Self-Reflection:

Over the past semester of the BSN program, I’ve really become attuned to the idea of professionalism within the field of nursing. During my associate’s program, everything was focused on the ANA Standards of Practice, with little to no consideration of the Standards of Professional Performance. While I did emerge from the associate’s program able to care for a patient, I really did not have any sort of professional identity. Through my work in NURS 307, Foundations of Professional Nursing I, I learned about nursing history and the fight for professionalization over time. This knowledge really helped me to connect to this professional identity, and understand the gravity and necessity of baccalaureate education for nursing.

One topic where I’ve gained a deeper understanding is ethics, which lines up with Standard 7 of the ANA’s Standards of Professional Performance. I learned basic ethical concepts in my associate’s courses, but NURS 307 taught me that the entire framework for professional nursing is tied to having a strong ethical code that guides the discipline. Ethics are the foundation upon which our practice and profession is built. This knowledge has given me a sense of pride in our Code of Ethics, as well as the drive to preserve its principles in my own practice.

I’m certainly confident that I’ve made headway with Standard 12, Education! I’ve learned all kinds of new information this semester, between Foundations of Professional Nursing I and Nursing Informatics. From history to evidence-based practice to research skills, this semester has given me new skills and new knowledge, which contribute to the standard of nurses seeking knowledge and competence that reflect current nursing practice.

One of the areas I’ve made the most headway is Evidence-Based Practice and Research, which correlates to Standard 13. NURS 301 and 307 both taught me how to perform a database search. Before this semester, I would not have even known which databases are appropriate for searching out information specifically related to nursing. Now, I can use advanced searching tools in various databases such as PubMed and CINAHL to find credible, academic sources. NURS 301 in particular helped me do a deep dive into MeSH headings, and how they can help me track down needed information. (This database searching also corresponds to Standard 16, Resource Utilization). Prior to this semester, I didn’t know what  PICO question was; now, I’m confident in my ability to generate a quality PICO question. Additionally, prior to this semester I used the terms “EBP,” “research,” and “QI,” interchangeably. NURS 307 helped me tease out the differences between these three avenues of nursing inquiry. This class also provided me with the skills to assess research article quality, when considering whether to include a source for one’s EBP Project. Taken all together, I’ve become significantly more capable and qualified to complete EBP projects for work. I’m applying these new skills currently, through an EBP project for my Nurse Residency Program.

I’ve also learned a lot when it comes to the idea of Quality of Practice (Standard 14). Before this class I would have considered “quality” as a vague idea, but NURS 307 provided many readings that helped me understand the goals of quality nursing care. For example, the IOM report about the future of nursing was very enlightening. That report explained the importance of BSN education as a standard of nursing quality, and opened my eyes to the possibility of obtaining a PhD one day in my career. The module about health care quality tied into concepts related to safety, so now I see quality and safety as being essential to one another.

Below I’ve linked a number of assignments that showcase the work I’ve done in the following areas: quality improvement, research & evidence-based practice, and informatics.

 

Quality Improvement:

 

Research & EBP

  • Literature review: The following link contains a literature review pertaining to pediatric IV infiltration.
  • Progressive PICO Project: NURS 307 helped me develop my ability to write PICO questions. The progressive PICO project culminated in a well developed PICO question and resources related to the subject matter.
  • Evidence Search Assignment: This paper examined the quantity and quality of search results when using a search engine compared to a database search.
  • EBP Journal: This journal entry reflects on the progress I’ve made over the course of this semester specifically regarding evidence based practice.

 

Informatics