Excelsior College – Transition to the Registered Professional Nurse Role – Unit III

adaptive response
Anything that has a positive influence on the health and well-being of people.
borrowed theories
Theories taken or derived from other disciplines like psychology or physiology.
comfort theory
A more recent theory being used as a basis for nursing practice as well as a foundation for nursing research – theorizes that comfort will lead to recovery.
culture care
A nursing theory that addressed the cultural and social influences of the nursing needs of patients.
developmental needs theory
Theory focusing on the person as a developmental being with needs
that could be met by health care professionals, including nurses and
physicians.
health promotion model
Focuses on variables known to impact health behavior.
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interpersonal theory
The theory that personality development and behavior disorders are related to and determined by relationships between persons.
Lysaught report
A report by the National Commission for the Study of Nursing and Nursing Education that laid the groundwork for a greater emphasis on clinically oriented research with a strong theory base.
mid-range theory
A theory that is more specifically focused, have fewer related concepts than the more general nursing theories, and are generally more testable in research and clinical practice.
science of unitary human beings
The theory that both people and the environment are energy fields.
systems theory
Assumption that all living systems are open systems that constantly exchange information with the environment.
theory
Implies having considerable evidence to support a principle or principles that can explain the operation of a certain phenomenon.
theory of uncertainty
A theory that explains how persons construct meaning for illness events, with uncertainty indicating the absence of meaning. Used to develop an assessment tool called the uncertainty in illness scale which is used more frequently in patients with cancer.
thermodynamics
Branch of physics concerned with the laws governing heat production, changes, and conversion into other types of energy.
worldview
A set of presuppositions or assumptions about the basic makeup of the world.
Virginia Henderson
An early nurse researcher and nurse educator who is best known for her coauthored “Textbook of the Principles and Practice of Nursing (1955)” – focused her attention of physiological balance.
Imogene King
Developed goal attainment theory that addresses three interacting systems: personal, interpersonal, and social; believed that goals are met through the interpersonal nurse-and-client transaction in all social settings.
Katherine Kolcaba
Developed comfort theory in 2002.
Madeline Leininger
Developed the idea of culture care and was one of the main anthropological influences on nursing.
Myra E. Levine
Best known for her development of four conservation principles – conservation of energy, and structural, personal, and social integrity.
Arlene B. Miller
Helped develop an understanding of nursing based on the Old Testament concept of shalom and the New Testament concept of salvation; defined health as living in relationship with God.
Merle Mishel
Developed the theory of uncertainty in 1988.
Betty Neuman
Developed health care systems theories and models in 1989 that are widely used as the theoretical framework for education, practice, and research.
Florence Nightingale
The mother of modern nursing and considered the first nursing theorist.
Dorothea Orem
Theorist who primarily focused on self-care – believed that life, health, and well-being are maintained by activities that people initiate on their own, such as breathing and eating.
Nola Pender
Developed the health promotion model in 2001.
Hildegard Peplau
In 1952 wrote “Interpersonal Relations in Nursing: A Conceptual Frame of Reference for Psychodynamic Nursing” which drew healthily on theories and principles of psychiatry and psychology.
Martha Rogers
Developed the nursing conceptual model that, many nurses believe, supplies an appropriate theoretical framework for energy-based touch practices in nursing (therapeutic touch & Reiki).
Sister Callista Roy
Theorist who focused on adaptation and believed that the goal of nursing was to promote adaptive responses.
Judith Allen Shelly
Helped develop an understanding of nursing based on the Old Testament concept of shalom and the New Testament concept of salvation; defined health as living in relationship with God.
Jean Watson
Nursing theorist who’s work has been supportive of alternative therapies in nursing; established the Center for Human Caring at the University of Colorado; describes nursing as the science of caring in her theory of caring.
Jeremy Bentham
Developed a consequentialist theory based on the principle of utility which believes that the rightness or correctness of any action depends entirely on the value of that action’s consequences.
Anne Boykin
Helped propose a general or grand theory called “nursing as caring”. The theory is grounded in several key assumptions related to personhood: that individuals are caring by virtue of their humanness, that personhood is grounded in caring, that personhood is enhanced through nurturing relationships,with caring others, and the nursing is a discipline as well as a profession.
Auguste Comte
Philosopher in the 19th century who coined the term altruism which is opposite of egoism, and applied it to individual interactions.
Jack Kevorkian
A medical doctor who both promoted and assisted with suicides for nine years in the US – convicted of 2nd degree murder for issuing a lethal injection.
John Stuart Mill
Wrote about the “greatest happiness” principle – wrote “the creed which accepts as the foundation of morals utility, or the greatest happiness principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as the tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.”
