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Nursing portfolio example
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This professional portfolio showcases my professional skills as a baccalaureate nurse. I have had extensive service in all aspects of nursing, including community and population health, applied leadership, quality and safety as well as advanced evidence – based practice. These aspects are well covered in the document. The portfolio gives a comprehensive image of who I am, what I have expertise in, and my professional beliefs in regards to the nursing profession.
Nurturing, and caring for others have always been part of my personal character, since I was young. It was then no surprise to those who know me well that I automatically chose nursing as my lifelong profession, to take my passion to another level, and at the same time, have a far – greater reach and impact on the health profession, and the community in general. My belief that quality healthcare is an undeniable right of every person, and that this care should be of the highest standards possible, have been my guiding principles.
I have therefore taken great effort and paid every attention to ensure that I am a highly qualified baccalaureate nurse, who understands that in today’s world, the roles and opportunities available to nurses are changing dramatically. Nurses are increasingly finding themselves working in places other than the conventional hospital. Community centers, clinics and health centers, as well as outpatient centers are taking over many of the duties that were previously only associated with hospitals (Amos, n.d.).
I have had extensive hands on training and professional education in community health, research methods. I have also experienced the important role of leadership in delivering care, especially when in a group of professionals who may need direction and guidance on how to achieve particular aims. These aspects are the cornerstone of nursing that give it so much force as an integral part of healthcare provision across the US and the world. I attach specific importance to research, as a means of learning and increasing knowledge in the field of nursing. Nursing exists in communities, and having excellent skills in community health, as I do, is instrumental in having a successful nursing career.
As the portfolio will show, my superior academic achievements at Western Governors University are a solid foundation for my professional expertise. But this is not all. I have undertaken various research projects on relevant and serious issues in nursing. Additionally, the portfolio will show that I have tried and tested skills in professionally dealing with patients, and arriving at accurate nursing diagnosis, while also supplying the needed interventions to these diagnoses. These skills will definitely be a valuable asset in my nursing practice.
Quite often, learning provides certain special challenges that are vital in the learning process. I had challenges in using patient care technologies. I was not used to their operations, and had a tough time mastering them. The issue about healthcare was challenging, in the way there were very many different parties and interests involved. By keenly observing and studying these challenges, and thereafter putting all I had learnt to practice, I was able to fully comprehend them, and end up being a far better nurse that I would have been had these challenges not been present.
The ability to apply socio – cultural factors in healthcare in diverse communities is key. In my coursework, I acquired knowledge and skills necessary to ensure care was patient – centered. From the coursework, I appreciate the special needs that populations across different cultural backgrounds, and age groups have in terms of how they expect to be treated as they receive care. At the same time, I am now able to apply my skills in using leadership concepts. These skills are the key to creating an enabling environment in which healing can then take place without impediment. My training as a baccalaureate has been instrumental in helping me harness he powers of applied leadership in different circumstances, all with the stated aim of bettering the quality of care given to patients.
In carrying out research, it is important to treat data confidentially, and additionally, to protect participants in research. Confidentiality of information gathered from participants builds their trust, encourages them to be honest, and therefore adds to the credibility of the information (Taylor, 2006). Patient care technologies and communication tools, as well as monitoring tools such as telemetric tools are also crucial ingredients in provision of healthcare. Having covered these areas comprehensively in my coursework. As such, I am now fully competent in using these technologies to communicate effectively, mitigate errors, and help in making decisions on healthcare.
There are many different players in the healthcare industry. These include insurance companies, state governments, the federal governments, and county authorities. When added to the hospital management, these may make for a trying time for anyone con conversant with how healthcare is organized and financed. Other organizations such as the military and veterans associations are also important stakeholders in healthcare. Nursing is as much about caring for patients, as about effective communication. Effective conflict resolution mechanisms and collaboration are important in fostering environments in which the quality and safety of care are prioritized.
Protective and predictive factors that determine and affect health status of individuals, families, and communities are covered extensively in the coursework, in a way that gives me added capability to correctly and adequately consider these in providing care to patients. This information is important in arriving at accurate community diagnoses, and the accompanying intervention plans to address them.
