The old adage, “we do it this way because it's the way we have always done it,” is not acceptable in nursing practice. Nurses have always innovated in their practice, which is evident as we consider the 5B documentary. Innovation is essential to nurses’ practice because they are constantly faced with challenges not otherwise observed in modern medical history. New or more effective ways to treat patient health is necessary due to the evolving knowledge we have about medicine. As new diseases are realized in the healthcare environment (as was HIV/AIDs in the 1980s and 1990s), nurses are faced with the need to be creative in how they approach treatment of their patients.
Nurses are advised to consider innovation, or new ways of approaching healthcare, in the context of evidence-based practice (EBP) (Chien, 2019). Before something can become EBP, there needs to be trials of different treatment approaches for managing patient healthcare and monitoring for health outcomes. Nurses are faced with a problem in their practice (unknown disease, say HIV/AIDS). They use their current understanding of similar disease processes and apply known treatments to the unknown disease. As more is learned about the appropriateness of care for new disease, perhaps based on modifications of existing treatments, more is uncovered about the appropriateness of newly modified treatments. As changes are occuring in practice, nursing researchers are learning about the disease and measuring what works in the field. Nurse researchers inform nurses (and the larger healthcare community) about the best approaches. One can observe how nursing research impacts innovation in nursing, and how they are to inform clinical nursing. Team science is essential for improving patient healthcare outcomes (Chesak et al., 2021).
Questions and exercises to consider with classmates and/or colleagues:
Supporting Nursing Innovation
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Chesak, S.S., Rhudy, L.M., Tofthagen, C. & Chlan, L.L. (2021). A practice‐based model to guide nursing science and improve the health and well‐being of patients and caregivers. Journal of Clinical Nursing. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.15837
Chien L. Y. (2019). Evidence-based practice and nursing research. The Journal of Nursing Research, 27(4), e29. https://doi.org/10.1097/jnr.0000000000000346