Skip to main content

Learn Patient Safety Best Practices in Healthcare With a BSN Degree

As a nurse, the last thing you want is to provide anything but the best possible patient care. Yet, at the same time, you are probably aware that preventable medical errors are a leading cause of adverse events, including death.

Patient safety is one of the top reasons registered nurses (RNs) return to school to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). With The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) online RN to BSN program, you can graduate as a BSN-prepared nurse in as few as nine months, ready to champion patient safety and advance your career.

Defining Patient Safety

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines patient safety as “the prevention of errors and adverse effects to patients associated with health care.”

Globally, the WHO reports that “the occurrence of adverse events due to unsafe care is likely one of the 10 leading causes of death and disability.” As much as 80% of this patient harm is preventable.

The push for patient safety came about in 1999 with the now-familiar report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM, now the National Academy of Medicine): To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. According to the report, preventable medical errors caused as many as 98,000 patient deaths in U.S. hospitals yearly, along with over one million injuries.

More than 20 years later, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer.

How Can RNs Drive Patient Safety?

Wrong-site, wrong-procedure and wrong-patient errors (WSPEs) may come to mind when we think about preventable medical errors. But delayed diagnoses, incomplete diagnoses, misdiagnoses, medication errors, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), patient falls and other adverse events also cause serious harm, or even death.

As the healthcare providers who work most directly with patients, nurses are critical in ensuring patient safety. Associate and diploma nursing programs emphasize core knowledge and clinical skills in nursing. An RN to BSN program such as UTA’s builds on this foundation in areas that directly impact patient safety, including:

  • Research-based nursing practice
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Quality-improvement strategies
  • Patient-centered education
  • Medication management
  • Informatics and technology
  • Critical thinking and decision making
  • Nursing leadership and management

RN to BSN programs also prepare nurses with a stronger liberal arts education. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, employers value BSN graduates with skills that stem from a liberal education as they equip nurses with critical people- and community-based aptitudes. These include stronger skills in communication, interprofessional collaboration, assessment, cultural sensitivity and resourcefulness. These attributes are key to the teamwork needed to prevent mistakes and improve patient safety.

UTA’s RN to BSN takes patient safety preparation a step further with its course called Human Factors in Healthcare (Special Topics). This course engages students in using case studies to examine human factors involved in adverse events and develop strategies for reducing medical errors.

More Reasons to Earn Your BSN

Patient safety is the driving reason to pursue your BSN. However, there are other significant benefits to a BSN, such as:

  • Stronger earning potential: According to PayScale, BSN-prepared nurses earn an average annual salary of $89,000, compared to $73,000for RNs with an ADN.
  • Advanced career opportunities: As hospitals and other healthcare organizations increasingly prefer or require BSN-prepared RNs, a BSN is likely to be a qualifying factor in landing higher-paying leadership roles such as nurse manager and director of nursing.
  • Preparation for a graduate degree: Earning a BSN puts a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) within reach. An MSN qualifies you for advanced practice roles, such as nurse anesthetist, with a median annual salary of $195,610.

Whether seeking to improve direct patient care skills at the bedside or become a nurse leader, earning a BSN is the way to get there. UTA’s affordable RN to BSN online program provides a highly respected path to achieving your goals.

Learn more about The University of Texas at Arlington’s online RN to BSN program.

Related Articles

Request More Information

Submit this form, and an Enrollment Specialist will contact you to answer your questions.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Or call 866-489-2810

Ready to Begin?

Start your application today!

or call 866-489-2810 866-489-2810
for help with any questions you may have.
  • Choose All That Apply