Journal of Nursing Education

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Research Briefs 

Patient Safety: Where Is Nursing Education?

David M. Gregory, PhD, RN; Lorna W. Guse, PhD, RN; Diana Davidson Dick, MEd, BScN; Cynthia K. Russell, PhD, RN

  • Journal of Nursing Education. 2007;46(2)
  • Posted February 1, 2007

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Patient safety is receiving unprecedented attention among clinicians, researchers, and managers in health care systems. In particular, the focus is on the magnitude of systems-based errors and the urgency to identify and prevent these errors. In this new era of patient safety, attending to errors, adverse events, and near misses warrants consideration of both active (individual) and latent (system) errors. However, it is the exclusive focus on individual errors, and not system errors, that is of concern regarding nursing education and patient safety. Educators are encouraged to engage in a culture shift whereby student error is considered from an education systems perspective. Educators and schools are challenged to look within and systematically review how program structures and processes may be contributing to student error and undermining patient safety. Under the rubric of patient safety, the authors also encourage educators to address discontinuities between the educational and practice sectors.

AUTHORS

Received: January 27, 2005

Accepted: July 15, 2005

Dr. Gregory is Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, Dr. Guse is Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Ms. Davidson Dick is immediate past Dean of Nursing, Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and Dr. Russell is Professor, College of Nursing, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee.

Address correspondence to David M. Gregory, PhD, RN, Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada T1K 3M4; e-mail: david.gregory@uleth.ca.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Patient safety is receiving unprecedented attention among clinicians, researchers, and managers in health care systems. In particular, the focus is on the magnitude of systems-based errors and the urgency to identify and prevent these errors. In this new era of patient safety, attending to errors, adverse events, and near misses warrants consideration of both active (individual) and latent (system) errors. However, it is the exclusive focus on individual errors, and not system errors, that is of concern regarding nursing education and patient safety. Educators are encouraged to engage in a culture shift whereby student error is considered from an education systems perspective. Educators and schools are challenged to look within and systematically review how program structures and processes may be contributing to student error and undermining patient safety. Under the rubric of patient safety, the authors also encourage educators to address discontinuities between the educational and practice sectors.

AUTHORS

Received: January 27, 2005

Accepted: July 15, 2005

Dr. Gregory is Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, Dr. Guse is Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Ms. Davidson Dick is immediate past Dean of Nursing, Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and Dr. Russell is Professor, College of Nursing, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee.

Address correspondence to David M. Gregory, PhD, RN, Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada T1K 3M4; e-mail: david.gregory@uleth.ca.

ABSTRACT

Patient safety is receiving unprecedented attention among clinicians, researchers, and managers in health care systems. In particular, the focus is on the magnitude of systems-based errors and the urgency to identify and prevent these errors. In this new era of patient safety, attending to errors, adverse events, and near misses warrants consideration of both active (individual) and latent (system) errors. However, it is the exclusive focus on individual errors, and not system errors, that is of concern regarding nursing education and patient safety. Educators are encouraged to engage in a culture shift whereby student error is considered from an education systems perspective. Educators and schools are challenged to look within and systematically review how program structures and processes may be contributing to student error and undermining patient safety. Under the rubric of patient safety, the authors also encourage educators to address discontinuities between the educational and practice sectors.

AUTHORS

Received: January 27, 2005

Accepted: July 15, 2005

Dr. Gregory is Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, Dr. Guse is Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Ms. Davidson Dick is immediate past Dean of Nursing, Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and Dr. Russell is Professor, College of Nursing, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee.

Address correspondence to David M. Gregory, PhD, RN, Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada T1K 3M4; e-mail: david.gregory@uleth.ca.

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