The above outcomes are all designed to ultimately improve care given to patients, improve professionalism in nursing, and foster environments at the care giving institution that are well – tuned to improve patients’ welfare. All these are with that I, as the nurse, is ultimately responsible for my decisions and actions towards the patient. This involves owning the whole process, and applying leadership in carrying out tasks either alone or as part of a team.
In an effort to be more knowledgeable about the care given to patients, I have undertaken research to turn up more information and give more knowledge to myself and my colleagues as to promote better healthcare. I have therefore sought empirical answers to issues in the manner a scientist would have done. I have also set out to find out the reasons behind patients’ issues, by examining information, and deducing clues, much like what a detective would do. Management of the healing environment is a broad role, and involves many different parties. I can now appreciate the unique role the nurse plays in this intricate mix, by planning, directing, and executing healthcare options for patients.
From the time of enrollment into this course, my perspective regarding the nursing profession, and my role in it has gradually changed, with the knowledge that I have acquired. I now understand that nursing is not just about caring for the patient, injecting them and so forth. It is much more involving and complex.
A nurse is a researcher, a scientist, and a manager, all rolled into one. Additionally, a nurse is responsible for arriving at reliable nursing diagnoses about different types of issues facing patients, and additionally, prescribing comprehensive interventions to solve these issues. I now realize that as a nurse, I am more involved in the health plans of patients and the community in general.
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Professional Reference Questionnaire
Quality and Safety
Quality and safety are key elements in the provision of healthcare. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) certificate is a key step in helping nurses in the execution of duties. The IHI certification helps in emphasizing the need for patient safety and professionalism. To attain the IHI certificate, I have had to undergo more learning processes, resulting in better conceptualization of the importance of these elements to the nursing professionalism, and the responsibility that nurses to their patients, the colleagues they work with, their profession, and to the community that they work in. (IHI, 2016)
Evidence – Based Practice
In the duration of my course, I have done various studies. I have carried out a research project on the relationship between type of indwelling catheter used, and the incidence of CAUTIs in elderly patients, which found that these patients were more likely to contract CAUTIs when they used latex (uncoated) catheters. I also studied the issue of obesity in children in Stafford County, Virginia, and discussed the interventions that should be used to arrest the problem. I have additionally studied the change in end of shift directive, and what it portends for the nursing profession, as well as practice of nursing in diversity - cultural, economic, among others.
The information gathered from the above studies has been important in enriching my experience and knowledge in nursing. I have been able to apply this information in different situations, with the solid foundation laid by the coursework gone through at WGU.
In order to do this, it has been important to establish the relevance of the information and its adaptability to the situations presented in the typical day in a nurse’s life, as well as the believability of such information, based on what the analysis of such information was able to deduce.
After the course, I am now able to appreciate the distinct differences between quality improvement and research. While quality improvement is an ongoing process, with instant results, research involves analyzing data and making recommendations, the results of which may not always be appropriate in their entirety to the issue at hand. Additionally, while research is concerned with collecting data and consequently analyzing it to draw conclusions for use in the issue being researched, quality improvement deals with identifying problems with a process or a system, and seeking ways of solving it. (Moses, n.d.)
Primary or field research is the collection of new data, accompanied by analysis and conclusion based on those findings. Type of research is carried out to offer additional insight into an issue that may have been researched on. Secondary data involves the review of already existing data, and a meta-analysis of the same so as also reach conclusions on a health issue. While primary research is used to gather information that may not have been available, for instance the research on obesity in Stafford County, and thereafter coming up with direct interventions to sort out the issue, secondary research, more akin to a synthesis of information, is done to increase knowledge in a particular clinical field, where the information was already existing.
Thorough knowledge in research and applications has ensured that I am constantly learning new things, and sharpening my skills all the time. This has ensured that I have become an outstanding researcher, and ultimately, nurse, who proactively seeks answers to relevant issues in nursing and healthcare that may not be clearly defined, preventing them from being addressed efficiently.
