Magazine article American Nurse Today

Study Finds ANCC Pathway to Excellence[R] Standards May Improve Quality of Home Nursing Care

Magazine article American Nurse Today

Study Finds ANCC Pathway to Excellence[R] Standards May Improve Quality of Home Nursing Care

Article excerpt

A new study used standards outlined in the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence[R] Program to investigate how positive practice environments affect nursing workforce outcomes and patient care quality in home care.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing's Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR) and Rutgers University School of Nursing, was available online ahead of print in the journal Nursing Outlook.

Authors Olga F. Jarrin, PhD, RN; Youjeong Kang, PhD, MPH, CCRN; and Linda H. Aiken, PhD, FAAN, FRCN, relied on survey data collected from nearly 3,500 home care RNs in more than 800 home care agencies between 2006 and 2007. The survey asked questions regarding nurses' autonomy, the health and safety of the work environment, opportunities for professional development, quality of nursing management, and other standards of workplace excellence outlined in the ANCC Pathway to Excellence Program. The researchers categorized home care agencies into poor, mixed, and better work environments.

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"There has been a lot of research on the topic of hospital work environments, but very little on home care," said Jarrin, an assistant professor at Rutgers University School of Nursing and a senior fellow at CHOPR. "Given that the homebound elderly and community-dwelling disabled are a particularly vulnerable population, our question was, to what extent is the work environment in home care agencies related to the quality of care nurses provide to patients in their homes?"

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Nurses in better work environments were less than half as likely to report missing necessary care coordination, counseling, or education of patients and their caregivers. RNs in better work environments were also less likely to report burnout, job dissatisfaction, and intentions to leave their jobs compared to nurses working in agencies with poor work environments. …

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