Students on the pre-registration Bachelor of Nursing programme in the School of Health and Social Care at Edinburgh Napier University have developed new and innovative quality improvement (QI) proposals to improve care as part of the “Effective Leadership for Healthcare (Theory 6)” final year module.
The students are uniquely positioned to positively impact healthcare, being armed with up-to-date evidence-based knowledge and skills, and bringing fresh perspective, as they progress though a range of diverse placement areas in their programme. They are encouraged to be curious learners and are educated to identify where improvements can be made in care.
As part of the module, invited keynote speakers from healthcare partners and the Scottish Government came to share their vision and experience of QI, leadership and change management with our students. Students were actively encouraged to discuss their QI proposal ideas with nurse mentors in placement to identify small manageable changes that could have meaningful impact in the real world. This supported students to consider barriers and enablers in development of their proposal, and influenced their choice of leadership and change management approach for their portfolio assessment. The module team developed interactive workshops and supervised students to enable them to transform raw ideas into workable QI proposals.
We’re delighted to report that this innovative assessment approach is already having a positive impact in practice. Two of our students have had their QI proposals adopted by local organisations for implementation into practice, and one student has so impressed the QI team in her practice area, that she has been offered a job with them on qualification.
To celebrate the students work on the QI proposals, a poster competition was organised to encourage to share their QI proposals. Students and staff had a celebratory lunch to share and discuss ideas and their initiatives. There was a great buzz and atmosphere demonstrating a huge passion to ensure and enhance safe, effective and patient-centred care.
The range of student QI ideas was vast covering both hospital and community settings, here are some of the ideas that they proposed:
- Checklists to improve safety on discharge home.
- Development of simple interventions to support patients recovering from stroke.
- Process to improve patient understanding of medications on discharge to improve adherence.
- Processes to make handover of information more effective.
- Tools to increase staff communication of patients at risk of dehydration and malnutrition or needing assistance with mobility.
Module leader Fiona Bastow (pictured) said, “This is the first run of this module and the module team have been very impressed with the QI proposal ideas that students have created and developed. The ideas reflect the enthusiasm, innovation and hard work that the students have put into this module. We hope that as newly qualified nurses, our students will share and develop their QI proposals for implementation, especially as this is actively encouraged by the Lothian Health Board during the Flying Start Programme. Next year we will be inviting ex-students from this group to share their experiences and inspire the next cohort.”
Many students were placed in integrated health and social care placement areas and there was some fantastic realistic quality improvement proposals that would have a positive impact on communities.