Skip to Main Content

Nursing 379: Nursing and Societal Forces

Resources and guidelines for students in Nursing 379 at the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing.

Clinical Guidelines for Healthcare Practitioners

The Institute of Medicine defines clinical practice guidelines as "statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care . . . informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options."  Usually written by professional organizations or societies, clinical guidelines bring together expert consensus and evidence about the latest standards of care for specific patients and situations, in an easy-to-use format to improve decision-making and healthcare outcomes. 

The following organizations publish or compile guidelines to aid in healthcare decision-making:

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)  A division of the US Dept of Health and Human Services, the mission of the AHRQ is to produce and make accessible evidence that will help improve the safety and quality of healthcare.
  • Guidelines and Measures  In July of 2018 the National Guideline Clearinghouse, a large repository of clinical practice guidelines made freely available online, closed permanently due to elimination of government funding.  The AHRQ's Guidelines and Measures site provides more information about the status of the NGC content in the face of this closure.

Information for Patients & Consumers

Some agencies provide medical information that is intended not for healthcare practitioners but rather for patients and consumers. 

The websites below provide plain-language guidelines or wellness best practices for patients and their friends and families.

  • Medline Plus  From the National Institutes of Health.  Users can search treatments, look up information on a drug or supplement, find out the meanings of words, or view medical videos. Available in English or Spanish. 
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Health Information  A website of the National Institutes of Health for the general public. 
  • Patients and Consumers  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) web page for healthcare consumers.