Health Affairs Paper Grades Nurse-Pt. Safety a B-; SON Faculty Leading the Way for Improvement

On Dec. 1, 2009, the journal Health Affairs published a paper written by Robert M. Wachter, professor and associate chair of the department of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco that graded the healthcare industry’s progress toward goals enumerated in the 1999 Institute of Medicine reporter “To Err Is Human.”

Wachter gave the industry a B- overall. He also assigned a B- to progress made toward improving doctor-patient and nurse-patient safety. Although the paper references SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation) nurse-physician communication strategies, it does not address the lastest research underway to improve quality and safety education for nurses.

Dean-emeritus Linda Cronenwett and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Gwen Sherwood are co-principal investigators on the Quality & Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) grant funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This program, which has received a total of $4.25 million in funding, is designed to prepare nurses who have the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to continuously improve the quality and safety of the healthcare systems within which they work, based on the six quality and safety competencies. The six competencies are patient-centered care, teamwork and collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, safety, and informatics.

Currently, 15 pilot schools have partnered with QSEN to develop and disseminate strategies and best practices for improving nursing education and patient safety.

QSEN will hold a 2010 National Forum, entitled “Climbing from Good to Great,” in Denver on June 2-4. The conference is designed to attract innovators and nurture faculty leaders for the improvement of quality and safety education through exposure to innovations in curricular design and teaching strategies, research related to quality and safety education, and quality improvement or safety studies.

QSEN is currently accepting abstracts. For more information, see the Conference Details page or contact QSEN at

International Human Caring Conference at Chapel Hill, April 6-9, 2008

Health care leaders interested in magnet status, patient safety and quality care and who want to communicate the commitment to human caring to various constituencies should attend and bring colleagues to this conference. 

See the website for program details:   

This international conference draws presenters and participants from Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Thailand, China, the United States and more. They will converge to discuss health care interactions, caring-based interventions, workplace environment, self-care and spirituality, science and scholarship development. Keynoters are Samantha Pang, PhD, RN, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Margarete Sandelowski, PhD, RN, FAAN, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing, Kristen M. Swanson, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Washington Medical Center and Pamela Triolo, PhD, RN, FAAN, System Chief Nursing Officer, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Barbara Dossey, noted for her work in holistic health, will be on the Wednesday panel discussion.

  • We expect MORE THAN 72 presentations and 25 posters over the 3-day conference.
  • We anticipate MORE THAN 175 people will attend from around the world.
  • Attendees will include practicing nurses, health care administrators, university faculty members, nursing students.

SPONSOR ROSTER as of this posting

  • UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing
  • UNC Health Care System
  • Carolinas HealthCare System
  • International Association of Human Caring

To inquire about sponsorships at various levels, contact

To register for the conference, go to


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