Master Glossary


ABCs: Airway, breathing, and circulation. (Chapter 2.3)

Accountability: Being answerable to oneself and others for one’s own choices, decisions, and actions as measured against a standard. (Chapter 3.4)

Accreditation: A review process to determine if an agency meets the defined standards of quality determined by the accrediting body. (Chapter 9.2)

Actual problems: Nursing problems currently occurring with the patient. (Chapter 2.3)

Acuity: The level of patient care that is required based on the severity of a patient’s illness or condition. (Chapter 2.3)

Acuity-based staffing: A patient assignment model that takes into account the level of patient care required based on the severity of a patient’s illness or condition. (Chapter 8.5)

Acuity-rating staffing models: A staffing model used to make patient assignments that reflects the individualized nursing care required for different types of patients. (Chapter 2.3)

Acute conditions: Conditions having a sudden onset. (Chapter 2.3)

Administrative law: Law made by government agencies that have been granted the authority to pass rules and regulations. For example, each state’s Board of Nursing is an example of administrative law. (Chapter 5.2)

Admission: Refers to an initial visit or contact with a client. (Chapter 7.8)

Advanced directives: Written instruction, such as a living will or durable power of attorney for health care, recognized under state law, relating to the provision of health care when the individual is incapacitated. (Chapter 5.6)

Advocacy: The act or process of pleading for, supporting, or recommending a cause or course of action. Advocacy may be for persons (whether an individual, group, population, or society) or for an issue, such as potable water or global health. (Chapter 6.2, Chapter 10.2)

Affordable Care Act (ACA): Legislation enacted in 2010 to increase consumers’ access to health care coverage and protect them from insurance practices that restrict care or significantly increase the cost of care. (Chapter 8.2)

ANA’s Standards of Practice:
Standards describing a competent level of nursing practice as demonstrated by the critical thinking model known as the nursing process. The nursing process includes the components of assessment, diagnosis, outcomes identification, planning, implementation, and evaluation. (Chapter 1.1)

ANA’s Standards of Professional Performance: Standards describing a competent level of behavior in the professional nursing role, including activities related to ethics, advocacy, respectful and equitable practice, communication, collaboration, leadership, education, scholarly inquiry, quality of practice, professional practice evaluation, resource stewardship, and environmental health. (Chapter 1.1, Chapter 9.2)

Assault: Intentionally putting another person in reasonable apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact. (Chapter 5.2)

Assignment: Routine care, activities, and procedures that are within the authorized scope of practice of the RN, LPN/VN, or routine functions of the assistive personnel. (Chapter 3.3)

Assistive personnel (AP): Any assistive personnel (formerly referred to as ‘‘unlicensed” assistive personnel [UAP]) trained to function in a supportive role, regardless of title, to whom a nursing responsibility may be delegated. This includes, but is not limited to, certified nursing assistants or aides (CNAs), patient-care technicians (PCTs), certified medical assistants (CMAs), certified medication aides, and home health aides. (Chapter 3.1)

Autonomy: The capacity to determine one’s own actions through independent choice, including demonstration of competence. (Chapter 6.2)



Battery: Intentional causation of harmful or offensive contact with another’s person without that person’s consent. (Chapter 5.2)

Beneficence: The bioethical principle of benefiting others by preventing harm, removing harmful conditions, or affirmatively acting to benefit another or others, often going beyond what is required by law. (Chapter 6.2)

Benner’s Novice to Expert Theory: A theory by Dr. Patricia Benner that explains how new hires develop skills and a holistic understanding of patient care over time, resulting from a combination of a strong educational foundation and thorough clinical experiences. Benner’s theory identifies five levels of nursing experience: novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient, and expert. (Chapter 11.5)

Board of Nursing: The state-specific licensing and regulatory body that sets standards for safe nursing care and issues nursing licenses to qualified candidates, based on the Nurse Practice Act. (Chapter 1.1)

