Important Studies Everyone With a Nursing Degree Should Know About
Staying updated on nursing research can positively impact your nursing career.
Today, millions of nurses around the world are committed to delivering holistic, patient-focused care. The world is a better place as a result of all the women and men who chose a career in nursing—a rewarding but selfless profession dedicated to improving the health and well-being of others.
If you’re enrolled in nursing school—perhaps earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)—you can learn how to protect, promote, and optimize an individual’s health and abilities. You’ll be taught how to prevent illness and injury, facilitate healing, and help to alleviate suffering. You’re also likely to become an advocate for the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and/or populations.*
Another important aspect of the profession is research. Nurses should spend time reading relevant research in support of improved practice and patient outcomes.
Whether you’re already an RN or exploring how to become a nurse, here are some of the many important studies and notable scientific advances supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research:
- Modified ECG monitoring in pre-hospital settings can predict health outcomes for patients. Because time is of the essence, when a patient is showing symptoms of acute coronary syndrome, paramedics typically acquire electrocardiograms (ECGs) on patients in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Now scientists have developed a modified technique that automatically transmits the ECG results to the hospital, thereby decreasing the time between the first 911 call and the hospital receiving the first ECG results. The quicker communication provides hospital personnel additional time to prepare for the incoming patient, potentially leading to faster treatment and improved patient outcomes.†
- Intelligent sensors embedded in the home can promote healthy independent living. Changes in behavior can often signal alterations in health earlier than the appearance of clinical signs. By adding sensors around apartments in a senior living community, researchers were able to develop a computer model for the normal daily patterns of each resident. If there is a change in daily life patterns, such as restlessness in bed, time spent in bed, general activities, and time away from the apartment, an alert is sent to the nurse-care coordinator and clinicians for review. This knowledge can help promote independent living for older adults.†
- Higher nursing staffing levels and increased nurse education reduce preventable hospital deaths. The largest study of its kind to date, which included 500,000 patients who underwent common surgeries in 300 hospitals in nine European countries, and surveys of more than 25,000 nurses, found nurse staffing and education impact patient outcomes. In the study, an increase in nurses’ workload by one patient increased the likelihood of in-hospital death within 30 days of admission by 7%. The study also determined that for every 10% increase in nurses on staff with bachelor’s degrees, the likelihood of patient death decreased by 7%. The study underscores the potential risks to patients of cuts in nurse staffing levels and suggests that an increased emphasis on bachelor’s-level education for nurses could reduce hospital deaths.†
Our healthcare system is facing new and significant challenges as the population continues to grow, age, and become more diverse. Many diseases that were once acute and life-threatening are now long-term chronic conditions, and new and global health threats continue to emerge.‡ Qualified nurses prepared to improve the health and well-being of others as well as advance nursing care through research are in high demand. Consider furthering your nursing career with a BSN or MSN degree from a reputable online university. In particular, you should look at Walden University. With its convenient online learning format and its wide variety of nursing degrees, Walden is the leader in graduate nursing education.§ It’s a great choice if you want to earn your degree while continuing to make a difference in the lives of others.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs. Expand your nursing career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
*American Nurses Association, What is Nursing?, on the Internet at www.nursingworld.org/EspeciallyForYou/What-is-Nursing.
†National Institute of Nursing Research, Notable Advances, 2011–2015, on the Internet at www.ninr.nih.gov/sites/www.ninr.nih.gov/files/NINR_Notable-Advances-brochure.pdf.
‡National Institute of Nursing Research, Changing Practice, Changing Lives: 10 Landmark Nursing Research Studies, on the Internet at www.ninr.nih.gov/sites/www.ninr.nih.gov/files/10-landmark-nursing-research-studies.pdf.
§ *Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Retrieved July 2017, using CIP codes 51.3801 (Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse); 51.3808 (Nursing Science); 51.3818 (Nursing Practice). Includes 2016 preliminary data.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.