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Department: Editorial

Change agents wanted

Editor(s): Davis, Charlotte BSN, RN, CCRN

Author Information
doi: 10.1097/01.NME.0000508543.58154.dd
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Change is a fact of life for nurses. From technology that helps improve our processes and the efficiency of healthcare delivery to evidence-based practice (EBP) research that's shaping the efficacy of our care, we must be receptive to changes. You can begin your journey of becoming an active participant in transformation by first assessing the EBP research that supports a new initiative.

Consider the positive aspects of the change by asking the following questions to validate the goals and benefits of implementing it. Will the change improve the clinical outcomes of your patient population? Will it allow you to track these outcomes? Will it help you more accurately identify areas for improvement? Will it increase the safety of care delivery? Will it make care delivery more efficient? Will it resolve process barriers?

After you've confirmed the benefits, you can become a champion for the project or a positive change agent within your clinical work area. A positive change agent is a coach who utilizes behaviors such as role modeling, guidance, and facilitation to inspire peers and nurse leaders to adopt change. Positive change agents can provide a forum for influencing and supporting others toward successful program implementation in healthcare organizations.

When carrying out a change on your unit, consider a shared governance approach. Shared governance takes nursing quality improvement proposals from the bedside to the boardroom, creating a forum for nurses to select changes that can boost patient outcomes, decrease healthcare disparities, and advance care delivery. Shared governance also promotes buy-in—the understanding of how the change will positively impact clinical practice and the commitment to its success.

By embracing change, we can continue to meet the unique, holistic needs of our patient populations. Remember, you can be the positive change agent who helps lead your peers to make an incredible difference in your patients' healthcare experience.

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