Brief: A short session to share a plan, discuss team formation, assign roles and responsibilities, establish expectations and climate, and anticipate outcomes and contingencies. (Chapter 7.6)

Budget: An estimate of revenue and expenses over a specified period of time, usually over a year. (Chapter 8.5)

Burnout: A condition manifested physically and psychologically with a loss of motivation. (Chapter 12.6)


Capacity: A functional determination that an individual is or is not capable of making a medical decision within a given situation. (Chapter 5.6)

Capital budgets: Budgets used to plan investments and upgrades to tangible assets that lose or gain value over time. Capital is something that can be touched, such as buildings or computers. (Chapter 8.5)

Change: The process of altering or replacing existing knowledge, skills, attitudes, systems, policies, or procedures. (Chapter 4.3)

Change agent: Anyone who has the skill and power to stimulate, facilitate, and coordinate the change effort. (Chapter 4.3)

Chronic conditions: Conditions that have a slow onset and may gradually worsen over time. (Chapter 2.3)

Civil law: Law focusing on the rights, responsibilities, and legal relationships between private citizens. (Chapter 5.2)

Clinical reasoning: “A complex cognitive process that uses formal and informal thinking strategies to gather and analyze patient information, evaluate the significance of this information, and weigh alternative actions.” (Chapter 2.4)

Closed-loop communication: A communication strategy used to ensure that information conveyed by the sender is heard by the receiver and completed. (Chapter 3.2, Chapter 7.5)

Code of ethics: A set of ethical principles established by a profession that is designed to govern decision-making and assist individuals to distinguish right from wrong. (Chapter 6.2)

Collective bargaining: Negotiation of wages and other conditions of employment by an organized body of employees. (Chapter 10.4)

Commission: Doing something a reasonable nurse would not have done. (Chapter 5.2)

Compassion fatigue: A state of chronic and continuous self-sacrifice and/or prolonged exposure to difficult situations that affect a health care professional’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. (Chapter 12.6)

Competence: In a legal sense, the ability of an individual to participate in legal proceedings. A judge decides if an individual is “competent” or “incompetent.” (Chapter 5.6)

Confidentiality: The right of an individual to have personal, identifiable medical information kept private. (Chapter 5.2)

Consequentialism: An ethical theory used to determine whether or not an action is right by the consequences of the action. For example, most people agree that lying is wrong, but if telling a lie would help save a person’s life, consequentialism says it’s the right thing to do. (Chapter 6.2)

Constitutional law: The rights, privileges, and responsibilities established by the U.S. Constitution. For example, the right to privacy is a right established by the constitution. (Chapter 5.2)

Constructive feedback: Supportive feedback that offers solutions to areas of weakness. (Chapter 3.5)

Continuity of care: The use of information on past events and personal circumstances to make current care appropriate for each individual. (Chapter 7.8)

Contracts: Binding written, verbal, or implied agreements. (Chapter 5.2)

Co-pay: A flat fee the consumer pays at the time of receiving a health care service as a part of their health care plan. (Chapter 8.3)

Core measures: National standards of care and treatment processes for common conditions. These processes are proven to reduce complications and lead to better patient outcomes. (Chapter 9.2)

Crime: A type of behavior defined by Congress or state legislature as deserving of punishment. (Chapter 5.2)

Criminal law: A system of laws concerned with punishment of individuals who commit crimes. (Chapter 5.2)

Critical thinking: A broad term used in nursing that includes “reasoning about clinical issues such as teamwork, collaboration, and streamlining workflow.” (Chapter 2.4)

Cultural diversity: A term used to describe cultural differences among clients, family members, and health care team members. (Chapter 7.3)

Cultural humility: A humble and respectful attitude toward individuals of other cultures that pushes one to challenge their own cultural biases, realize they cannot possibly know everything about other cultures, and approach learning about other cultures as a lifelong goal and process. (Chapter 6.2, Chapter 7.3)