Savina O. Schoenhofer
Helped propose a general or grand theory called “nursing as caring”. The theory is grounded in several key assumptions related to personhood: that individuals are caring by virtue of their humanness, that personhood is grounded in caring, that personhood is enhanced through nurturing relationships,with caring others, and the nursing is a discipline as well as a profession.
abortion
Deliberate or intentional procedure that removes or induces the expulsion of a living embryo or fetus.
active euthinasia
A situation in which smoeone takes actions to bring about another person’s death, with the intention of ending that person’s suffering.
advocate
One who acts in support or defense of a person or cause.
altruism
The quality of unselfish concern for the welfare of others.
American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements
Document that does not address specific ethical dilemmas in nursing, but is designed to provide detailed guidelines that can govern nurses’ responsibilities and obligations to patients, colleagues, employers, and society as a whole.
anonymity
When specifically associated with research, means that the identities of individuals will not be made public, nor will they be associated in any way with data or information gathered by the researcher.
assisted suicide
Suicide of a terminally ill person that involves an assistant who serves to make dying as painless and dignified as possible.
autonomy
Independence of self-law.
beneficence
The quality of being kind or helpful or generous.
caring ethics
Ethical theory focusing on the nurse-patient relationship.
categorical imperatives
Ultimate and unchanging principles that serve as universal laws and should, according to Immanuel Kant (creator of deontological ethics), be the basis for ethical decision-making.
critical social theory
Focuses on ethical issues of social equity and justice.
cloning
A general term for the research activity that creates a copy of some biological entity (a gene or organism or cell).
confidentiality
The act of holding information in confidence, not to be released to unauthorized individuals.
deontological ethics
System of ethics based on the writings of Immanuel Kant wherein the morality or rightness of any decision is judged by an examination of the nature of the action and the will of the agents rather than on the goals or outcomes of that action.
diagnostic testing
Used to confirm or rule out a known or suspected genetic disorder in a person with disease symptoms.
distributive justice
The perceived degree to which outcomes and rewards are fairly distributed or allocated.
equity
Fairness or impartiality.
ethics
The study of standards of conduct and moral judgement, considered a branch of moral authority.
ethics committees
Groups that meet on a regular basis to deal with ethical dilemmas that have arisen or may arise from health care practices.
Eugenics
The study of human genetics and methods to improve physical and mental characteristics.
euthinasia
Literally means “good dying”; an easy death as an escape from some condition, usually terminal, and felt by the patient to be intolerable.
fidelity
Being faithful to one’s vows or obligations.
genetic engineering
Process of making changes in the DNA code of living organisms.
genetic screening
Analyzing a person or group of people to determine genetic susceptibility to a particular disease.
human dignity
The quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed; a person’s right to respect and ethical treatment.
Human Genome Project
An international collaborative effort to map and sequence the DNA of the entire human genome.
human reproductive cloning
The reproductive cloning of a sentient human being; generaly considered ethically unacceptable.
ICN Code of Ethics for Nurses
Document providing a foundation for global ethical practice in nursing and a guide for nurses’ actions based on social values and needs.
informed consent
Consent by a patient to undergo a medical or surgical treatment or to participate in an experiment after the patient understands the risks involved.
International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG)
A global nursing specialty organization dedicated to fostering the scientific and professional growth of nurses in human genetics and genomics worldwide.
institutional review boards (IRBs)
Groups who’s concern is to ensure that the rights of patients who will be human subjects in research studies are not violated.
in-vitro fertilization (IVF)
Procedure involving the fertilization of eggs by sperm outside the womb.
justice
To treat fairly or the quality of being right or correct.
Karen Ann Quinlan case
The most famous case involving the removal of a ventilator, which culminated in a legal decision stating that in cases where there was no reasonable possibility of a patient emerging from his or her comatose and cognitively impaired condition, life support could be withdrawn without any civil or criminal liability.
moral philosophy
The philosophical study of moral values and rules.
Nancy Cruzan case
Case illustrating the legal and ethical complications of withholding nutrition and hydration from a patient in a vegetative state; led to passage of the Patient Self-Determination Act.
nonmaleficence
The prohibition from intentionally harming others.
Nursing Home Reform Act
Passed into law as part of the 1987 OBRA; specified services that nursing homes must provide and standards for these services, in addition to the residents’ bill of rights.
nursing process
Systematic problem-solving method by which nurses individualize care for each client. The five steps of the nursing process are assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
Nursing’s Social Policy Statement
Revision of the ANA’s 1980 Nursing: A Social Policy Statement; includes information about the social context of nursing and focuses on accountability to the public and professional rights and responsibilities.
obligations
Moral or ethical responsibilities or duties that often exist in the form of legal contracts or agreements.
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1987
Legislation that included nursing-relevant items such as the Nursing Home Reform Act.
organ transplantation
Using organs from living or dead donors to replace defective organs in others.
passive euthanasia
Allowing a person to die by withholding or withdrawing measures to maintain life.
Patient Self-Determination Act
A federal law passed in 1990 that requires hospitals and other health care providers to provide written information to patients regarding their rights under state law to make medical decisions and execute advance directives.
