Measuring up to the Principles
The RCN recognises the importance of having clear measures that can be used to verify whether nursing care matches the Principles of Nursing Practice. This section describes the work the RCN has undertaken to find examples of quality measures that serve this purpose.
Here you can find some example measures that can be used to give feedback against the eight Principles. Some of these are already in use.
Criteria for evaluating and endorsing measures
Other measures require further development to meet the endorsement criteria the RCN is using to identify and promote measures that truly reflect good nursing care.
Specific criteria used to evaluate and endorse quality measures include:
- is the measure clearly defined and does it adequately reflect the evidence based practice standard that is being measured?
- is the data collection practical? for example, can patient data be derived from the electronic patient record?
- is the data collection acceptable to patients / clients and staff?
- is the measure useful i.e. does it provide feedback that can be celebrated or acted upon if improvements are required?
But see also information about the general quality criteria the RCN uses to review all professional standards and resources, and information about the endorsement process at RCN endorsement of professional standards.
Selection of example measures
The RCN asked nursing experts to select the measures from a longer list and only the most frequently chosen measures are given. It is not intended to be a final list, but marks the beginning of a programme of work that will continue to identify measures that provide evidence for the presence of the Principles of Nursing Practice.
The example measures are primarily designed for nurse leaders for the purpose of helping them to strengthen or complement the measures they may already be using in relation to the Principles of Nursing Practice, as a way of improving the quality of care or for influencing the content of local audits and the content of the electronic heath record.
To find out more you can:
- Read more about our approach for identifying these examples of measures.
- Read the example measures.
- Read about how the RCN plans to build on this intial work in next steps.
- Download the The Principles of Nursing Practice: principles and measures consultation summary report for nurse leaders (PDF 60KB)