Culture of safety: Organizational culture that embraces error reporting by employees with the goal of identifying systemic causes of problems that can be addressed to improve patient safety. Just Culture is a component of a culture of safety. (Chapter 4.2)

CURE hierarchy: A strategy for prioritization based on identifying “critical” needs, “urgent” needs, “routine” needs, and “extras.” (Chapter 2.3)

CUS statements: Assertive statements that are well-recognized by all staff across a health care agency as implementation of the two-challenge rule. These assertive statements are “I am Concerned – I am Uncomfortable – This is a Safety issue!” (Chapter 7.6) 


Data cues: Pieces of significant clinical information that direct the nurse toward a potential clinical concern or a change in condition. (Chapter 2.3)

Debrief: An informal information exchange session designed to improve team performance and effectiveness through reinforcement of positive behaviors and reflecting on lessons learned after a significant event occurs. (Chapter 7.6)

Deductible: The amount of money a consumer pays for health care before their insurance plan pays anything. These amounts generally apply per person per calendar year. (Chapter 8.3)

Defamation of character: An act of making negative, malicious, and false remarks about another person to damage their reputation. Slander is spoken defamation and libel is written defamation. (Chapter 5.2)

Defendants: The parties named in a lawsuit. (Chapter 5.2)

Delegatee: An RN, LPN/VN, or AP who is delegated a nursing responsibility by either an APRN, RN, or LPN/VN who is competent to perform the task and verbally accepts the responsibility. (Chapter 3.4)

Delegation: Allowing a delegatee to perform a specific nursing activity, skill, or procedure that is beyond the delegatee’s traditional role but in which they have received additional training. (Chapter 3.4)

Delegator: An APRN, RN, or LPN/VN who requests a specially trained delegatee to perform a specific nursing activity, skill, or procedure that is beyond the delegatee’s traditional role. (Chapter 3.4)

Deontology: An ethical theory based on rules that distinguish right from wrong. (Chapter 6.2)

DESC: A tool used to help resolve conflict. DESC is a mnemonic that stands for Describe the specific situation or behavior and provide concrete data, Express how the situation makes you feel/what your concerns are using “I” messages, Suggest other alternatives and seek agreement, and Consequences are stated in terms of impact on established team goals while striving for consensus. (Chapter 7.6)

Discharge: The completion of care and services in a health care facility and the client is sent home (or to another health care facility). (Chapter 7.8)

Duty of reasonable care: Legal obligations nurses have to their patients to adhere to current standards of practice. (Chapter 5.2)


Economics: The study of how society makes decisions about its limited resources. (Chapter 8.1)

Ethical dilemma: Conflict resulting from competing values that requires a decision to be made from equally desirable or undesirable options. (Chapter 6.3)

Ethical principles: Principles used to define nurses’ moral duties and aid in ethical analysis and decision-making. Foundational ethical principles include autonomy (self-determination), beneficence (do good), nonmaleficence (do no harm), justice (fairness), and veracity (tell the truth). (Chapter 6.2)

Ethics: A system of moral principles that a society uses to identify right from wrong. (Chapter 6.2)

Ethics committee: A formal committee established by a health care organization to problem-solve ethical dilemmas. (Chapter 6.4)

Evidence Based Practice (EBP): A lifelong problem-solving approach that integrates the best evidence from well-designed research studies and evidence-based theories; clinical expertise and evidence from assessment of the health care consumer’s history and condition, as well as health care resources; and patient, family, group, community, and population preferences and values. (Chapter 8.4, Chapter 9.4, Chapter 10.7)

Expected conditions: Conditions that are likely to occur or anticipated in the course of an illness, disease, or injury. (Chapter 2.3)


False imprisonment: An act of restraining another person causing that person to be confined in a bounded area. Restraints can be physical, verbal, or chemical. (Chapter 5.2)

Feedback: Information is provided to a team member for the purpose of improving team performance. Feedback should be timely, respectful, specific, directed towards improvement, and considerate. (Chapter 7.6)

