Making It Meaningful: Finding Quality Improvement Projects Worthy of Your Time, Effort, and Expertise

Author(s): Julie M. Stausmire, RN, MSN, ACNS-BC, ACNS-BC

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP B 1.00

Expires Dec 01, 2019

Topics: Patient Safety

Population: Lifespan

Role: Staff

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

This article is the second of a 4-part quality improvement resource series for critical care nurses interested in implementing system process or performance improvement projects. The article is a brainstorming session on paper, written to assist nurses and managers in identifying possible quality improvement projects that are meaningful to them and will make a real difference in their critical care units. Every unit and institution has its own unique mix of resources, culture, physical environment, patient population, technology, documentation processes, health care providers, and multiple other factors. Thus specific patient care and safety challenges must be identified and prioritized individually for quality improvement by each unit. Projects also must be manageable and within the scope of time, effort, and expertise available—no quality improvement project is “too small” if it is applicable to your critical care area and will improve outcomes.


  • Describe how to determine process improvement priorities
  • Review the use of process improvement methods that will work for your facility
  • Review patient safety strategies and initiatives endorsed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to prevent harm

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. Approval of a continuing education activity does not imply endorsement by AACN or ANCC of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with the activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012 (60 min contact hour). AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing, California Provider number CEP01036 for 1.2 contact hours (50 min contact hour).

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.