Patient’s Bill of Rights
The American Hospital Association indicates that clients have the right to make informed decisions about their care. The information required to make informed decisions needs to be accurate, complete, and relevant to the client’s needs.
residents’ bill of rights
Residents have input concerning thier personal treatment within the facility in which they reside, posted in lobby of every facility, quality of life, expect a high level of wellness, services, & activities, right to participate in their own care.
Roe v. Wade
The 1973 Supreme Court decision holding that a state ban on all abortions was unconstitutional. The decision forbade state control over abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy, permitted states to limit abortions to protect the mother’s health in the second trimester, and permitted states to protect the fetus during the third trimester.
self-determining
Being able to make one’s own decisions about what is best for oneself.
standard of best interest
Ethical principle that governs decisions made for others.
stem cell research
Center of an ethical debate about using embryonic cells for research.
surrogacy
When another woman carries a baby to term for an infertile couple.
teleological theory
A theory wherein the end or outcome justifies the means.
therapeutic cloning
The production of embryonic stem cells for use in replacing or repairing damaged tissues or organs.
Tuskegee experiment
Infamous historical study in which core values of research (respect for persons, beneficence, and justice) were violated – studied the effects of syphilis in african-american men if left untreated.
utilitarianism
Doctrine that the useful is the good.
values clarification
Process by which people identify, examine, and develop their own individual values. A main principle is that no one set of values is right for everyone. Promotes personal growth by fostering awareness, empathy, and insight. An important step to take in dealing with ethical problems.
veracity
Truthfulness or honesty.
abandonment
Leaving a patient unattended.
advance directives
A legal document designed to indicate a person’s wishes regarding care in case of a terminal illness or during the dying process.
assault
An intentional verbal threat or an attempt to inflict physical harm on someone that results in a reasonable and present fear of immediate physical danger.
battery
Any unjustified and intentional application of force.
breach of contract
When one party has not complied with the terms of a contract and may be subject to some type of court action as a result.
breach of duty
Failure to act as a prudent professional, according to the standard of care for the profession in a particular situation.
case law
Law based on previous decisions and judgments that have been made in courts of law.
character defamation
Attacking or injuring the reputation of another person by making false and malicious statements.
chemical restraints
Medications given to prevent or moderate certain behaviors such as agitation or physical violence.
civil law
Concerned with issues that arise between individuals or businesses; generally involves the protection of both the person and personal property.
Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)
Agency formed to help foreign nurses negotiate the maze of requirements to which practicing nurses in the United States must conform.
common law
The law of a country or a state based on common customs and the various accumulated judicial decisions and opinions of law courts.
constitutional law
Federal law based on the US Constitution and is the most authoritative type of law.
continuing education units (CEUs)
Documentation that affirms a professional person has engaged in new learning related to his or her area of practice that is often required for renewal of a license.
contracts
Formal agreements that create legal obligations and are enforceable by law.
criminal law
Type of public law that is designed to protect society from harmful and criminal acts of individuals.
defendant
A person who is charged with some violation of the law and is sued in court.
discovery period
Length of time leading up to the actual trial in which information and evidence to be used in the trail is gathered.
DNR order
Do Not Resuscitate order. Order for no life saving measures in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
A division of the Department of Justice that enforces the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
durable power of attorney
A legal agreement that allows an agent or representative of the patient to act on behalf of the patient.
enacted law
Bills passed into law by the legislative branches of federal, state, or local government.
endorsement
The process by which a license may be awarded based on individual credentials judged to meet licensing requirements in a new state.
engineering controls
Devices that isolate or remove the blood-borne pathogen hazard from the workplace.
expert witness
A witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education.
false imprisonment
Unlawful detention.
felonies
More serious crimes as compared to misdemeanors.
fraud
Intentionally false statement made by one person to another with the intent to deceive the other person (usually for financial gain).
Good Samaritan laws
A series of laws, varying in each state, designed to provide limited legal protection for citizens and some health care personnel when they are administering emergency care.
grievance
Complaint that arises from any circumstance or condition of employment.
gross negligence
A deviation from the professional standards so egregious that it demonstrates a conscious indifference to a professional duty.
health care proxy
Similar in some ways to durable power of attorney but does not involve financial decision making and is generally less formal in nature.
health care record
Contains information about the care that has been provided to someone; it belongs to the health care provider; patient has right to view it.
invasion of privacy
The wrongful intrusion by individuals or the government into private affairs with which the public has no concern.
lawsuit
Legal process in which someone with a complaint against another person can institute a course of action against that person in a court of law.
libel
Defamation of character that occurs through printed statements, including written words, photos, or some other representation of the person.
living will
Written legal document that a person prepares and signs when he or she is mentally competent and includes specific instructions about various measures that may prolong and affect the quality of one’s life.
malpractice
A special type of negligence and also an unintentional tort that can involve omissions as well as commissions.
misdemeanors
Less serious crimes as compared to felonies.
multistate licensure
Mutual recognition of licensure between states with agreements.
negligence
Failure to do the required thing or to exercise the reasonable amount of care that a person of ordinary prudence in a similar circumstance would.
nurse practice act
Laws in each state that includes information about the boundaries of the scope of nursing practice, types of nursing licenses, licensure requirements, and grounds for disciplinary action and revocation as well as a definition of nursing.
nurses’ notes
Patient’s chart on which a nurse records their observations of the patients, care given to patients, and patient responses.
party state
Also known as a compact state; a state that participates in a multi-state licensure.
physical restraints
Devices that limit movement of one’s hands, extremities, or torso.
plaintiff
A person who makes a complaint and files a lawsuit.
power of attorney
Written statement and legal document that authorizes one person to act as a proxy or surrogate for another person under certain conditions.
practice standards
Defining statements of the professional role and performance criteria for a practitioner.