Felonies: Serious crimes that cause the perpetrator to be imprisoned for greater than one year. (Chapter 5.2)

Fidelity: An ethical principle meaning keeping promises. (Chapter 6.2)

Five rights of delegation: Right task, right circumstance, right person, right directions and communication, and right supervision and evaluation. (Chapter 3.4)

Floating: An agency strategy that asks nurses to temporarily work on a different unit to help cover a short-staffed shift. (Chapter 8.5)

Followership: The upward influence of individuals on their leaders and their teams. (Chapter 4.2)

Fraud: An act of deceiving an individual for personal gain. (Chapter 5.2)


Good Samaritan Law: State law providing protections against negligence claims to individuals who render aid to people experiencing medical emergencies outside of clinical environments. (Chapter 5.2)

Grievance process: A process for resolving disagreements between employees and management. (Chapter 10.4)


Handoff reports: A transfer and acceptance of patient care responsibility achieved through effective communication. It is a real-time process of passing patient specific information from one caregiver to another, or from one team of caregivers to another, for the purpose of ensuring the continuity and safety of the patient’s care. (Chapter 7.5)

Harmful stress: Stress (also referred to as “distress”) not adequately self-managed resulting in physical, mental, and behavioral consequences. (Chapter 12.3)

Huddle: A brief meeting during a shift to reestablish situational awareness, reinforce plans already in place, and adjust the teamwork plan as needed. (Chapter 7.6)


I’M SAFE: A tool used to assess one’s own safety status, as well as that of other team members in their ability to provide safe patient care. It is a mnemonic standing for personal safety risks as a result of Illness, Medication, Stress, Alcohol and Drugs, Fatigue, and Eating and Elimination. (Chapter 7.6)

Informatics: Using information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision-making. This allows members of the health care team to share, store, and analyze health-related information. (Chapter 9.3, Chapter 10.7)

Informed consent: The fundamental right of a client to accept or reject health care. (Chapter 5.6)

Infractions: Minor offenses, such as speeding tickets, that result in fines but not jail time. (Chapter 5.2)

Institutional Review Board (IRB): A group that has been formally designated to review and monitor biomedical research involving human subjects. (Chapter 6.4)

Intentional tort: An act of commission with the intent of harming or causing damage to another person. Examples of intentional torts include assault, battery, false imprisonment, slander, libel, and breach of privacy or client confidentiality. (Chapter 5.2)

Interdisciplinary care conferences: Meetings where interprofessional team members professionally collaborate, share their expertise, and plan collaborative interventions to meet client needs. (Chapter 7.8)

Interprofessional collaborative practice: Multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds working together with patients, families, caregivers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care. (Chapter 7.1)

I-PASS: A mnemonic used as a structured communication tool among interprofessional team members. I-PASS stands for Illness severity, Patient summary, Action list, Situation awareness, and Synthesis by the receiver. (Chapter 7.5)

ISBARR: A mnemonic for the components to include when communicating with another health care team member: Introduction, Situation, Background, Assessment, Request/Recommendations, and Repeat back. (Chapter 7.5, Chapter 10.7) 


Just Culture: A culture where people feel safe raising questions and concerns and report safety events in an environment that emphasizes a nonpunitive response to errors and near misses. Clear lines are drawn between human error, at-risk, and reckless employee behaviors. (Chapter 4.2)

Justice: A moral obligation to act on the basis of equality and equity and a standard linked to fairness for all in society. (Chapter 6.2)


Laws: Rules and regulations created by society and enforced by courts, statutes, and/or professional licensure boards. (Chapter 5.2)

Leadership: The art of establishing direction and influencing and motivating others to achieve their maximum potential to accomplish tasks, objectives, or projects. (Chapter 4.2)

Libel: Written defamation. (Chapter 5.2)

Licensure: The process by which a State Board of Nursing (SBON) grants permission to an individual to engage in nursing practice after verifying the applicant has attained the competency necessary to perform the scope of practice of a registered nurse (RN). The SBON verifies three components:

  • Verification of graduation from an approved prelicensure RN nursing education program
  • Verification of successful completion of NCLEX-RN examination
  • A criminal background check (in some states) (Chapter 11.3)

Living will: A type of advance directive in which an individual identifies what treatments they would like to receive or refuse if they become incapacitated and unable to make decisions.


