pass the exams to work in the Nursing industry.

Once the student passes his/her state board exams, they become licensed as a nurse. From here, the nurse’s employer maintains and enforces quality assurance in nursing programs for the nurse. In some cases, internal or external auditors review the nurse. Peer evaluation also provides feedback to improve the nurse’s competency. This guarantees and properly ensures the nurse meets the quality assurance guidelines.  

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The government requires nurses continue their education by attending Continued Education Approved courses. To keep their license active, nurses maintain so many hours within every licensing period in order. They cannot work without acquiring the CEUs.

Quality Assurance in Nursing Regulations

The United States Government actually regulates the content that should be contained in every healthcare facility's quality assurance program. They actually mandate what the facility will do, how often they will do it, and how they should do it.

Institutions including the Federal Government, outside agencies and their own facilities monitor nurses. Besides being monitored by these organizations, specialized state agencies also review nurses. Each state sets their own standards. 

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Any person with a grievance against a facility, nurse, or any other medical professional can file the complaint against the license of that facility or person. They document their complaint on the state's quality assurance website.

A nursing quality assurance investigation determines whether to suspend, revoke, or resume with no marks against the nurse’s licensee Anyone can view the nature of these complaints and their resolution.

After reviewing this page on quality assurance in nursing, see here for the basics of a quality assurance program

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