Just Culture in Nursing Education: Supporting Practice Readiness

Just Culture in Nursing Education: Supporting Practice Readiness

A just culture is one that balances system accountability with individual accountability when addressing errors. Healthcare organizations support a just culture by encouraging error reporting without fear of punishment and by conducting investigations to determine causes to improve quality and learn from mistakes. The same is not true of prelicensure nursing education where the response to errors is often punitive and threatens dismissal. This academic-practice gap threatens patient safety as students learn to conceal errors and near-misses, preventing processes from being modified to mitigate future errors and impeding the process of learning from mistakes. This presentation will explore just culture principles in nursing education and discuss evidence-based strategies to bridge the gap between academia and practice for this important issue.


Gerry Altmiller, EdD, APRN, ACNS-BC, ANEF, FAAN

Gerry Altmiller is a professor of nursing, a clinical nurse specialist consultant for Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has pioneered the integration of quality and safety competencies in nursing education since 2006 when she served as a faculty leader for one of the 15 pilot schools for the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) Collaboration. She is a national consultant for QSEN and director of the Quality and Safety Innovation Center at The College of New Jersey. She leads the QSEN Academic Task Force, creating opportunities for its 120 faculty members to network, share ideas, and conduct academic focused research. Dr. Altmiller received a Lindback Award for distinguished teaching in 2014. Her work on constructive feedback led to the development, testing, and dissemination of support tools for nurse educators and learning tools for students to view feedback as an opportunity. Dr. Altmiller was co-editor of a special QSEN issue of Nurse Educator and serves on the journal’s editorial board. Dr. Altmiller is currently a member of the AACN workgroups developing the toolkits to support adoption of the 2021 AACN Essentials. Her research focuses on clinical evaluation, quality and safety integration, creating a just culture in academia, and addressing communication challenges in education and practice environments.