Magnet® Recognition Program: An organizational credential that recognizes quality patient outcomes, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice. (Chapter 10.4)

Malpractice: A specific term used for negligence committed by a professional with a license. (Chapter 5.2)

Management: Roles that focus on tasks such as planning, organizing, prioritizing, budgeting, staffing, coordinating, and reporting. (Chapter 4.2)

Mandatory overtime: A requirement by agencies for nurses to stay and care for patients beyond their scheduled shift when short staffing occurs. (Chapter 8.5)

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Prioritization strategies often reflect the foundational elements of physiological needs and safety and progress toward higher levels. (Chapter 2.3)

Medicaid: A joint federal and state program covering groups of eligible individuals, such as low-income families, qualified pregnant women and children, and individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). States may choose to cover additional groups, such as individuals receiving home and community-based services and children in foster care who are not otherwise eligible. (Chapter 8.3)

Medicare: A federal health insurance program used by people aged 65 and older, younger individuals with permanent disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. (Chapter 8.3)

Meta-analysis: A type of nursing research (also referred to as a “systematic review”) that compares the results of independent research studies asking similar research questions. This research often collects both quantitative and qualitative data to provide a well-rounded evaluation by providing both objective and subjective outcomes. (Chapter 9.4)

Mindfulness: Awareness that arises through paying attention, being on purpose and in the present moment, and being nonjudgmental. (Chapter 12.6)

Misdemeanors: Less serious crimes resulting in fines and/or imprisonment for less than one year. (Chapter 5.2)

Mission statement: An organization’s statement that describes how the organization will fulfill its vision and establishes a common course of action for future endeavors. (Chapter 4.2)

Moral conflict: Feelings occurring when an individual is uncertain about what values or principles should be applied to an ethical issue. (Chapter 6.3)

Moral courage: The willingness of an individual to speak out and do what is right in the face of forces that would lead us to act in some other way. (Chapter 6.3)

Moral distress: Feelings occurring when correct ethical action is identified but the individual feels constrained by competing values of an organization or other individuals. (Chapter 6.3)

Moral injury: The distressing psychological, behavioral, social, and sometimes spiritual aftermath of exposure to events that contradict deeply held moral beliefs and expectations. (Chapter 6.3)

Morality: Personal values, character, or conduct of individuals or groups within communities and societies. (Chapter 6.2)

Moral outrage: Feelings occurring when an individual witnesses immoral acts or practices they feel powerless to change. (Chapter 6.3)

Morals: The prevailing standards of behavior of a society that enable people to live cooperatively in groups. (Chapter 6.2)

Mutual support: The ability to anticipate and support team members’ needs through accurate knowledge about their responsibilities and workload. (Chapter 7.6)


NCLEX-RN: The exam that nursing graduates must pass successfully to obtain their nursing license and become a registered nurse. (Chapter 11.2)

NCLEX-RN Test Plan: A concise summary of the content and scope of the NCLEX that serves as an excellent guide for preparing for the exam. These plans are updated every three years based on surveys of newly licensed registered nurses to ensure the NCLEX questions reflect fair, comprehensive, current, and entry-level nursing competency. (Chapter 11.2)

Negligence: The failure to exercise the ordinary care a reasonable person would use in similar circumstances. Wisconsin civil jury instruction states, “A person is not using ordinary care and is negligent, if the person, without intending to do harm, does something (or fails to do something) that a reasonable person would recognize as creating an unreasonable risk of injury or damage to a person or property.” (Chapter 5.2)

Nonmaleficence: The bioethical principle that specifies a duty to do no harm and balances avoidable harm with benefits of good achieved. (Chapter 6.2)

