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Levels of Innovativeness Among Nurse Leaders in Acute Care Hospitals

Stilgenbauer, Deborah J., DNP, MA, RN, NEA-BC; Fitzpatrick, Joyce J., PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: March 2019 - Volume 49 - Issue 3 - p 150–155
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000729

OBJECTIVE The purposes of the study were to describe levels of innovativeness in nurse executives, clinical directors, and nurse managers in acute care settings in the United States and to compare innovativeness between the groups.

BACKGROUND Nurse leaders must navigate the complex ever-changing landscape of healthcare. New strategies are necessary for managing resources and improving patient outcomes.

METHODS A survey was posted in the American Organization of Nurse Executives newsletter using the Scales for Measurement of Innovativeness to measure innovativeness. The sample included 137 nurse leaders in executive and management positions in acute care settings.

RESULTS The largest percentage of nurse leaders across all leadership roles fell into the innovativeness category of early majority. Of the total sample, only 2 individuals were categorized as innovators, and only 15 as early adopters. Fifty-one individuals were early majority; 49 were in the late majority; and 20 individuals were at the lowest category of innovativeness, that of laggards. Both nurse executives and clinical directors had significantly higher levels of innovativeness compared with nurse managers. Graduate-level education and certification were not associated with higher levels of innovativeness.

CONCLUSIONS Understanding the levels and components of innovativeness may assist nurse leaders to affect change in themselves and their organizations.

Author Affiliations: Corporate Director of Finance (Dr Stilgenbauer), Nursing, Department of Finance, New York–Presbyterian Hospital, New York; Elizabeth Brooks Ford Professor of Nursing (Dr Fitzpatrick), Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Correspondence: Dr Fitzpatrick, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44122 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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