NUR 400: Continuous Quality Improvement, Safety and Interprofessional Collaboration

Course Description

Examines quality improvement and safety initiatives focused on measuring and improving patient outcomes and the interprofessional collaboration and communication skills needed to effectively communicate with patients, families and other health professionals in a responsible and responsive manner that supports a team approach to quality healthcare. Topics include the factors that create a culture of safety and the nursing context for improving the processes of care and outcomes.

(4 credits)


  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2
  • NUR 301: Baccalaureate Nursing Role

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Upon completion of this course, the student will have gained knowledge about:

  1. Apply the National Patient Safety Goals to nursing practice in various healthcare settings.
  2. Identify human factors and basic safety design principles that affect patient safety.
  3. Analyze the essential elements necessary to sustain High Reliable Organizations (HRO).
  4. Describe processes used to determine causes of error and the allocation of responsibility and accountability.
  5. Analyze healthcare system/work unit safety initiatives for their role in establishing safety related benchmarks.
  6. Delineate the complexity and sensitivity essential for the appropriate clinical management of medical errors and adverse events.
  7. Describe the effective use of technology and standardized practices that support a safe culture.
  8. Apply the elements of root cause analysis to a clinical scenario.
  9. Analyze the role of professional nursing accountability and action in the provision of quality healthcare and patient safety.
  10. Analyze the role of the nurse in the assurance of safe and quality outcomes of care for diverse populations.
  11. Identify the domains of interprofessional competencies and the connection to safe patient care.
  12. Analyze the importance of interprofessional collaboration among members of the healthcare team to risk management/reduction of error.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading



Discussions (Weeks 1-8)


Letter of Intent


Institute of Healthcare Improvement Courses


Root Cause Analysis Paper (Week 3)


Interprofessional Collaboration


Interprofessional Collaboration PowerPoint





Required Textbooks

  • There are no required textbooks to purchase for this course. The course materials will be provided in the course.


Additional Resources

Course Schedule



Readings and Exercises




Topics: National Patient Safety Goals & Human Factors

  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
    • Discussion 1: Human Factors and basic safety principles that affect patient safety
  • Submit Letter of Intent



Topic: High Reliability Organizations

  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
    • Discussion 1: Improving Patient Safety



Topics: Benchmarks and Established Safety Initiatives


  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
    • Discussion 1: Benchmarking, measures, and safety initiatives
    • Discussion 2: National Patient Safety Goals
  • Submit Root Cause Analysis Paper



Topics: Complexity and Sensitivity of Clincial Management: Medical Errors and Adverse Events

  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
    • Discussion 1: Changing a Complex System
    • Discussion 2: Nursing Errors



Topics: Improving the Quality of Nursing Care in Diverse Populations

  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
    • Discussion 1: Measures and Healthcare Disparities
    • Discussion 2: Improving Safety through Cultural Competence


2-4, 9-12

Topics: The Nurse's Role in Communication and Patient Safety

  • Readings:
    • Institute for Healthcare Communication (July 11). Impact of Communication in Healthcare.
    • Joint Commission (2010). Advancing effect communication, cultural competence, and patient- and family-centered care: A roadmap for hospital
    • AHRQ (2013). TeamSTEPPS 2.0: Team strategies & tools to enhance performance and patient safety.
    • Rainford, W., Wood, S., McMullen, P. C., Philipsen, N.D. (2015). The disruptive force of lateral violence in the healthcare setting. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners Volume 11, Issue 2, p. 157-164.
    • Lubinensky, M. (February 2015). Huddle up for patient safety. America Nurse Today. Vol. 10 No. 2. 
    • Di Vincenzo, P., (July 2017). Team huddles: A winning strategy for safety. Nursing 2017, volume 47, issue 7, p 59-60.
    • Kreiser, S. January 2012. High Reliability Healthcare: Applying CRM to High-Performing Teams, Part 4.
  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
    • Discussion 1: Methods of Communication in Nursing Practice
    • Discussion 2: Nurse-to-Nurse Violence



Topics: Interprofessional Teamwork and Patient Safety

  • Read assigned material
  • View videos
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
    • Discussion 1: Interprofessional Collaboration Effects on Patient Safety
  • Submit Interprofessional Teamwork Paper



Topics: Technology and Patient Safety

  • Readings:
    • AHRQ, (2015). Health information technology integration.
    • Rhew, D., (July, 2017). You may already own the newest medical device. Health Management Technology. June 29. 2017.

    • Price, P., (June 2017). How today’s technology is shaping healthcare’s future. Health Management Technology June 2017, p 10-11.

    • Cassano, C., (2014). Right balance –Technology and patient care. OJNI Volume 18, Number 3.
    • Turner, C., (2016). Use of mobile devices in community healthcare: Barriers and solutions to implementation.  British Journal of Community Nursing February 2016 Vol 21, No 2 101.
    • Lowery, C. (2018). Telehealth: A new frontier in ob/gyn. Contemporary OB/GYN August 2018 p.  11, 15-18, 34-35.


  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
    • Discussion 1: Technology and Patient Safety
    • Discussion 2: PowerPoint Presentations
  • Submit Interprofessional Teamwork PowerPoint
  • Complete Course Evaluation

Late Work Policy

Due to the accelerated nature of the NUR 300 & 400 courses, late work severely limits meaningful engagement with students, peers, and faculty, and jeopardizes collaboration and exchange of ideas.

The following standards relate to late submission of any assignment in this and all other NUR 300 & 400 courses:

  • All Discussion Posts must be posted by the due date/time deadline. Those posted late will be given a grade of zero.
  • All Other Papers/Projects: Failure to turn in, post, or in any way fail to meet the due date/time deadline, will result in a deduction of 10% per day of the total assignment value from the actual grade earned, for up to seven days.
  • Students who submit an assignment eight days late will receive a grade of zero for the assignment
  • If a student anticipates they will be unable to meet a deadline for any assignment regardless of the reason, they should contact the course faculty immediately.

Emergencies/Extenuating Circumstances: The Faculty and Program Director appreciate that emergencies come up in life. Emergencies/ Extenuating Circumstances are not planned activities and/or are not normally work-related.

  • Students will be required to submit reasonable documentation of emergencies/extenuating circumstances to the course faculty.
  • Any request(s) relating to emergencies/ extenuating circumstances requires documentation and approval of the course faculty, the Program Director, and other college personnel as necessary.

The following conditions acknowledge unexpected circumstances that impact students’ ability to submit an assignment by the due date:

  • If a student anticipates they will be unable to meet a deadline due to an emergency/extenuating circumstance, they should contact the course faculty immediately.
  • Students may turn in one assignment up to 7 days after the due date except for a discussion board assignment, a final course project, or other final course assignments, no questions asked.
  • Subsequent late submissions will be managed in accordance with the standards outlined above.

*Note: Students with accommodations in place may not receive an extension that is related to their disability

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.