Normal stress:  Stress (also referred to as “eustress”) that does not have lasting consequences and is successfully managed by the individual who is experiencing it. (Chapter 12.3)

Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC): State legislation that allows nurses to practice in other NLC states with their original state’s nursing license without having to obtain additional licenses, contingent upon remaining a resident of that state. (Chapter 11.3)

Nurse Practice Act:
Law enacted by a state’s legislature that defines the scope of nursing practice and establishes regulations for nursing practice within that state. (Chapter 1.1)

Nurse residency programs: A transition process that provides additional professional development for newly licensed nurses. These programs vary from institution to institution, but many start around the time the new graduate ends their orientation with a preceptor and continue to provide routine support throughout the year. (Chapter 11.5)

Integrates the art and science of caring and focuses on the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and human functioning; prevention of illness and injury; facilitation of healing; and alleviation of suffering through compassionate presence. Nursing is the diagnosis and treatment of human responses and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations in recognition of the connection of all humanity.” (Chapter 1.1)

Nursing informatics: The science and practice integrating nursing, its information and knowledge, with information and communication technologies to promote the health of people, families, and communities worldwide. (Chapter 9.3)

Nursing process: Includes the components of assessment, diagnosis, outcomes identification, planning, implementation, and evaluation. (Chapter 1.1)

Nursing research: The systematic inquiry designed to develop knowledge about issues of importance to the nursing profession. The purpose of nursing research is to advance nursing practice through the discovery of new information. It is also used to provide scholarly evidence regarding improved patient outcomes resulting from nursing interventions. (Chapter 9.4)

Nursing team members: Advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), registered nurses (RN), licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VN), and assistive personnel (AP). (Chapter 3.1)


Off with benefits: An agency staffing strategy when a nurse is not needed for their scheduled shift. The nurse does not typically receive an hourly wage and is not expected to report to work, but they still accrue benefits such as insurance and paid time off. (Chapter 8.5)

Omission: Not doing something a reasonable nurse would have done. (Chapter 5.2)

On call: An agency staffing strategy when a nurse is not immediately needed for their scheduled shift. They may have options to stay at work and complete work-related education or stay home. (Chapter 8.5)

Operating budgets: Budgets including personnel costs and annual facility operating costs. (Chapter 8.5)

Organizational culture: The implicit values and beliefs that reflect the norms and traditions of an organization. An organization’s vision, mission, and values statements are the foundation of organizational culture. (Chapter 4.2)

Orientation: A structured transition process when hired into a new position that may last from one to four months but can be longer depending on the specialty (e.g., Intensive Care or Labor and Delivery). Orientation is based on the new nurse’s demonstration and completion of competencies. During this time the novice RN will work with a preceptor to experience all the aspects of the role. (Chapter 11.5)


Paternalism: The interference by the state or an individual with another person, defended by the claim that the person interfered with will be better off or protected from harm. (Chapter 6.2)

Patient-centered care:
 The patient is the source of control and full partner in providing compassionate and coordinated care based on respect for patient’s preferences, values, and needs. (Chapter 10.7)

Patient safety goals: Guidelines specific to organizations accredited by The Joint Commission that focus on problems in health care safety and ways to solve them. (Chapter 9.2)

Pay for Performance: A reimbursement model, also known as value-based payment, that attaches financial incentives based on the performance of health care agencies and providers. (Chapter 8.4)

Peer-reviewed: Scholarly journal articles that have been reviewed independently by at least two other academic experts in the same field as the author(s) to ensure accuracy and quality. (Chapter 9.4)

Plaintiff: The person bringing the lawsuit. (Chapter 5.2)

Policy: An expected course of action set by an agency. (Chapter 1.1)

Portfolio: A compilation of materials showcasing examples of previous work demonstrating one’s skills, qualifications, education, training, and experience. (Chapter 11.4)

