Skip to content
Skip to content

ANA Nursing Resources Hub

Search Resources Hub

A nurse wearing a mask and sitting in a chair with a person in a room with a table

How Nurses Can Affect Positive Patient Outcomes

3 min readSeptember, 07 2023

Nurses play a crucial role in affecting positive patient outcomes. They can influence whether a patient feels respected and cared for during treatment. Nurses also excel in practicing patient empathy and attending to patients' physical needs without compromising emotional support.

Explore how to improve patient outcomes using these inherent strengths and proven best practices.

Understand and Implement Patient-Centered Care

Keep your patients' values, needs, and preferences top of mind throughout treatment. Patients are also encouraged to take proactive measures in managing their health. Patient-centered care that promotes independence and ongoing engagement correlates to improved health outcomes. Nurses can integrate this approach into daily practice to empower patients during and after treatment.

Collaborate With Patients

Treat your patients and their family members or support system like partners throughout the healing process. Discuss different treatment options and encourage patients to pursue what is right for them so they feel seen and heard. Patients are typically more satisfied with their care when you ask for their input.

Improve Patient Access

For some patients, access means scheduling care outside of regular working hours. For others, it may require using a medical interpreter to ensure clear communication. Nurses can act as patient navigators, assisting with health insurance, appointment scheduling, and medical instructions. Patients feel empowered when given access to remote telehealth services, nearby mobile clinics, and self-care educational resources.

Provide Emotional Support

Besides physical discomfort, patients must also manage emotional stress and fears regarding treatment. Nurses can ease these burdens by practicing compassion and acceptance.

Create a calming, confidential environment where patients can share their concerns and respond without judgment or bias. When patients feel supported and involved, they may be more optimistic about their treatment, which can lead to improved health care outcomes.

Build a Solid Team Culture

The care a patient receives is only as good as the team behind the care. Equip your nursing team to provide consistent quality patient care by nurturing inherent trust, effective communication, and a supportive culture. Nurse leaders must enforce best practices for their unit:

Promote Evidence-Based Practices

Research indicates a correlation between evidence-based practices and improved patient outcomes. Nurses who follow evidence-based practices can minimize the risk of mistakes or adverse effects while making everyone on the team accountable to share in decision-making and efficiency goals. Ongoing developments could call for shifts in your company's policies, so nurse leaders must remain informed of best practices and implement them as needed.

Communicate With Clarity and Compassion

Clear communication helps patients feel understood and valued. Reliable one-on-one time with their nursing team helps promote patient trust and deepens their understanding of the process. To build a strong rapport with patients, nurses should:

  • Allow patients to speak so they don't feel rushed or ignored.
  • Express compassion through verbal and nonverbal cues like eye contact and body language.
  • Ask open-ended questions to avoid steering the conversation.
  • Paraphrase in a way that demonstrates interest and respect.

A doctor talking to a patient

Encourage Preventative Care Practices

Offering education and counseling to patients at an individual or community level can help nurses reduce the incidence of avoidable health issues. These resources include free health screenings, vaccinations, and educational materials to promote a healthy lifestyle. Preventative measures lay the groundwork for better patient outcomes.

A nurse's primary goal is to provide safe, effective, quality care to ensure positive patient outcomes. By implementing patient-centered practices, nurses can make a significant difference in individuals' lives while advancing their professional careers.


Images sourced from Getty Images

Item(s) added to cart

Go to cart Continue Shopping