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Claiming the Future of Nursing Through Nursing-sensitive Quality Indicators

Gallagher, Rita Munley PhD, RN,C; Rowell, Patricia A. PhD, RN

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Although many of the changes in today's health care arena have been beneficial, there continues to be persistent dissatisfaction with the nation's health care delivery system. The provision of outcome-oriented, cost-effective health care is no longer a goal. It is a mandate. To accomplish this mandate, the relationship between the costs, quality and desired outcomes of care, and the processes involved in providing care must be reexamined. This article describes factors stimulating the American Nurses Association to develop nursing-sensitive quality indicators, details development of the National Database for Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI), and discusses the implications of nursing-sensitive indicators and NDNQI for nurse administrators. Nursing's quality indicators can be of value in the development of evidence-based health care report cards and can be used to direct change. We must move forward together in claiming the future of nursing through nursing-sensitive quality indicators.

From the Department of Nursing Practice and Policy, American Nurses Association, Washington, DC.

The comments contained in this article are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect official positions or policy of the American Nurses Association.

Corresponding author: Rita Munley Gallagher, PhD, RN,C, Senior Policy Fellow, Department of Nursing Practice and Policy, American Nurses Association, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 100 West, Washington, DC 20024-2557.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.