Nursing practice is a symbiotic relationship between the art and science of professional care. One cannot exist in isolation from the other. Nurses are inclined to connect the art of nursing with terms such as compassion, caring attitudes, the therapeutic relationship, presence, professionalism, advocacy, and competence, otherwise known as the “soft or caring side of nursing”. The greatest threat to the disappearance of the art of nursing lies with the perceived “big three”: time, fiscal restraint, and failure of the system to support a full staff of nurses, so those employed are working at full capacity. It is important to recognize that different practice settings have varying needs. One size does not fit all. Yet the requirements for nursing assessments, developing a plan of care, coordinating care with other health care providers, implementing interventions, and evaluating care outcomes are a requirement of all.
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This chapter focuses specifically on nursing research program vertical infrastructure. Vertical infrastructure refers to the pillars of the program: the foundation that provides the support to build other services. Three essential components are used to develop a solid nursing research program foundation that advances the scientific foundation of nursing practice and promotes integration of evidence-based practices. The three components are nurse researchers who coach or mentor clinical nurses in nursing research, intranet website resources, and a research departmental database. A successful nursing research program is contingent on having the right nurse researcher personnel who can move research from project inception to dissemination in peer-reviewed literature and translation into practice. Nurse leadership may benefit from educational programs or a business plan that includes the benefits of a nursing research program and information about how a specific nursing research program aligns with strategic goals.
This chapter provides examples of programs and services beyond the foundational elements and global resources that can be used to overcome traditional nursing research barriers. It is assumed that at least one doctorate-prepared nurse researcher is available to facilitate research opportunities and educate nurses about research and evidence-based practice. Many clinical nurses fully understand their clinical roles but are completely unaware of opportunities and resources in nursing research within their hospital. Since contributions of nursing research are vital to the science and art of nursing and provide foundation for evidence-based practices, it is important to overcome the traditional cluster of barriers that include problems with nursing research visibility/priority, time and money, and research education. Nurses need confirmation that nurse leaders support research; when it is visible, it is valued. Moreover, nurses need time, education, and resources to complete rigorous research that leads to discoveries and answers to important clinical problems.
This chapter addresses the need for dissemination of research and focuses on dissemination both inside the hospital organization and outside. Disseminating results of research is often the most exciting phase of the process, as it is the culmination and highlight of countless hours of work. Common areas for dissemination internally include presentations to colleagues on people’s unit, as well as across hospital organization. Internal presentations offer a direct way for people to provide new evidence for practice in their hospital organization. In addition, however, it is important that results of their research reach nurses and other health professionals nationally and internationally. Thus, people want to participate in media dissemination of their research, systematically look for calls for abstracts to present at professional conferences, and disseminate their research through professional publications. Disseminating results, whether internally or externally, by media, poster, oral presentation, or publication, requires effort and attention to detail.
Dorothea Lynde Dix was born into an upper-class, highly educated, intelligent, and politically connected Bostonian family. These opportunities provided the foundation necessary to propel her into a leadership role as national and international advocate for the most vulnerable groups in the mid-1800s. Dorothea utilized her Methodist father’s background to augment the teachings of her adopted religious calling, Unitarianism, which promises salvation through leading a directed life. This chapter explores her leadership role in this period of American history. It also shows how her family background, pursuit of education, personality, and religious commitment to humanitarianism enabled her to confront seemingly insurmountable obstacles to implement national and international reform of care for psychiatrically disabled and imprisoned populations. In the final phase of her career, Dorothea was chosen for a national role to lead nursing during the American Civil War, a role that she considered as within her scope of knowledge and skills.
To think today that health issues in one country are confined to that country indicates a lack of understanding of disease transmission, cultural practices, and migration patterns at the least. This chapter presents health problem or issues and policies that impact populations around the globe. To highlight the worldwide impact, the content is framed within the seven continents. The health issues are not exclusive but selected to reflect the extent of political or governmental impact. It briefly describes government structures, and presents an overview of the policy-making process of Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, Italy, North America, and South America. The policy process will vary among countries depending on the type of government. Some issues may reflect cultural practices that may not be amenable to government intervention. The reader should determine the extent to which citizens, especially nurses, can be involved in the policy process as advocates and change agents.
This chapter explores how three successful nursing leaders, using different leadership approaches, demonstrate traditional leadership attributes such as strategic vision; risk-taking and creativity; interpersonal and communication effectiveness; and inspiring and leading change. It discusses the opportunities and implications for nursing leaders and those external to the profession to develop collaborative and transformative partnerships to advance quality health care. Pragmatic leaders demonstrate leadership excellence by effectively translating their nursing care assessment skills into the ability to approach organizational problem solving and decision making in a systematic, logical manner. In contrast to the present-needs focus of pragmatic leaders, charismatic leaders are vision-based leaders who predicate their leadership agenda on attaining future goals. Each of the three nursing leaders profiled understands the importance of being politically astute and effectively leveraging power and influence to make value-added contributions. To varying degrees, the various constituents of the nursing leaders profiled view them as socialized leaders.
This chapter shows the importance, for older persons, of support groups. In spite of the changes that have occurred in the American family, and all the negative things that fill the popular press concerning family relationships, the family is still the backbone of support for most older people. To some extent, the type of family support older people obtain depends on whether they are living in the community or in an institutional setting such as a group home, retirement village, or nursing facility. Whether a person is married, has great impact on that person’s support within a family setting including emotional, financial, and physical support, particularly in times of illness or infirmity. The success of a second marriage depends to a considerable extent on the reaction of the adult children of the elderly couple. Older grandparents, no matter how motivated, can find caring for grandchildren to be very tiring.
Delirium, also known as acute confusional state, organic brain syndrome, brain failure, and encephalopathy, is a common occurrence among medical and surgical patients and causes extensive morbidity and mortality. This chapter provides an updated review of delirium, including pathophysiological correlates, clinical features, diagnostic considerations, and contemporary treatment options. The defining features of delirium include an acute change in mental status characterized by altered consciousness, cognition, and fluctuations. The chapter explores the risk factors for delirium. These can be divided into two categories: predisposing factors and precipitating factors. Imbalances in the synthesis, release, and degradation in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate, acetylcholine, and the monoamines have also been hypothesized to have roles in delirium. GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS) and medications such as benzodiazepines and propofol have known actions at GABA receptors and have been associated with delirium.
This chapter shows how the United States and the world are experiencing an aging evolution we are growing older. America is going through a revolution. As a whole, Americans are becoming older, and there are many more older people among people than ever before in our history. Obviously all cohorts of the population youth, young adults, middle-aged, young-old, oldest-old are heterogeneous. When some people think about the elderly as a whole, they picture frail, weak, dependent persons, some in nursing homes and many confined to their homes. The chapter demonstrates the differences the various age categories have in relation to selected chronic health conditions that cause limitations of activity. Widowhood is much more common for elderly American women than for older men. The aging of Baby Boomers will solidify the shift America is experiencing with the aging of its population. Centenarians make up a small percentage of the total U.S. population.