Nurses play an integral role in identifying challenges, as well as successes, in the delivery of optimal patient care. As frontline caregivers at the bedside, a nurse knows better than anyone about best-practice through trial and error.
There is an explosion right now in technology. Advanced patient needs require that nurses understand new developments in technology and push for change in areas that need improvement. Innovative ideas can develop in any area of nursing, including geriatrics, pediatrics, home health, public health, surgical, and rehab.
Any unit can require and initiate change. Maybe you have an idea for how to prevent hospital readmissions, a method for incorporating essential oils into practice, a better system to track meds for elderly patients, or big ideas on how to support your hospital’s nursing shortage.
What should a nurse do with an innovative idea?
First, evaluate your idea for clarity. Will your concept provide value to staff, nursing administration, or help improve patient care? Can you help solve a problem?
It’s essential to keep the concept simple so that it can easily be put into practice. An idea that doesn’t have the resources for action may not succeed or be sustainable over time.
Most importantly, it has to have buy-in from others. For example, let’s say your unit had an increase in urinary tract infections last month. You also recently learned about a new medical device that helps prevent UTI’s, and you think it should be added to your unit’s urinary catheter protocol. Start by organizing a meeting with everyone who can help make your idea a reality. Share your thoughts and identify what is and is not working. By giving your plan a voice, you are creating an opportunity for productive change.
Here are a few tips to help you present new ideas to your nursing unit:
Step 1: Gather your thoughts.
- Clearly understand and communicate your idea – what do you want to achieve?
- What resources can you use to support your ideas?
- Ask questions and listen closely to what your co-workers have to say about the issue.
Step 2: Prepare your presentation.
- How do you want to deliver your idea? (PowerPoint, a written report, or as a verbal presentation are all great, just make your point clear).
- Watch Ted Talks and other inspiring videos on how to present big ideas. This can offer an abundance of knowledge and a visual on how to be professional and persuasive).
- Consider an RN to BSN program that can help you analyze economic, demographic, and technological issues in nursing, as well as strengthen your scholarly writing and presentation skills.
Step 3: Get buy-in.
- Discuss your ideas with your unit director or educator.
- Seek supportive co-workers who are well versed in presenting ideas, and gather support
- Speak at your monthly unit staff meetings. This is a great time to gather additional support from your peers, charge nurses, and administrators.
Step 4: Take your idea to the next level.
- Write an article about your idea and submit it to a professional online nursing magazine.
- Attend conferences to network with others and present new ideas to a broader audience.
- Join a national nurse organization within your specialty and prepare a presentation for their yearly meeting.
You can be an agent for positive change in the nursing profession. Make a plan for your idea and see it through. Healthcare needs nurse leaders today more than ever. Now, what are you going to do with your idea today? Guest author Sam Boone is a content specialist for Aspen University. She is passionate about learning and producing valuable resources that empower others to enhance their lives through education. Aspen University offers CCNE accredited programs at every degree level. Aspen created affordable degrees and 0%-interest payment plans with transparent pricing so that nurses can focus on courses, not the fine print. Additional recommended reading:
- Here Is Why You Should Consider A Career In Nursing
- 35 Famous Nursing Quotes From Florence Nightingale (with photos!)
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