PRN
From the latin “Pro Re Nata” – means “As Needed”.
professional liability
Professions are under obligation to practice according to the standards of their profession.
regulatory law
Executive or administrative law; related to enacted law – provides the rules and regulations governing the execution of enacted laws.
remote party state
Other states, aside from the nurse’s home state, in which they are allowed to work under multi-state licensure.
respondeat superior
Means that once an employee has signed a contract to work for an employer, that employer is liable or responsible for the employee’s actions performed in the scope of his of her employment.
slander
Verbal defamation of a person’s character.
state board of nursing
Focuses primarily on the licensure of nurses within their own state (each individual state has its own Nurses Practice Act).
statutes of limitations
Rules that govern the amount of time within which a lawsuit may be brought against a person for a particular complaint.
statutory law
Written body of established rules or enactments that have been passed and formalized by the legislative body of government.
sunset laws
Stipulation of certain laws that if they are not reviewed and either reauthorized or revised and authorized in a set period of time, the law will no longer be valid.
tort
A violation of a civil law that results in personal injury or personal property damage.
trial
The determination of a person’s innocence or guilt by due process of law.
unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP)
Health care workers who are not specifically licensed to perform nursing tasks, thought they are often trained and certified in various aspects of health care delivery.
whistle-blower
A person who reports any unethical behavior in the workplace to someone in authority.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Passed by Congress in 1991, this act banned discrimination against the disabled in employment and mandated easy access to all public and commercial buildings.
Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act
AKA Controlled Substances Act (CSA); passed in 1970; designed to contain the rapidly increasing problem of drug abuse.
False Claims Act
Law that provides funding for fraud investigation and gives private citizens reporting information about false claims for Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement a percentage of any recovered funds.
Family and Medical Leave Act
1993 legislation that allows an employee to take unpaid leave due to illness or to care for a sick family member or to care for a new son or daughter including by birth, adoption or foster care.
Freedom of Information Act
1966 Act allowing citizens to inspect all government records with the exception of classified military or intelligence documents, trade secrets or private personnel files.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
Federal law that requires all health care settings to ensure privacy and security of patient information. Also requires health insurance to be accessible for working Americans and available when changing employment.
National Labor Relations Act
A 1935 law, also known as the Wagner Act, that guarantees workers the right of collective bargaining sets down rules to protect unions and organizers, and created the National Labor Relations Board to regulate labor-management relations.
Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act
Revision to Blood-borne Pathogens standard that requires employers to minimize employees’ exposure to blood through needle-sticks.
Occupational Safety and Health Act
Law passed by the United States Congress that created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent employees from being injured or contracting diseases in the course of their employment
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Acts
Federal acts (passed annually) that appropriate federal funds for various programs.
Patient Self-Determination Act
A federal law passed in 1990 that requires hospitals and other health care providers to provide written information to patients regarding their rights under state law to make medical decisions and execute advance directives.
Safe Medical Device Act
Act that requires medical device users to report to the manufacturer and FDA incidents that reasonably suggest that there is a probability that a medical device has caused or contributed to the death, serious injury, or illness of a patient.
Uniform Anatomical Gift Act
A law permitting a person of legal age and sound mind to give all or any part of his body to take effect upon his/her death or gives the right to another.
accident and incident reports
Reports filed when a patient falls, is cut or bruised, or otherwise suffers and injury, even if the actual incident was not observed.
accreditation standards
Quality control mechanisms that are also important considerations for health care facilities in assessing, implementing, and evaluating standards of care and nursing practice.
American Nurses Foundation
National philanthropic organization established by the ANA that supports, coordinates, and funds nursing research, disseminates pertinent research findings, and manages related grants.
benchmark
Standard or point of reference used to measure or judge quality or value.
chart reviews
A review of the patient chart against external standards or written criteria for a variety of potential problems, and any deviations from the norm can be detected.
correlational study
A type of quantitative design in which relationships among variables are explored.
cost containment
Trying to control the rising cost of health care and achieving the maximum health benefit for every dollar spent.
critical pathways
A day-by-day guideline and model for directing care that specifies the appropriate use and timing of interventions .
critical social theory
Focuses on ethical issues of social equity and justice.
data
Known facts or information.
ethnography
The branch of anthropology that provides scientific description of individual human societies.
