• What are the best strategies the nurse can employ to empower patients and support patients’ rights to improve quality of care? (Some considerations to keep in mind may include: providing information on effectiveness, risks, and benefits of alternative treatments.)
  • In what ways can NDNQI data from dashboards or quality improvement data be used to support nurse empowerment in practice?
  • How has your institution empowered the nursing staff through the use of quality improvement data?
  • Provide an example of how you have personally empowered either a patient or a fellow nurse.


As a nurse, you are the individual who has the ability to empower patients in the decision-making process pertaining to their health care. In addition, you are in a unique position to empower your nursing colleagues to improve job satisfaction and use performance indicator data from dashboards to effect social change.

In this week’s Learning Resources, you examined both the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) and the key role nurses play as advocates for patient rights. To assist nurses in being better prepared for this role, programs such as Patient Care Partnership provide guidance.

For this Discussion, you will analyze the use of quality improvement data and discuss how this data can help empower both patients and nurses. Review the Patient Care Partnership information presented in this week’s Resources. In addition, reflect on the media presentation and the information shared by Ms. Manna on patients’ rights.


· Brown, D. S., Aydin, C. E., & Donaldson, N. (2008). 

Quartile dashboards: Translating large data sets into performance improvement prioritiesLinks to an external site.

Journal of Healthcare Quality, 30(6), 18–30. http://doi.org/ 10.1111/j.1945-1474.2008.tb01166.x
Typically, references should be within five to seven years of publication. However, this publication is considered a classical research reference pertaining to quality improvement and the use of data sets.


· Cole, C., Wellard, S., & Mummery, J. (2014). 

Problematising autonomy and advocacy in nursingLinks to an external site.

Nursing Ethics, 21(5), 576–582. http://doi.org/10.1177/0969733013511362


· Garrard, L., Boyle, D. K., Simon, M., Dunton, N., & Gajewski, B. (2016). 

Reliability and validity of the NDNQI® injury falls measureLinks to an external site.
. Western 
Journal of Nursing Research, 38(1), 111-128. http://doi.org/10.1177/019394591454281


· Giancarlo, C., Comparcini, D., & Simonetti, V. (2014). 

Workplace empowerment and nurses’ job satisfaction: A systematic literature reviewLinks to an external site.


Mikayla Jo Bartlett

For a nurse to be able to empower patients, I believe the nurse themselves must be empowered! A quote I hear often is “fill your cup first and the let it overflow onto others.” How can one be empowered without working or being in an empowering environment? According to Cicolini, G., et al (2013), an empowering work environment has four empowerment structures for their employees, these structures are: Information, resources, support, and opportunities. With these strategies of empowerment, it not only allows the nurse to feel supported and capable of their job, but it also gives them the resources needed to empower, educate, and nurture their patients in the way they need. We cannot help patients without being educated on what we are doing to help them. We cannot help patients without resources in front of us to help them. We cannot help patients without adequate support of our leaders and teammates. We cannot help our patients without an opportunity to grow and learn new things as nurses. As far as strategies, I believe that organizational empowerment in nursing should be used everywhere to allow not only the nurses, but the patients reach their full potential.

The purpose of the NDNQI was to create knowledge that affect the quality of nursing care, i.e. the link between staffing and patient outcomes (Montalvo, I. 2007). While the NDNQI gives us so much information and standards into what needs improved at each facility, there’s no real education or rhyme or reason WHY these things need improved. I know that sounds odd, but at my facility we recently (in the last year) have gone through a lot of massive changes from leadership, to charting, to med changes and everything in between. Upon the dramatic change of leadership came a dramatic change in the way things needed to be documented and VERY specific things that needed documented. It was very frustrating at first because we were being micromanaged over and over in a single day to complete these tasks with no real understanding of why. After months of change and complaints and misunderstanding, our leadership team came together and created a way to explain why this certain documentation was so important, and to our greatest surprise it was to increase patient outcomes, when in our heads it had to do with “winning” or “excelling” at something. So while it started out frustrating and as a misunderstanding, our institution helped empower the nurses with background information and understanding of the importance of our cares in order to then empower our patients and increase quality of care.

I feel like I am empowered by my coworkers every day. I don’t have one example because they are constant.  It is like a waterfall affect, one person goes the extra mile for one patient and next thing we know we are all doing one small thing

Kelly Ransom

The best strategies for a nurse to empower patients, is to allow them to make decisions and participate in their plan of care. If a patient is unable to make their own decisions, we as nurses must advocate for them. Nurses become the voices for our patients. With guidelines and protocols that must be followed, it becomes difficult to speak out or do the things that we find are best for our patients. Nurses are taught critical thinking skills and learn to adapt when needed. On many occasions, I have sat down with my patients and had genuine conversations and encouraged them to talk about their feelings and ideas. Nurses are able to assess situations and issues by just having a conversation. We can involve therapy or pain relief by having our patients stand to straighten a bed or employing other activities. Patients can become so centered on pain or the treatment, that other means to distract away from that focus helps.

With the use of the NDNQI, nurses and institutions are able to build on data that empower nursing knowledge related to quality of care according to Montalvo, I. (2007). This influences care and care processes and in turn affect patient outcomes. Empowering a nurse with knowledge is only beneficial to the patient and the care provided. Finding ways to prevent falls and infections, explores the opportunities to provide strategies and interventions to decrease the likelihood of these events happening. When a nurse is given the power of knowledge and a management staff that will support them, changes occur for the better. 

Working in long-term care as the infection control specialist and staff development coordinator, I am empowered by my staff to provide the knowledge and skills sets that are beneficial to our residents. Reoccurring falls and falls in general are one of the top priorities in the nursing home setting. As a healthcare team, we evaluate falls and breakdown to time and place of occurrences and put plans into place based on individual residents or units. Utilizing quality improvement data, we find what is most beneficial and effective. Being encouraging to my staff daily and providing education to increase their knowledge, is how I empower my staff. One particular nurse was a new graduate and felt unsure of what she was doing. Allowing this nurse to make decisions and encouraging her helped to bring up self-assurance and advocate for her patients.



· Garrard, L., Boyle, D. K., Simon, M., Dunton, N., & Gajewski, B. (2016). 

Reliability and validity of the NDNQI® injury falls measureLinks to an external site.
. Western 
Journal of Nursi