The workplace is a cocktail of divergent views, biases, characters, values, and other personal characteristics. When a collaborative atmosphere is not fostered in such a diverse team, this means here is no cohesion, and the team is inefficient. Worse still, this translates to low quality of healthcare provision, and lengthy stays in hospitals be patients. The ultimate to the health sector is big, as it leads to loss of credibility.
Collaboration is not only important to nursing. Today’s working environment means that nurses have to cooperate with other professionals to deliver quality healthcare to patients. Without effective leadership and collaboration, such cooperation is problematic, and adversely affects the deliverables that nurses strive to achieve. The importance of education during the course cannot be overemphasized, as it is crucial in acquiring the necessary skills to promote collaboration, and therefore be more successful in leadership.
My stated mission statement is an honest view of what I need to do to regard myself as one of the best, by excelling in the profession. To do this, there are some core areas that I have given priority to, as I believe they are key to helping grow my career and level of expertise in the field. They include utilization of evidence based practice, with a view of using my research skills to identify, analyses and propose credible interventions to situations. Applied leadership, and fostering collaboration to ensure that the patient enjoys the best type of service possible is also a core aim.
As a nurse living in a community, I also appreciate the importance of having a community – oriented mission, of realizing that the bottom-line, the ultimate aim of all this is to ensure that the community I practice in ends up being healthier and more capable of handling health issues as time goes on, with my significant input.
Community and Population Health
I have been able to learn important issues in community and population health, as a result of the community health task undertaken in the course of study. I am now well versed with the principle that community nurses should strive to promote prevention over treatment. This is an important element that ensures that the community enjoys higher standards of living by observing basic hygiene, sanitation, proper nutrition, among others. Issues such as risky sexual behavior and failure to attend medical examination when in doubt about health status are risk factors that I, as a community nurse, believe need to be minimized in an effort to promote health and avert avoidable treatment and loss of life or finances that could have been channeled elsewhere.
This information was instrumental in my interventions in the community work I undertook. It was founded on prevention, and further, doing things that while alleviating the issue diagnosed, would deter its return. For instance, obesity can be deterred, and be eliminated, by practicing proper nutrition, and reasonable exercise. At the same time, serious ailments associated with obesity such as coronary ailments, some types of cancers, and diabetes are also kept at bay.
In the course of my work in the community, I was able to pick up some knowledge that would have been hard to come by, or fully comprehend in class. The practicability of intervention plans is one such area. Theoretically, these plans may be made to look easy and straight forward. But after working with real patients who were now tasked with implementing these plans to the letter, and the fear of what failure would mean, the stakes were raised very high. It forced a reassessment of my intervention ideas, in an effort to come up with plans that would achieve their aims, before all else.
As a nurse, it is crucial to have thorough information about the impact genetics has on human health. It is also important to further have information on the current available methods of gene – based research, manipulation and engineering, dedicated to helping treat some of the most brutal conditions facing us today, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The controversy surrounding the subject notwithstanding, such information is crucial. The amount of what is known is still scant, but I was able to establish that major advances are being made towards making these technologies a reality, and able to help many suffering people.
Attaining this certificate has therefore equipped me with the necessary skills that I would need when faced with such scenarios in my professional nurse career. I will be able to competently field questions that may be asked by patients, and provide additional, valuable information as well.
Amos, L. K. (n.d.). Baccalaureate Nursing Programs. Retrieved from AACN : http://www.aacn.nche.edu/education-resources/bsn-article
IHI. (2016). More Medical and Nursing Schools to Require IHI Open School Basic Certificate. Retrieved from IHI: http://www.ihi.org/education/ihiopenschool/resources/Pages/MoreMedicalAndNursingSchoolsRequireBasicCertificate.aspx
Moses, J. (n.d.). What’s the Difference Between Research and QI? Retrieved from IHI: http://www.ihi.org/education/IHIOpenSchool/resources/Pages/Activities/Moses-ResearchVsQI.aspx
Taylor, B. J. (2006). Research in Nursing and Health Care: Evidence for Practice. Boston: Cengage Learning.