APRN-DNP, gerontological nursing, older adults, quality, safety



  1. Zonsius, Mary C. PhD, RN (Assistant Professor)


ABSTRACT: Current trends dictate that advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) must be competent to address quality/safety issues specific to older adults. A gap analysis and review of key competencies in an adult-gerontology APRN-Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) curriculum prompted the design and evaluation of an innovative online course, Quality and Safety for the Aging Adult. Course objectives align with key competencies, including graduate-level Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) and the DNP Essentials. The course purpose was to prepare adult-gerontology APRN-DNP students as leaders to promote quality/safety outcomes for aging adults. The six-step Knowledge-to-Action Framework guided course development and evaluation. Select graduate-level QSEN competencies were used to construct a 20-item Quality and Safety Survey (4-point Likert scale) (Cronbach's alpha, 0.916). This survey was used during week 1 (pre) and week 15 (post) of the semester to evaluate students' preparation and confidence to perform key QSEN competencies. Significant improvements (p < .000) between pre/post scores on the Quality and Safety Survey were found across five classes. Students felt more prepared and confident to apply selected QSEN competencies on course completion. Moreover, nearly 60% (primary care) and nearly 35% (acute care) adult-gerontology APRN students selected the older adult population for their DNP projects. The Quality and Safety for the Aging Adult course positively influenced five classes of adult-gerontology APRN-DNP students. Integrating QSEN competencies with gerontology and quality/safety content is an effective strategy to prepare APRNs to lead quality/safety initiatives in aging adults. This innovative online course offers a successful model for innovative DNP education of adult-gerontology APRNs.