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Cultivating Trustworthy Nurses Through a Faith-Based Curriculum

Within Spring Arbor University’s online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, the importance of trust is upheld as a central pillar. That trust takes form in the belief that graduates from the program are primed to excel in their professional endeavors. It also serves as a crucial component of the curriculum, as the faculty within the Spring Arbor University MSN program want their students to grasp how important trust can be in developing nurse-patient relationships. Trust benefits nursing interactions and Spring Arbor University in Michigan is one of the foremost Christian nursing schools whose faith-based curriculum enables graduates to excel in this capacity.

At the Top of Trustworthiness

Evidence suggests that Americans consider nurses to be among the most trustworthy of professionals. According to a 2016 Gallup Poll, 84% of Americans rated the honesty and ethics of nurses as “high to very high,” the fifteenth time in just as many years that nurses have held the top spot. The reasons for this high regard are many, but one of the most cited justifications is the high frequency of direct interaction. In other words, nurses far outnumber doctors, which means that patients are much more likely to interact with and rely upon nurses than they do with physicians themselves.

As a case in point, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS), there were 2,955,200 registered nursing jobs available in 2016, while only 713,800 jobs existed for physicians and surgeons in that same year. This difference, combined with the structure of the American medical system that encourages more time with the nurse and less time with the doctor, means that many will connect the honesty of the nurse with their overall care experience.

Building Trust: Technical Expertise

Building this sense of trust goes beyond the sheer number of nurses. It is the characteristic of trustworthiness as instilled in an individual nurse’s personality that makes this connection possible. Without this central emphasis on trust, the nursing profession could suffer. Indeed, studies have shown that the loss of patient trust in their nurses and other healthcare providers has resulted not only in a less satisfactory treatment experience but also in the higher probability that the patient will seek another source of care for future medical needs.  

As one of the most highly regarded online Christian nursing programs in the country, Spring Arbor University’s online master’s in nursing program provides its students with the resources to develop this trust from the very outset as it is structured around a core series of courses that reinforce a deep knowledge of diagnostic practices and clinical care. From the Advanced Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning Residency (NUR 602) to the Clinical Practicum (NUR 680), students in the program can gain access to a wide variety of experiential learning that both conveys confidence in professional practice and lays the groundwork for a patient’s trust.

Building Trust: Putting the Patient First

Being highly skilled in professional nursing practices is only one part of the patient-nurse trust equation; equally important is the encouragement of a patient-centered approach. A series of research projects in 2015 funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that many individuals look to close colleagues when making important healthcare decisions because they inherently trusted their advice and insight. This result suggests that, while nurses might not be a patient’s best friend, they might be able to better serve their patients if they can consider the person as well as the patient and work to build an individual connection.

Yet again, this is where graduates from Spring Arbor University’s online advanced nursing degree program can excel. Enjoying a curriculum that cultivates the compassion inherent to Christian faith practices, students learn to consider patients with a holistic approach that seeks to treat the whole being rather than an individual symptom. Elective coursework allows students to study care techniques and impacts for various segments of the population. For instance, “Advanced Practice in Primary Care of the Child” (NUR687) offers students in the Nurse Practitioner track to foster an understanding of common needs for infant and child patients. Meanwhile, those pursuing a specialization in Gerontology can enroll in courses such as “Chronic Disease and Complex Problems in Older Adults” (NUR 642) to develop expertise in the needs of elderly patients.

Amplifying Nursing Ability Through Faith: A Spring Arbor University Specialty

Pursuing the Spring Arbor University online MSN degree means embarking on an exciting next step in the advancement of your nursing career. With all the flexibility that an online degree can provide, Spring Arbor University aims to encourage the development of Christian nurses whose faith amplifies their abilities as caregivers. Proud to be part of the landscape of Christian colleges in Michigan, Spring Arbor University entrusts its graduates with essential skills and ethics so that they can go on earn the trust of their patients and encourage the overall betterment of the professional medical field.

Sources:

Megan Collado, Tara Oakman, and Mona Shah, “To Improve Health Care, How Do We Build Trust

and Respect for Patients?” Health Affairs, 26 September 2017. Accessed 15 January 2018 from: https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20170926.062183/full/

Ronda J. Hughes, “Nurses at the ‘Sharp End’ of Patient Care.” Patient Safety and Quality: An

Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses (Rockville, MD: 2008). Accessed 15 January 2018 from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2672/

Jim Norman, “Americans Rate Healthcare Providers High on Honesty, Ethics.” Gallup News, 19

December 2016. Accessed 15 January 2018 from: http://news.gallup.com/poll/200057/americans-rate-healthcare-providers-high-honesty-ethics.aspx

“Physicians and Surgeons.” United States Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook

Handbook. Accessed 15 January 2018 from:

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicians-and-surgeons.htm

“Registered Nurses.” United States Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Accessed 15 January 2018 from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm

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