An analysis of survey responses by researchers at New York University’s College of Nursing has found that a large number of new nurses feel ill-prepared to implement quality improvement measures and more than 12% have never heard of “quality improvement”.

The survey was sent to 436 newly graduated nurses with bachelor and associate’s degrees from around the country. The study found that 38.6% of those surveyed felt that their degree courses either “poorly” or “very poorly” prepared them to implement quality improvement measures and 41.7% didn’t feel prepared at all to use national patient safety resources including the National Quality Forum.

The researchers defined quality improvement as the “use of data to monitor the outcomes of care processes and use of improvement methods to design and test changes to continuously improve the quality and safety of health care systems.” There is debate over just exactly who should be responsible for teaching this, with some believing it should be the school and others believe it should fall to the employer. However, the study’s authors note that only 23.3% of those surveyed said that their employer-provided training was “very helpful.”

Jeanelle R. Lust