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Nurses as Innovators

Bratton, Barbara MSN PNP-BC

Journal of Pediatric Surgical Nursing: April/June 2017 - Volume 6 - Issue 2 - p 28
doi: 10.1097/JPS.0000000000000136
Message From the President

Barbara Bratton, MSN PNP-BC University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Barbara Bratton, MSN, PNP-BC, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA. E-mail: apsnapreselect@apsna.org

First, I would like to thank Jan Dudley for her service to APSNA in her role as President. We are grateful for her keen insight and leadership. As I begin my own presidential term, I would like to revisit her most recent presidential message addressing disruptive innovation. This is a subject worthy of a closer look. Innovation is a topic gaining national attention in healthcare and particularly in the field of nursing. Although not new, it is an increasingly popular concept in healthcare literature (Joseph & Fowler, 2016; Joseph, Rhodes & Watson, 2016; Lachman, Glasgow & Donnelly, 2009). Programs focused on nursing leadership are now incorporating innovation into curriculum. As healthcare undergoes acute national scrutiny, the focus will remain on improved efficiency and lower costs, while maintaining quality. This will only be achieved by making changes in healthcare delivery. This will require new ways of delivering care. It is no surprise that nurses can play an important role in improving patient care. Nurses are natural innovators. Often faced with circumstances that require day-to-day problem solving, nurses are experts at creative solutions. These solutions, whether large or small, have value because they impact the lives of patients and families, improve clinical programs, and contribute to the profession.

How is innovation defined? According to Merriam-Webster, innovation is a new idea, device, or method. Clayton Christensen, a leader in the topic of innovation, defines this as doing something different that has impact with the unspoken goal of solving a problem (Christensen, 2002). The American Nurses Association describes innovation as a process of inventing something new or improving on something in existence (Blakeney, Carleton McCarthy, Coakley, 2009). In 2010, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute of Medicine created a partnership to build a foundation to help nursing rise to meet the needs of a healthcare system impacted by the then new Affordable Care Act. In this publication of 701 pages, the word “innovation” is used 109 times (IOM, 2009). Healthcare is being reformed, and identifying new ways of delivering care from within the nursing community is something we need to support.

The Journal of Pediatric Surgical Nursing is the result of an innovative idea of our own Kim McIltrot, APSNA's Editor in Chief. Her vision took our former publication Sutureline from an educational newsletter to a peer-reviewed journal. This is an outstanding example of successful innovation within our organization. However, having a good idea is not enough. Nurses need both the opportunity and confidence to promote creative new ideas to a wider audience. APSNA sees value in supporting and celebrating nursing innovation. To that end, APSNA unveiled a new award for innovation. This award is our way of nurturing, promoting, and rewarding the contribution nurses make to healthcare. Please consider nominating yourself or a colleague for an innovative idea that has been developed in your institution. We look forward to hearing from you.

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References

Blakeney B., Carleton P., McCarthy C., Coakley E., (May 1, 2009) Unlocking the Power of Innovation. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 14(2), Manuscript 1.
Christensen C. M. (2002). The innovator's dilemma: When new technologies cause great firms to fail. Watertown, MA: Harvard Business Press Review.
IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2011. The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Joseph M. L., & Fowler D. (2016). Innovating traditional nursing administration challenges. Journal of Nursing Administration, 46(3), 120–121.
Joseph M. L., Rhodes A., & Watson C. A. (2016). Preparing nurse leaders to innovate: Iowa's innovation seminar. Journal of Nursing Education, 55(2), 113–117.
Lachman V. D., Glasgow M. E., & Donnelly G. F. (2009). Teaching innovation. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 33(3), 205–211.
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