Ethnographic qualitative research
Involves the researcher spending a considerable amount of time in another culture, observing interactions and, often, interviewing people.
evidence-based practice
Process by which nurses make clinical decisions using the best available research evidence from nursing and other disciplines in combination with their own clinical expertise and the preferences of their patients.
grounded theory
Social theory that is rooted in observation of specific, concrete details.
health outcomes management
Seeks to improve the effectiveness, value, and cost of treatment services across the entire system of care.
historical research
Practices from the past are compared with current nursing practice for a better understanding of nursing’s evolution.
hypothesis
A statement that postulates or predicts some type of relationship between or among variables.
information management systems
Systems used to gather, track, and manage data or information about patients.
journal club
A group that meets to discuss and appraise research reports from various trade journals.
meta-analysis
A study that compares the results of multiple research studies on a selected topic.
National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR)
Division of the National Institutes of Health that is a key source of funding for nursing research.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
An important governmental regulatory agency that is responsible for enforcing health and safety regulations.
outcome
A change that occurs in a patient.
patient satisfaction
Measures a patient’s feelings and emotions regarding the care received.
peer review
A review of all health services and patient care to determine whether internal quality control systems are operating efficiently and to assure the public that established policies, procedures, and applicable auditing standards are being followed.
peer review organizations (PROs)
An agency or group that performs peer reviews.
phenomenology
A philosophical doctrine based on the study of human experience in which considerations of objective reality are not taken into account.
principle investigator
The lead investigator in a research endeavor.
qualitative research
The analysis of phenomena, characteristically in a comprehensive and holistic manner, owing to the compilation of abundant narrative notes by means of an adaptive research model.
quality assurance (QA)
Ongoing monitoring process used in health care facilities to ensure that the care given to patients by nurses and other health care staff meets acceptable standards of care and quality.
quality improvement (QI)
Ongoing process designed to prevent problems and errors that would have adverse effects on patients.
quality management (QM)
An overall philosophy of health care that focuses on patient satisfaction with services rendered.
quantitative research
A type of research based on the scientific method of knowledge acquisition.
quasi-experimental
Research that may have a control group and an intervention but lack randomization OR may have randomization and an intervention but lack a control group.
randomized clinical trial
A controlled medical experiment in which subjects are randomly chosen to receive either an experimental treatment or a standard treatment (or placebo).
research
Systematic study and investigation in some field of knowledge in order to discover or establish facts and principles.
research utilization
Changing practice based on the results of a research studies.
risk management
A process that takes place after a problem in patient care has occurred or when potential risks that could lead to patient or staff injury are identified.
standards of practice
Consist of authoritative statements or criteria that describe the responsibilities and actions that practitioners of the profession are accountable for.
systematic review
A review of the literature, in which all available research studies on a particular topic are identified, analysed and synthesized.
variables
Things that vary or change.
variance
Anything that alters or changes a patient’s progress through his or her normal critical path.
ANA Scope and Standards of Practice
Assures the public, especially patients and family members, that the nursing care they receive is competent care of good quality and that there are evaluation criteria for nursing activities.
accreditation
The act of granting credit or recognition (especially with respect to educational institution that maintains suitable standards).
advanced nursing practice
An umbrella term that includes nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), and certified registered nurse anesthetists.
articulation
Indicates two programs of study at different levels that have well-defined links enabling students to move from one educational level to the next.
associate degree education
College level programs of study which resulted in the conferral of an associates degree.
baccalaureate degree nursing education
College level nursing programs that take place at a 4-year college or university and results in the conferral of a bachelors degree.
career ladder
Upward movement from an entry-level job to the job that is a final goal.
competencies
Set of behaviors encompassing skills, knowledge, abilities, and personal attributes that are critical to successful work accomplishment.
differentiated nursing practice
The practice of structuring nursing roles on the basis of education, experience, and competence.
diploma programs
The earliest type of nursing education in the US – hospital based – did not confer a college degree, only certificate.
educational mobility
Progressive movement from one type or level of education to another.
entry into practice
The level of education at which a nurse may begin practicing nursing. ANA is at the front of this debate helping nurses.
external degree
Independent study validated by exam; usually have prior experience in the nursing/healthcare field.
generic program
A baccalaureate nursing program that is a prelicensure program that leads to eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN; Includes a base of liberal arts and science classes taken in the first two years.
grandfather clause
An exemption based on circumstances existing prior to the adoption of some policy.
home health aide
Unlicensed assistive personnel who are prepared to assist individuals with basic care in their home.
hospital based programs
Nursing programs based out of a hospital.
internships and residencies
Programs intended to ease the transition from the role of student to that of staff by providing the opportunity to increase clinical skills and knowledge as well as self-confidence.
interstate endorsement
Agreement among states that licensed nurses do not have to repeat NCLEX-PN exam if they meet criteria for working in the state.
mandatory continuing education
Continuing education required in a state for a nurse to renew their license.
