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HIGHLIGHTS 11 Jun 2024

How the Nursing Profession Drives Quality and Accountability

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Romana Jabeen

Marketing Executive
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Professor Jane Cummings CBE, RN. recently presented on how the nursing profession can drive quality and accountability. She shared her experiences during her time as Chief Nursing Officer for England, and talked about the following key themes:

Driving quality & accountability as a nurse

Jane emphasised the importance of the fundamentals of care and if you get those right, it makes a big difference to you, your team and the organisation you represent.


We are educators. We teach people. We are researchers. We are leaders. We deliver care. We co-ordinate care. We are involved in everything from pre-conception care through birth until death, in all settings and for all ages. We can influence policy and we are policy-makers and decision makers depending on your role. And never forget that nurses have expert knowledge. We are highly educated, well trained. We are advocates both for our profession but also for those that we care for.

Professor Jane Cummings CBE, RN. Former Chief Nurse England

Within the UK, there are over 570,000 nurses, who have interactions with around 1.6 million patients a day across the country, which means that every second should be spent on the care of each patient.

On a global scale, there are an estimated 29 million nurses so we can only imagine how many patient interactions occur worldwide.

Patient-centred and/or person-centred care is at the core of everything nurses do, and it is key to improve the health of the population.

How does the nursing profession drive quality?
Nurses have a responsibility to showcase compassionate leadership which is informed by the values, integrity and professional knowledge that they have. They use their clinical judgement, problem solving skills to manage and co-ordinate complexity. And we know that nurses act as the co-ordinator of complex care and often are the decision makers when it comes to complex care. Nurses display high levels of autonomy both within your nursing teams, within the wider multidisciplinary teams, your decision makers, and your vigilance is absolutely clear.

This also means that the culture of your teams and the organisation regarding quality is key. What are your organisations quality statements? how much care is taken when collecting evidence-based best practices? What are your quality outcomes? Where is your data, your management and your measurements? Have you got a lack of expertise in what we mean by quality and patient safety theories and methods?

Once you start to these questions start to get answered, it becomes a part of your daily routine and you set the standard of what everyone does all the time - that's when you can start to take accountability for those actions.

Tendable allow you to focus on the bigger picture as well as the finer details on what you currently have, how you can identify your risks and work to improve on those risks all in real-time, which is really important when it comes to quality. If you struggle to engage your front-line staff when it comes to quality then get them to lead on this, to think about what's important to them and their patients.

Evidence states that high quality compassionate care improves outcomes, saves lives and reduces cost. All of these things matter when it comes to driving quality and accountability. As nurses, leaders or deliverers or care, it is our responsibility that we are there all the time to provide a high standard of quality care.

Jane's full talk at The Ottawa Hospital is available below.

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