The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice
Nursing is founded on scientific principles that guide practice for the profession to attain its objectives of enhancing patient care and reducing patient suffering. One of the integral scientific underpinnings is evidence-based practice where nursing decisions are guided by empirical research that has been successfully used in real-life nursing practice. The DNP program enabled me to acquire knowledge on how to apply evidence-based research in nursing practice. The program is founded on scientific principles and it relies on use of accurate and timely research findings from peer-reviewed research. I read and applied several journal articles in my research to prepare myself for the DNP project. Moreover, I appreciated the important role that empirical evidence plays in nursing practice, since the use of personal viewpoints and perspectives in practice can lead to bias and potential errors in treatment. I will seek to learn more about integrating the scientific principles in nursing practice by reviewing best practices in the nursing profession from peer-reviewed research so that I can learn advanced in scientific nursing research. I will also strive to familiarize myself with the principles and code of conduct of the nursing profession so that I can enhance my ability to provide quality services to patients.
Organizational and systems leadership plays an integral role in enhancing systems thinking and quality improvement. Throughout the DNP program, I have developed strong leadership traits and learned leadership principles that should be applied in nursing settings to enhance the quality of services given to patients. I also participated in programs where I gained knowledge on how to promote healthier behavior in patients and inspiring them to embrace lifestyle changes that will reduce their health risks. I interacted with the multidisciplinary team that collaborates to achieve healthcare goals, and through these experiences, I gained insights on leadership traits and principles, including the importance of collaborative leadership in healthcare organizations. My practical experiences also helped me to appreciate the need for quality improvement both at the facility-level and at a personal level. Even though I have not fully attained leadership knowledge and expertise that would enable me to enhance systems thinking and quality improvement in healthcare institutions, I have developed the foundation that will propel me to even advocate for nursing issues that will enhance service delivery to patients in future.
I have gained broad knowledge on the importance of evidence-based practice in the nursing profession. The nursing profession deals with people’s lives and any mistakes can aggravate the patient’s health or in some cases, cause fatalities. This is a key reason why nurses should rely on empirical evidence and best practices when providing care, since it reduces the likelihood of medical errors and enhances the patient outcomes. I will strive to learn more about how I can integrate evidence based practice in the practical nursing settings through participating in programs where I play a direct role in providing care for patients in real-life healthcare facilities. I will also seek mentorship from advanced nursing professionals on the best practices in the profession, and observe how they apply empirical evidence when treating patients.
Throughout the DNP program, I used IT programs that seek to enhance care delivery since I have strong computer skills. Information technology is essential to the nursing profession since it helps in reducing medical errors through enhancing the efficiency of services and reducing the likelihood of human errors. Moreover, I have learned the importance of technological developments such as the electronic health records which link the multidisciplinary teams handling patients and enable them to access patient data in real-time. I will strive to enhance my IT skills and how various health-related IT programs work so that I can play a role towards improving quality and patient outcomes.
Advocacy in nursing care is important since it facilitates the implementation of transformative changes that enhance the ability of the profession to attain its goals. Throughout the DNP program, I have developed strong leadership skills that will enhance my ability to embrace nursing advocacy in future. In the meantime, I will prepare myself for this role by developing strong networks through professional nursing organizations and seeking mentorship opportunities from people who have effectively engaged in nursing advocacy. I strongly believe in advocacy since one of my future nursing goals is to engage in advocacy so that I may influence changes in policies that will improve the nursing profession.
Interprofessional collaboration is essential in satisfying the needs of the patient since no single professional has the monopoly of knowledge. Throughout the DNP course, I worked with physicians, doctors, specialist and clinical teams in the various roles that I performed. I learned that the interprofessional team has to collaborate so that each party can play its role towards improving the patient’s outcome. If professionals do not collaborate, then the patient needs will not be fully met, and this will expose him/her to negative outcomes. I will maintain teamwork and collaboration skills in my future professional endeavors.
Preventive health is important in healthcare since many people suffer from illnesses that are preventable. To reduce healthcare costs and prevalence of many illnesses, preventive health should be used to educate the general public on risky behaviors that they should avoid that predispose them to illnesses. Moreover, it is essential to educate the public on adopting healthy lifestyle changes that will prevent many lifestyle diseases including diabetes, which is a leading killer. I have not largely participated in prevention programs but I plan to apply advocacy and focus on preventive health in future, to enhance the health outcomes of the general population.
I have gained knowledge throughout the DNP course and I plan to further it through advanced nursing practice so that I can eventually become a qualified nurse practitioner.
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