nursing assistants
A form of unlicensed assistive personnel who perform basic care tasks under the supervision of licensed nurses.and work primarily in nursing homes.
position paper
A composition that takes a single position on a topic and develops ideas supporting that position.
practical (vocational) nurse
9-12 month educational program. Focuses on “how” rather than “why”. Prepares to provide routine care for clients in hospitals, nursing homes, or home settings. Practice is under the supervision of a RN.
registered nurse baccalaureate (RNB) program
Baccalaureate degree programs designed for RNs who already have a associates degree.
scope of practice
Legal description of what a specific health professional may and may not do.
second-degree students
Students who have previously attained a college degree and are now returning for a second degree in a different track of study.
theorist
Someone who theorizes (especially in science or art).
titling
The use of titles.
virtual university
An online university from which students take classes from home or other off-site locations usually via the internet.
voluntary continuing education
CEUs not related to relicensure – optional educational topics.
directive to physicians
As with living wills, provides information on preferences regarding end-of-life issues such as types of care to provide and whether to use various resuscitation measures. (Example – POLST/MOLST Form)
emancipated minor
Minors who live apart from their parents and are financially independent, or who are married; in most states can give consent for their treatment.
liability
An obligation or debt that can be enforced by law.
mature minor
A sexually active minor; can give consent for treatment of STIs or for obtaining birth control information and supplies.
privileged communication
Refers to information that is shared by an individual client with certain professionals but that does not need to be revealed, even in a court of law.
protected health information
Refers to individually identifiable data about a person’s health or healthcare.
prudent professional
A professional who acts with or shows care and thought/foresight for the future.
reckless endangerment
As with gross negligence, is defined as a person’s “failure to use even the slightest amount of care in a way that shows recklessness or willful disregard for the safety of others”.
substitutionary decision maker
A person who makes decision on behalf of a patient should they become incapacitated.
boundary violations
Situations in which nurses move beyond a professional relationship and become personally involved with a patient and the patient’s life.
chemically impaired professional
Term used to describe that person whose practice has deteriorated because of chemical abuse, specifically, the use of alcohol or drugs.
code of ethics
Principles of conduct within an organization that guide decision making and behavior.
cultural relativism
The principle that what an individual believes and does makes sense in terms of his or her own culture.
deontology
The theory or study of moral obligation.
distributive justice
To distribute rewards and punishments to everyone according to his/her merits or demerits.
ethical dilemma
Choosing from among two or more morally accepted courses of action when one choice prevents selecting the other.
fidelity
Refers to the obligation to be faithful to the agreements, commitments, and responsibilities that one has made to oneself and others, both implicitly and explicitly. Fidelity is the foundation of the concept of accountability tat we hear about so often in nursing today.
futile
A decision that does not have the potential for creating a positive outcome but clearly has the potential for adverse outcomes.
justice
Sometimes referred to as fairness, refers to the quality of being just or fair; conformity to truth, fact, or sound reason; or treating like cases similarly and looks to concepts of moral rightness in action or attitude.
morals
The basic standards for what we consider right and wrong that typically are based on religious beliefs, social influences (including education), group norms, culture, and life experiences.
moral distress
Occurs when one knows the ethically correct action to take but feels powerless to take that action.
nonmaleficence
The prevention of intentional harm.
paternalism
The deliberate treatment of people in a fatherly manner, especially by caring for them but not allowing them to have rights or responsibilities.
right
A just claim or entitlement; something that is owed to an individual on a legal, moral, or ethical basis.
standard of best interest
Standard based on what the healthcare providers or family believes is best for the individual, taking into account tangible factors such as how the patient may be harmed, how they may benefit, and any physical and fiscal risks.
theory of social justice
One can not ethically justify using income inequalities or the ability to pay to determine a patient’s eligibility for access to healthcare. (Rawls 1971)
values
Important and enduring beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good and desirable and what is not.
values conflict
Occurs when we must choose between two things, both of which are important to us.
whistleblowing
An effort made by a member or past member of an organization to warn the public about a serious wrongdoing or danger created or masked by the organization.
age of consent
The age at which one is capable of giving deliberate and voluntary agreement.
amniocentesis
Aspiration and analysis of amniotic fluid that is performed between 14 and 20 weeks of gestation.
artificial insemination
The planting of sperm in a woman’s body to facilitate conception.
assisted reproductive technology (ART)
Fertility treatments in which both the egg and the sperm are handled in the laboratory.
behavior control
External influences on one’s ability to perform a given behavior, in an effort to change said behavior.
bioethics
Discipline dealing with the ethical implications of biological research and applications, especially in medicine.
chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
Involves securing a sample of chorionic villi from a developing placenta.
gene therapy
An experimental technique that uses genes to treat or prevent disease.
futile treatment
Treatments that are identified by the healthcare team, the family, or both as being non-beneficial or harmful to the patient in as much as they cannot cure or reverse the underlying disease.
genome
An organism’s complete set of DNA including the genes that carry information for making the proteins required by all organisms.
