Advancement Of Health Care Field

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Scholarship in the nursing profession is essential to developing not only the individual nurse but also the advancement of the health care field. “Scholarship is the communication of knowledge generated through multiple forms of inquiry that inform clinical practice, nursing education, policy, and healthcare delivery. The scholarship is inclusive of discovery, integration, application, and teaching (Boyer, 1999)”, (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2018, p. 2). In the ever-changing health care field, these scholarship works provide a process of understanding of those changes. Though each type of scholarship has its own definition, they work together as a whole to provide the healthcare community with evidence-based practices, thus increasing patient care.

“The scholarship of discovery is based on developing new knowledge through promoting research and evidence-based practice (AACN, 1999b)” (Robert & Pape, 2011, p. 42). Through these discoveries, the healthcare industry can integrate, apply, and teach to change patient outcomes. It is through discovery and research that nurses have a practice or foundation to work towards. Due to this foundation continued inquiry can develop into new discoveries and the process can continue. (Robert & Pape, 2011). Furthermore, research continues to change how the healthcare industry functions. Squires et. al., (2011) performed a study that proposed the question, “to what extent do nurses use research in the field?” The study gave scores to the amount of research used in practice, ranging from low to high. This concluded that the majority of nurses do use research at a score of moderately high. Thus, the relation between the discovery of research into translation in the nursing field can not be denied. (Squires et. al., 2011).

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“The scholarship of integration involves collaborating with staff from other departments and bringing together forms of isolated knowledge from two or more disciplines, thus creating new vision and insight.” (Robert & Pape, 2011, p. 42) By using the expertise of other disciplines, organizations can gather a holistic approach to patient care. Robert and Pape (2011) give a few examples of how collaboration and communication can increase patient outcomes. Those examples include the use of bedside reports, SBAR, and rounding. In my career, I can attest to using these examples of communication in the health field. While working in home health and hospice the interdisciplinary teams would meet to discuss the progress of patient care. The director, nurses, social services, and chaplains would be involved in these meetings and provide pertinent patient information to help develop and or change the plan of care to better fit the patient’s outcomes and goals. Having expertise in many fields and disciplines allows for immense knowledge to be applied towards patient planning.

“The scholarship of application introduces scholarly inquiry in everyday nursing occurrences by looking at what can be done to improve practice (Brewer, Brewer, & Schultz, 2009).” (Robert & Pape, 2011, p. 42). For instance, Robert and Pape (2011) give an example of a nurse working on a cardiac floor, who noticed that patients who had open-heart surgery had an increased instance of postoperative substernal incision infections. She deduced that the infections came from the heart pillow patients were using to splint the incision during coughing or sneezing. Because of this, an improvement project was conducted and the process to wash and clean the pillows was instituted thus decreasing the risk of infections. While I was working in long-term care, I had an incident occur in which a patient rolled out of bed and was almost strangulated due to the grab bars that were placed on her bed. I determined that grab bars can be very dangerous and concluded that only patients who are alert and oriented and have the strength to use the grab bars appropriately should have them. This changed how I assessed patients’ needs in bed. Though no policy was placed because of this I use it in my application of nursing.

“The scholarship of teaching focuses on understanding, describing, explaining, teaching-learning strategies, assessing their impact on learner outcomes and disseminating results” (AACN, 2018, p. 7). It is in this scholarship that one can truly see the connection between the scholarships. Through discovery and research curricular changes can be changed or added. (AACN 2018). Teaching is an ongoing work that continues from day one of entering the nursing field until one retires. Through continuing education, mentoring, or orientation of a new employee teaching is always occurring and thus the growth of the nurse.

The four types of scholarship are all directly or indirectly related to one another. It is hard to tell in which work comes before the next. These scholarships can not be discussed in a linear fashion but rather as more as a foundation in which each work relies on the next. It is through these works that nurses can become scholars and leaders of their profession.


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