Preceptors: Experienced and competent RNs who serve as a role model and a resource to a newly hired nurse. These nurses have the knowledge, skills, and the ability to coach the new RN into the nursing role and answer questions while also evaluating a new hire’s performance and providing feedback for improvement. (Chapter 11.5)

Primary source: An original study or report of an experiment or clinical problem. The evidence is typically written and published by the individual(s) conducting the research and includes a literature review, description of the research design, statistical analysis of the data, and discussion regarding the implications of the results. (Chapter 9.4)

Private law: Laws that govern the relationships between private entities. (Chapter 5.2)

Procedure: An official way of completing a task. (Chapter 1.1)

Protected Health Information (PHI): Individually identifiable health information and includes demographic data related to the individual’s past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition; the provision of health care to the individual; and the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual. (Chapter 5.2)

Protocol: A detailed, written plan for performing a regimen of therapy. (Chapter 1.1)

Public law: Law regulating relations of individuals with the government or institutions. (Chapter 5.2) 


Qualitative research: A type of study that provides subjective data, often focusing on the perception or experience of the participants. Data is collected through observations and open-ended questions and often referred to as experimental data. Data is interpreted by developing themes in participants’ views and observations. (Chapter 9.4)

Quality: The degree to which nursing services for health care consumers, families, groups, communities, and populations increase the likelihood of desirable outcomes and are consistent with evolving nursing knowledge. (Chapter 9.2)

Quality Improvement (QI): A systematic process using measurable data to improve health care services and the overall health status of patients. The QI process includes the steps of Plan, Do, Study, and Act. (Chapter 9.3, Chapter 10.7)

Quantitative research: A type of study that provides objective data by using number values to explain outcomes. Researchers can use statistical analysis to determine strength of the findings, as well as identify correlations. (Chapter 9.4)


Ratio-based staffing models: A staffing model used to make patient assignments in terms of one nurse caring for a set number of patients. (Chapter 2.3)

Resiliency training: Educational sessions that foster feelings of mindfulness and sensitivity to self and cultivate professional development techniques that contribute to long-term engagement in the profession. (Chapter 12.7)

Resource stewardship: Using appropriate resources to plan, provide, and sustain evidence-based nursing services that are safe, effective, financially responsible, and used judiciously. (Chapter 8.6)

Resume: A document that highlights one’s background, education, skills, and accomplishments to potential employers. (Chapter 11.4)

Risk problem: A nursing problem that reflects that a patient may experience a problem but does not currently have signs reflecting the problem is actively occurring. (Chapter 2.3)


Scope of practice: Procedures, actions, and processes that a health care practitioner is permitted to undertake in keeping with the terms of their professional license. (Chapter 3.3)

Secondary source: Evidence is written by an author who gathers existing data provided from research completed by another individual. This type of source analyzes and reports on findings from other research projects and may interpret findings or draw conclusions. In nursing research these sources are typically published as a systematic review and meta-analysis. (Chapter 9.4)

Self-care: Actions that individuals take to maintain health of oneself. (Chapter 12.6)

Shared governance: A shared leadership model between management and employees working together to achieve common goals. (Chapter 10.4)

Shared mental model: The actions of a team leader that ensure all team members have situation awareness and are “on the same page” as situations evolve on the unit. (Chapter 7.6)

Situation awareness: The awareness of a team member knowing what is going on around them. (Chapter 7.6)

Situation monitoring: The process of continually scanning and assessing the situation to gain and maintain an understanding of what is going on around you. (Chapter 7.6)

Slander: Spoken defamation. (Chapter 5.2)

Social Determinants of Health (SDOH): Conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play, such as unstable housing, low-income areas, unsafe neighborhoods, or substandard education that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. (Chapter 8.2, Chapter 8.4, Chapter 10.4)

Standards of Professional Nursing Practice: Authoritative statements of the actions and behaviors that all registered nurses, regardless of role, population, specialty, and setting, are expected to perform competently. (Chapter 1.1)