Living will
A form of advance directive that allows individuals to identify what measures to include in care if they become terminally ill.
mature minors
Term generally applied to individuals in their mid- to late teens who are considered mature enough to understand the treatment being recommended and provide informed consent.
organ procurement
All activities involved in obtaining donated organs.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
A technique where a physician plucks a single cell from an eight-celled embryo and determines whether that embryo has specific genetic alleles or the proper number of chromosomes.
rationing of healthcare
Restricting the availability of healthcare to limited amounts for each individual in response to limited supply.
right to die
The right to refuse treatment, a right to death with dignity, and the right to choose the time and manner of one’s death, and even the right to assisted suicide.
right to refuse treatment
A principle according to which clients have the right to refuse risky or unconventional or discomfiting treatments.
stem cell
A special kind of cell that is able to renew itself and give rise to specialized cell types; an undifferentiated cell whose daughter cells may differentiate into other cell types (such as blood cells).
sterilization
The act of making an organism barren or infertile (unable to reproduce).
surrogate mother
One who agrees to bear a child conceived through artificial insemination or IVF and implantation and to relinquish the baby at birth to others for rearing.
withdrawing treatment
Stopping treatment that is considered medically futile.
withholding treatment
When treatment that is considered medically futile is not provided at all.
wrongful birth
The belief that it is wrong to give birth to children who will not have the same quality of life as other children.
xenotransplantation
The practice of using animal organs, cells, and tissues for transplantation into human beings.
clinical significance
Relates to having an effect on actual patient outcomes.
computerized provider order entry (CPOE)
A process by which the health care provider directly enters orders for patient care into the hospital information system.
control group
Also referred to as the comparison group; will not receive any special treatment of procedure being studied.
eICU
Electronic ICU. A type of remote monitoring of vital signs and heart rhythm used in conjunction with beside care.
evidence based practice
A problem-solving approach to the delivery of healthcare that integrates the best evidence from studies and patient care data with clinician expertise and patient preferences and values.
informatics
The study and management of information technology.
level of significance
The level at which the researcher believes that the study results most likely represent a non-chance event.
participant/subject
Individual person in the sample.
population
The entire group of people affected by the problem under scrutiny.
probability
A measure of how likely it is that some event will occur.
randomized control trial
Experimental research emphasized most often in medicine; double-blind study.
reliability
The ability of a research instrument or tool to consistently yield the same results over repeated testing periods.
sample
The group of people who will actually be studied.
validity
The ability of research methods to actually measure or accurately describe the variables in a study.
applied research
Often called practical research; designed to directly influence or improve clinical practice.
basic research
Sometimes called pure or laboratory research; designed to generate and refine theory, and the findings are often not directly useful in practice.
concepts
Like ideas, are abstract impressions organized into symbols of reality.
conceptual framework or model
A group of concepts that follows an understandable pattern.
data
Observable and verifiable information.
deductive reasoning
One examines a general idea and then considers specific actions or ideas.
evidence-based practice guideline
Synthesize information from multiple studies and recommend best practices to treat patients with a disease, a symptom, or a disability; these guidelines are typically written by a panel of experts.
inductive reasoning
One builds from specific ideas or actions to conclusions about general ideas.
informed consent
The patient’s right to consent knowledgeably to participate in a study without coercion or to refuse to participate without jeopardizing the care that he or she will receive, the right to confidentiality, and the right to be protected from harm.
nursing research
Encompasses both research to improve the care of people in the clinical setting and also the broader study of people and the nursing profession, including studies of education, policy development, ethics, and nursing history.
nursing theory
Developed to describe nursing; differentiates nursing from other disciplines and activities in that it serves the purposes of describing, explaining, predicting, and controlling desired outcomes of nursing care practices.
philosophy
The study of wisdom, fundamental knowledge, and the process used to develop and construct one’s perceptions of life.
process
A series of actions, changes, or functions intended to bring about a desired result.
research
A process that uses observable and verifiable information (data), collected in a systematic manner, to describe, explain, or predict events.
science
Observing, identifying, describing, investigating, and explaining events and occurrences that are perceived in the world; implies a body of knowledge. The science of nursing is the knowledge in and of nursing.
systematic review
Summarize findings from multiple studies of a specific clinical practice question or topic, and recommend practice changes and future directions for research.
theory
Composed of a group of concepts that describe a pattern of reality.
advocacy
The protection and support of another’s rights.
autonomy
Respect of the rights of patients or their surrogates to make healthcare decisions.
beneficence
Benefit the patient, and balance benefits against risks and harms.
bioethics
The branch of ethics that studies moral values in the biomedical sciences.
care-based approach
Directs attention to the specific situations of individual patients viewed within the context of their life narrative.
clinical ethics
Branch of bioethics literally concerned with ethical problems “at the bedside” that is, ethical concerns that arise within the context of caring for actual patients, wherever they may arise.
