The role of nurses in healthcare innovation

The nursing profession is one of the most dynamic professions that has ever existed. Since time immemorial, nurses have been known to do more with less. In the spirit of making the most of available resources, nurses have been on the frontline of championing innovation in healthcare. These efforts range from impromptu solutions to the problems at hand to sophisticated technology. This article delves deeper into these efforts.

Nurses are perfectly positioned to promote innovation

Before looking into their role in innovation, it’s essential to start by looking at the strategic positioning of nurses within the healthcare system. Nurses represent the largest segment of healthcare workers, and they also have the most significant exposure to patients. This gives them a better chance to notice loopholes in the system. Who better to innovate solutions than the person who experiences system failures firsthand? Below are some of the ways in which nurses champion innovation.

Moving from disease-centric to patient-centered care

Healthcare is undergoing a true revolution led by nurses. Nurses are moving from disease-centric to patient-centered care. You might wonder why this would be considered an innovation. In truth, it is the biggest of them all. The nurses’ ability to put themselves in patients’ shoes translates to a better patient experience. This leads to better clinical outcomes, which is a significant indicator of success in the healthcare system. Healthcare is no longer a mystery. Nurses can engage closely with patients, empowering them to take charge of their experience.

Nursing meets entrepreneurship 

Nurses have always wanted to make a positive impact in healthcare. In the past, their efforts were mainly focused on administration and education. It is worth noting that education still plays a crucial role in the advancement of nursing practice. Nurses can check out options such as an MSN to DNP online program to further hone their skills and knowledge. Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, such as the one offered by the University of Indiana, provides nurses with skills in policy, advocacy, leadership and translational research.

In the present day, nurses are looking beyond administration and education. They are stepping into entrepreneurship. For instance, nurses are working as consultants, giving them the perfect opportunity to drive change.

One example of this is selling electronic medical records systems to hospitals. When nurses are involved in designing these solutions, they contribute to the user experience better than anyone else could. They can address gaps in the product, making it more efficient.

Bridging the administrative gap

As nurses have the greatest exposure to patients, they can champion innovation by acting as the bridge between patients and administrators. This ensures that administrators don’t end up making policies that cannot be implemented. Involving nurses in policymaking saves time and money, which can be used to solve other problems within healthcare.

Creating a safe space for nursing innovation

For nurses to continue their innovative efforts, the system must provide the opportunities. Healthcare organizations need to develop initial infrastructure to facilitate creative ideas. Examples include having a dedicated council for innovation or a forum where nurses can bring their ideas forward for discussion and refinement. Now is the time to propel change in the healthcare sector, as the challenges over the years continue to become increasingly complex.

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