University of Phoenix Successful Adoption of AHRQ Quality Indicators Toolkit Strengthens Nursing Coursework

PHOENIX--()--University of Phoenix graduate nursing program uses the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ's) Quality Indicators (QI) Toolkit as a learning tool to help students better understand the quality improvement process and improve development of projects that enhance patient care. This is featured in an AHRQ impact case study.

The AHRQ QI Toolkit helps hospitals use AHRQ's Quality Indicators, which are standardized, evidence-based measures of health care quality. Hospitals can use these indicators to measure and track clinical performance and patient outcomes. The toolkit also provides general guidance on how to use quality improvement methods to develop a project in a hospital setting. Nursing students are using those methods for their practicum project.

“Using the AHRQ Quality Indicators Toolkit improves Master of Science in Nursing students' knowledge of the project development process, which will be helpful to them after they graduate and move into advanced nursing roles in both administration and education,” said Pamela S. Card, D.N.P., an instructor at the university.

University of Phoenix advanced studies programs in nursing, including the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), support working nurses who wish to advance their career using a flexible learning schedule and curriculum grounded in evidence-based practice. “The toolkit provides project development tools that assist the students with distinct parts of their quality improvement project, starting with the Stakeholder Analysis and Gap Analysis and moving into the Implementation Plan and Implementation Plan Measurement,” Dr. Card said.

Ryan Mills, an instructional designer at the university working with faculty to improve curriculum and student skill-building, said, "I discovered the AHRQ Quality Indicators Toolkit and immediately realized the value it would provide. It offers a means for students to work through each component of the project development process and see how each component relates to the whole process."

Since incorporating the AHRQ QI Toolkit into its MSN curriculum in early 2019, faculty report that student projects on topics such as falls prevention, cardiac care self-management, and urinary infection reduction have greatly improved. “The Quality Indicators' project development tools have helped students to break down and address specific aspects of their project, allowing them to go into greater detail,” said Dr. Card.

University of Phoenix online nursing degree programs are designed for the working adult student and are grounded in the theory and practice of contemporary nursing, including evidence-based practice; quality and patient safety; and leadership. Students can also expect an up-to-date curriculum, with experienced faculty and advisors.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life™ help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit

About the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

AHRQ, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is the lead Federal agency charged with improving the safety and quality of America’s health care system. AHRQ develops the knowledge, tools, and data needed to improve the health care system and help Americans, health care professionals and policymakers make informed health decisions. For more information, visit


Sharla Hooper
University of Phoenix

Release Summary

University of Phoenix graduate nursing program uses the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s QI Toolkit as a learning tool.


Sharla Hooper
University of Phoenix