code of ethics
A set of principles that reflect the primary goals, values, and obligations of the profession.
deontologic
Ethical system in which actions are right or wrong independent of the consequences they produce.
ethical agency
The ability to behave in an ethical way; to do the ethically right thing because it is the right thing to do.
ethical dilemma
Arise when attempted adherence to basic ethical principles results in two conflicting courses of action.
ethical distress
Occurs when the nurse knows that right thing to do but either personal or institutional factors make it difficult to follow the correct course of action.
ethics
Systematic inquiry onto principles of right and wrong conduct, of virtue and vice, and of good and evil as they relate to conduct and human flourishing.
feminist ethics
Type of ethical approach popular among nurses that aims to critique existing patterns of oppression and domination in society, especially as these affect women and the poor.
fidelity
The ability to keep promises.
justice
Give each his or her due; act fairly.
morals
Like ethics, concerned with what constitutes right action; more informal and personal than the term “ethics”.
nonmaleficence
Avoid causing harm.
nursing ethics
A subset of bioethics; the formal study of ethical issues that arise in the practice of nursing and of the analysis used by nurses to make ethical judgments.
paternalism
Acting for patients without their consent to secure good or prevent harm.
principle-based approach
Combines elements of both utilitarian and deontologic theories and offers specific action guides for practice.
utilitarian
Action-guiding theory of ethics that states that the rightness or wrongness of an action depends on the consequences of the action.
value
A belief about the worth of something, about what matters, that acts as a standard to guide one’s behavior.
value system
An organization of values in which each is ranked along a continuum of importance, often leading to a personal code of conduct.
values clarification
Process by which people come to understand their own values and value system.
assess
To systematically and continuously collect, validate, and communicate patient data.
concept mapping
Institutional strategy that requires learners to identify, graphically display, and link key concepts.
critical thinking
Thought that is disciplined, comprehensive, based on intellectual standards, and, as a result, well-reasoned; a systematic way to form and shape one’s thinking that functions purposefully and exactingly.
critical thinking indicators (CTIs)
Evidence-based descriptions of behaviors that demonstrate the knowledge, characteristics, and skills that promote critical thinking in clinical practice.
decision making
Purposeful, goal-directed effort applied in a systematic way to make a choice among alternatives.
evaluate
Measurement of the extent to which the patient has achieved the goals specified in the plan of care; factors that positively or negatively influence goal achievement are identified, and the plan of care is terminated or revised.
expected outcomes
Specific, measurable criteria used to evaluate whether the patient goal has been met.
implement
Carry out the plan of care.
intuitive problem solving
Direct understanding of a situation based on a background of experience, knowledge, and skill that makes expert decision making possible.
nursing diagnoses
Actual or potential health problem that an independent nursing intervention can prevent or resolve.
nursing process
Five-step systematic method for giving patient care; involves assessing, diagnosing, planning, implementing, and evaluating.
plan
Establish patient goals to prevent, reduce, or resolve the problems identified in the nursing diagnoses and determination of related nursing interventions.
scientific problem solving
Systematic problem-solving process that involves (1) problem identification, (2) data collection, (3) hypothesis formulation, (4) plan of action, (5) hypothesis testing, (6) interpretation of results, and (7) evaluation resulting in conclusion or revision of the study.
standards for critical thinking
Clear, precise, specific, accurate, relevant, plausible, consistent, logical, deep, broad, complete, significant, adequate (for the purpose), and fair.
trial-and-error problem solving
Method of problem solving that involves testing any number of solutions until one is found that works for that particular problem.
concurrent evaluation
Conducted by using direct observation of nursing care, patient interviews, and chart review to determine whether the specified evaluative criteria are met.
criteria
Specified behavior; for example, the measurable criteria in the patient goal specifies how the patient must perform the desired behavior.
evaluating
The nurse and the patient together measure how well the patient has achieved the outcomes specified in the plan of care.
nursing audit
A method of evaluating nursing care that involves reviewing patient records to assess the outcomes of nursing care or the process by which these outcomes were achieved.
outcome evaluation
Focuses on measurable changes in the health status of the patient or the end results of nursing care.
peer review
The evaluation of one staff member by another staff member on the same level in the hierarchy of the organization.
performance improvement
Commitment to healthier patients, quality care, reduced costs, and making a difference; accomplished by discovering a problem, planning a strategy, implementing a change, and assessing the change to see if the goal is met.
process evaluation
Focuses on the nature and sequence of activities carried out by nurses implementing the nursing process.
quality-assurance program
Specially designed programs that promote excellence in nursing.
quality improvement
The commitment and approach used to continuously improve every process in every part of an organization, with the intent of meeting and exceeding customer expectations and outcomes.
retrospective evaluation
Evaluation of nursing care and patient outcomes after the patient has been discharged using post-discharge questionnaires, patient interviews, or chart review to collect data.
standards
The levels of performance accepted and expected by the nursing staff or other health team members.
structure evaluation
Focuses on the environment in which care is provided.