Registered Nurses Leading Innovative Changes

Timothy W. Thomas, BSN, RN; Patricia C. Seifert, MSN, RN, CNOR, FAAN; Jane Clare Joyner, JD, MSN, RN

Disclosures

Online J Issues Nurs. 2016;21(3) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

As innovators, all registered nurses (RNs) act as agents of change to drive processes and policy and leverage technology to prove better, more affordable care for individuals and the community. The authors consider examples of RNs leading innovative ideas and practices to create new knowledge; develop healthcare policies and practices; improve the quality of care; and advance health information technology. This article describes a number of key innovation goals identified by the American Nurses Association Professional Issues Panel, Barriers to RN Scope of Practice, discusses relevant literature related to overcoming barriers to innovation, and identifies recommendations for leading innovative change to achieve innovation goals.

Introduction

The American Nurses Association (ANA) Professional Issues Panel, Barriers to RN Scope of Practice (SOP Panel), was established to identify and clarify barriers to registered nurses (RNs) practicing to the full extent of their education, experience, and scope of practice (SOP) as determined by the relevant nurse practice act. The Panel's Steering Committee identified barriers that prevent RNs from working to the full extent of their education and training, and explored the basis and developed recommendations to address these barriers. Panel members organized the findings based on four key roles of RNs in the healthcare delivery system: RN as professional, RN as advocate, RN as innovator, and RN as collaborative leader.

Separate articles in this OJIN topic have addressed each role; this article explores the theme that as innovators, all registered nurses (RNs) act as agents of change in driving processes and policy and leveraging technology to advance the three aims of the National Quality Strategy (IHI, n.d.): "(1) better experiences with health care, (2) better population health, and (3) lower costs" (Mason et al, 2015, page 549). The authors consider examples of RNs leading innovative ideas and practices to create new knowledge, develop healthcare policies and practices, improve the quality of care, and advance health information technology. The article describes a number of key innovation goals identified by the American Nurses Association Professional Issues Panel, Barriers to RN Scope of Practice, discusses relevant literature related to overcoming barriers to innovation, and identifies recommendations for leading innovative change to achieve innovation goals.

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