Learning Module 11

Integrating QSEN into the intermediate Nursing Curriculum: Working with Courses that Focus on Specialty Populations

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This module highlights how nursing faculty can integrate QSEN competencies into intermediate courses. Focusing on specialty courses (Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Operating Room), faculty experts will share pedagogical strategies for introducing students to higher level competencies and reinforcing those learned in beginning courses.


Upon completion of this section, you will be able to:

  • Recognize quality and safety work occurring in practice specific to nursing care for special populations
  • Establish QSEN KSAs specific for intermediate level courses
  • Review various pedagogical strategies for building on foundational quality and safety knowledge in intermediate level courses
  • Explore current barriers to the updating of prelicensure curricula in areas of quality and safety


  • Gail Armstrong, DNP, ACNS-BC, CNE
  • Dayna Cardinal, MS, RN
  • Joyce Welch, MSN, RN
  • Meg Moorman, MSN, RN




To embed QSEN competencies across the curriculum, it is important that specialty courses also reflect the QSEN KSAs. In this Module teachers from diverse settings (peri-operative, pediatrics and maternal/child) will describe their efforts to create meaningful ways to promote students' achievement of the QSEN competencies in these settings.

Integrating QSEN into Intermediate Courses Part 1

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Integrating QSEN in the Peri-operative Setting

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Integrating QSEN in the Pediatric Setting

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The Use of Visual Thinking Strategies in an Obstetrics Course

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Barton, A. J., Armstrong, G., Preheim, G., Gelmon, S. B., & Andrus, L. C. (2009) A national Delphi to determine developmental progression of quality and safety competencies in nursing education, Nursing Outlook, 57(6), 313-322.

Beck, C.T., (2009). Metasynthesis: a goldmine for evidence-based practice. Association of Operating Room Nurses Journal, 90(5), 701-710. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Burgess, L.P.A., Herdman, T.H., Berg, B.W., Feaster, W.W., & Hebsur, S. (2009). Alarm limit settings for early warning systems to identify at-risk patients. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65(9), 1844-1852. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Cronenwett, L., Sherwood, G., Barnsteiner, J., Disch, J., Johnson, J., & Mitchell, P.(2007). Quality and safety education for nurses. Nursing Outlook, 55(3), 122-131.

Daniels, S.M. (2007). Improving hospital care for surgical patients. Nursing2007, 8, 36-41. Retrieved from www.nursing2007.com.

Fetter, M.S. (2009). Mastering the challenge of interoperability in nursing informatics. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 30, 591-592. doi: 10.1080/01612840902722153

Heinrich, K.T. (2007). Joy stealing: 10 mean games faculty play and how to stop the gaming. Nurse Educator, 32(1), 34-38. Retrieved from OVID.

Hall, L.W., & Nelson, K.J. (2007). Patient safety teaching case: Wrong patient procedure. QSEN website. Last retrieved December 15, 2010 from: http://www.qsen.org/teachingstrategy.php?id=52

Hall, L.W., & Scott, S. (2007). Interprofessional curriculum in patient safety and quality improvement. QSEN website. Last retrieved December 15, 2010 from: http://www.qsen.org/teachingstrategy.php?id=45

Ironside, P.M. (2007). Providing patient care through teamwork and collaboration. QSEN website. Last retrieved December 15, 2010 from: http://www.qsen.org/teachingstrategy.php?id=56

Jarzemsky, P., Girdley, D., Murray, M.E., & Douglas, S. (2009). Assessment of informatics competencies for nursing students. QSEN website. Last retrieved December 15, 2010 from: http://www.qsen.org/teachingstrategy.php?id=71

Leonard, M., Graham, S. & Bonacum, D. (2004). The human factor: the critical importance of effective teamwork and communication in providing safe care. Quality and Safety in Health Care, 13, i85-i90. doi: 10.1136/qshc.2004.010033

MacDermid, J.C., Geldart, S., Willliams, R.M., Westmorland, M., Lin, C.A. & Shannon, M. (2008). Work organization and health: a qualitative study of the perceptions of workers. Work, 30, 241-254. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Murphy, J. (2010). The journey to meaningful use of electronic health records. NursingInformatics, 28(4), 283-286. Retrieved from Academic one Premier.

Phillips, J. (2006). Clinical alarms: complexity and common sense. Critical Care Nursing of North America, 18, 145-156. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2006.01.002

Pope, B.B., Rodzen, L. & Spross, G. (2008). Raising the SBAR how better communication improves patient outcomes. Nursing 2008, 3, 41-43. Retrieved from www.nursing2008.com.

Spencer, T.S., & Foss, K. (2009). Alarm safety learning activity. QSEN website. Last retrieved January 31, 2014 from: http://qsen.org/clinical-alarm-safety/

Sullivan, D.T. (2007). Evidence-based project guidelines and grading criteria. QSEN website. Last retrieved Decmeber 10, 2010 from: http://www.qsen.org/teachingstrategy.php?id=54

Weiser TG, Haynes AB, Lashoher A, Dziekan G, Boorman DJ, Berry WR, Gawande AA. Perspectives in quality: designing the WHO surgical safety checklist. International Journal for Quality in Health Care. Published online August 11, 2010

Wong, E.M., Chan, S.W. & Chair, S. (2010). Effectiveness of an educational intervention on levels of pain, anxiety, and self-efficacy for patients with musculoskeletal trauma. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(5), 1120-1131. doi: 10.1111/j.1365.2648.2010.05273.x




After you have reviewed the module presentations and resources, consider how this material is relevant to your own work and experience. The following is a list of questions for self-reflection or for use in class.

  1. Do our current efforts to teach QSEN competencies focus predominantly on medical/surgical courses or capstone courses?
  2. How might our specialty courses provide unique opportunities for us to emphasize quality and safety?
  3. How can an emphasis on quality and safety in specialty courses help students extend their competency in each of the six QSEN competency domains?