Statutory law: Written laws enacted by the federal or state legislature. For example, the Nurse Practice Act in each state is an example of statutory law that is enacted by the state government. (Chapter 5.2)

STEP tool: A situation monitoring tool used to know what is going on with you, your patients, your team, and your environment. STEP stands for Status of the patients, Team members, Environment, and Progress Toward Goal. (Chapter 7.6)

Supervision: Appropriate monitoring of the delegated activity, evaluation of patient outcomes, and follow-up with the delegatee at the completion of the activity. (Chapter 3.4)

Systems leadership: A set of skills used to catalyze, enable, and support the process of systems-level change that focuses on the individual, the community, and the system. (Chapter 4.2)

Systems theory: The concept that systems do not function in isolation but rather there is an interdependence that exists between their parts. Systems theory assumes that most individuals strive to do good work, but are affected by diverse influences within the system. (Chapter 4.2)


Team nursing: A common staffing pattern that uses a combination of Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LPN/VNs), and Assistive Personnel (AP) to care for a group of patients. (Chapter 8.5)

TeamSTEPPS® (Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety): An evidence-based framework to improve client safety through effective communication in health care environments consisting of four core competencies: communication, leadership, situation monitoring, and mutual support. (Chapter 7.6, Chapter 10.7)

Teamwork and collaboration: Functioning effectively within nursing and interprofessional teams, fostering open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making to achieve quality patient care. (Chapter 10.7)

Temporary permit: A permit issued by the State Board of Nursing (SBON) that allows the applicant to practice practical nursing under the direct supervision of a registered nurse until their RN license is granted. (Chapter 11.3)

Time estimation: A prioritization strategy including the review of planned tasks and allocation of time believed to be required to complete each task. (Chapter 2.5)

Time scarcity: A feeling of racing against a clock that is continually working against you. (Chapter 2.2)

Titrate: Making adjustments to medication dosage per an established protocol to obtain a desired therapeutic outcome. (Chapter 3.3)

Tort: An act of commission or omission that causes injury or harm to another person for which the courts impose liability. In the context of torts, “injury” describes the invasion of any legal right, whereas “harm” describes a loss or detriment the individual suffers. Torts are classified as intentional or unintentional. (Chapter 5.2)

Two-challenge rule: A strategy for advocating for patient safety that includes a team member assertively voicing their concern at least two times to ensure that it has been heard by the decision-maker. (Chapter 7.6) 


Unexpected conditions: Conditions that are not likely to occur in the normal progression of an illness, disease, or injury. (Chapter 2.3)

Unintentional tort: Acts of omission (not doing something a person has a responsibility to do) or inadvertently doing something causing unintended accidents leading to injury, property damage, or financial loss. Examples of unintentional torts impacting nurses include negligence and malpractice. (Chapter 5.2)

Utilitarianism: A type of consequentialism that determines whether or not actions are right based on their consequences, with the standard being achieving the greatest good for the greatest number of people. (Chapter 6.2)

Utilization review: An investigation by insurance agencies and other health care funders on services performed by doctors, nurses, and other health care team members to ensure money is not wasted covering things that are unnecessary for proper treatment or are inefficient. This review also allows organizations to objectively measure how effectively health care services and resources are being used to best meet their patients’ needs. (Chapter 9.3)


Values: Individual beliefs that motivate people to act one way or another and serve as a guide for behavior. (Chapter 6.2)

Values statement: The organization’s established values that support its vision and mission and provide strategic guidelines for decision-making, both internally and externally, by members of the organization. (Chapter 4.2)

Veracity: An ethical principle meaning telling the truth. (Chapter 6.2)

Vision statement: An organization’s statement that defines why the organization exists, describes how the organization is unique and different from similar organizations, and specifies what the organization is striving to be.  (Chapter 4.2)


Whistleblower: A person who exposes any kind of information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within an organization. (Chapter 10.5)


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Nursing Management and Professional Concepts Copyright © by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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