It has always been imperative to understand the quality of nursing because it is integral for providing care to patients and have a real impact on their health, especially in the realms of patient experience and safety. However, it is essential to note that not all work that nurses do on a regular basis is quantifiable. To guide the work of professionals caring for patients, setting expectations and standards of care can be of benefit. A nursing care standard refers to the descriptive statement of desired quality against which nursing care is evaluated. It is rather a guideline than a rigid quality indicator because the needs of each patient are different.
When managing the operations and the performance of nurses and ensure the improvement of quality and patient care, nursing managers should set standards as a means of planning. Standard statements should be broad enough to apply to a wide variety of contexts. For example, the standard of structuring one’s work to achieve maximum care quality can be used in order to help nurses be more proactive in planning their everyday tasks. This quality standard is closely related with establishing secure connections between nurses and their managers due to the need to align with the organizational structure and the interface between staff, equipment, and resources.
The measure of quality for nurses should refer to the extent of collaboration with patients. This standard is concerned with human interactions, which are integral for reaching the desired health outcomes. Collaborative work is considered a fundamental principle of nursing care because of the need to engage others in the process. High-quality collaboration encourages patients, their families, and healthcare providers to actively engage in the treatment process. This can improve patient experiences, safety, and the effective utilization of resources. According to Dickerson and Latina, a collaborative approach to care and human interactions are more likely to leave patients satisfied with the quality of care they receive. Therefore, nursing managers should redesign the process of care in such a way that would enhance the involvement of patients into care delivery to reach the optimal health outcomes.
Another measure of quality that should be incorporated in the delivery of care to patients is concerned with processes that nurses integrate into their everyday operations. The measure of high-quality processes is concerned with the measurement of nurses’ actions and the lack of actions associated with nursing care. It will help nursing managers at hospitals evaluate the effectiveness of their subordinates fairly. The focus should be placed on what care is planned for a specific patient, which techniques and processes have been carried out, what has been the degree of patient participation as well as what was the interaction between the nurse and the received of care.
Measuring outcomes is also important when it comes to determining whether nurses care for patients effectively because they represent the result of nursing interventions. In this context, an outcome is referred to as a frame of reference for setting standards and describing the results of nursing activities in relation to the changes that occur with patients. These changes are expected to show a degree of improvement in the overall well-being of a patient as well as be results of a variety of services that nurses offered. Therefore, outcome measures reflect the effectiveness and results rather than the process of care delivery.