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Nurses are Incredible Problem-Solvers


BY: American Nurses Association

It’s Time to Recognize Them as True Innovators.

Why aren’t nurses celebrated and appreciated as health care innovators today?

From Florence Nightingale inventing the first call system to so many breakthroughs in hospital practices and patient care created by nurses today, nurse problem-solving should be called what it is—true innovation.

We need to ignite, highlight, and cultivate nurse innovators so RNs continue to seek their rightful place at leadership tables and on boards of directors. With nurses on the front lines of patient care every day, it only makes sense to tap them for new ideas and emerging solutions.

BD™ is a global medical technology company that is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics, and the delivery of care. In a recent post on their blogsite, Kelly Larrabee Robke, MBA, MS, RN, argues that the rise of nursing innovation has the potential to find optimal solutions to issues that impact the care delivery continuum. This includes tools, technology, concepts, workflows, and training.

Robke cites a recent HIMSS Innovation in Nursing Practice panel, where nurse leaders shared their own experiences in innovation and collaboration. One panelist suggested educating the nursing community on nurses’ natural abilities as innovators and connecting them with others who have an interest in cultivating, developing, and promoting innovative ideas. Another pointed out that innovative ideas can emerge through necessity, problem-solving, brainstorming, or sheer creativity—all of which nurses demonstrate daily in their work. Mercy Health System’s Chief Nursing Optimization Officer Betty Jo Rocchio made an important connection between workarounds and approved organizational processes, sharing the examples of voice-activated charting in electronic medical records and the use of dictation software.

There are several ways to promote the rise of innovation in health care and nursing. Robke suggests a health care innovation center, which may be structured as its own department or part of a broader organization to support research or nursing operations. There are pathways for process improvements, with nurse-led teams working on specific issues. HIMSS panelists also suggested hackathons, shark tank events, and pitch sessions as opportunities for nurses to work with others, including physicians, pharmacists, and nutritionists.

Another nursing innovation pathway is the American Nurses Association’s ANA Innovation Awards. Sponsored by BD, the competition allows individual and nurse-led teams to apply for a monetary award to recognize and develop innovative ideas. Awards include $25,000 for a nurse and $50,000 for a nurse-led team award. Nominations are now open! Submit yours by January 15, 2020.

Read “How Creative Problem-Solving Tactics Become Nursing Innovations” by Kelly Larrabee Robke, MBA, MS, RN

ANA Innovation Awards. Now accepting applications. Apply today! Apply by January 1, 2020. Powered by BD.


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Disclaimer: The views, opinions, and/or information contained herein are for informational and/or entertainment purposes only. Although they are generally intended to align with our policies and positions, they may not necessarily reflect the American Nurses Association Enterprise’s official policies and/or position statements.