Knowing how equipment, technology and procedures work enables nurses to pinpoint ways to replace or improve them. Innovations can change the way nurses deliver patient care. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing prepares nurses for the critical thinking required to come up with big or small adjustments for improved efficiency and safety in healthcare delivery.
What Is Nursing Innovation?
Nursing innovation starts with an idea and leads to the advent of new approaches, products or technologies. The main goal of nursing innovation is to improve the quality of patient care, reduce costs and boost efficiency.
What Is a Nurse Innovator?
A nurse innovator is an RN who identifies a problem, questions how it can be fixed and finds a solution.
How Does an RN to BSN Prepare Nurses for Being Innovators?
An RN to BSN program prepares nurses to be change agents in healthcare. It trains them to use their clinical knowledge for issues that adversely affect patients. BSN students learn the importance of staying up to date on new techniques and the latest technology. The following skills and expertise, developed in an RN to BSN program, help nurses become innovators.
- Problem solving
- Quality improvement
- Resource management
How Do Innovations Help Patients?
Innovations can ease patient stress, promote well-being and prevent disease. Nurse innovators can gather useful information and insight from patients, communities and other healthcare professionals. They can apply this knowledge to developing products, services or procedures that improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
What Are Some of the Latest Innovations in Nursing?
Nurse innovators combine nursing expertise with observation and best practices to remedy problems. Here are six recent innovations in nursing.
- Assessables for infants - Jonelle Krier an obstetrics nurse noticed the need for infant clothing that exposed a newborn's umbilical cord to air. The standard practice today is to let the umbilical cord air dry and fall off on its own. Krier designed a onesie with an opening for the umbilical cord.
- Cady Hug - Patricia Cady, a neonatal intensive care nurse, worried about infants dislodging peripheral and umbilical intravenous lines when intubated and on a ventilator. She designed a vest that keeps their hands free but away from IV lines and ventilation tubes.
- ColorSafe IV Lines - RNs Terri Barton-Salinas and Gail Barton-Hay saw a need for better identification of IV lines as more errors can occur when they are indistinguishable. The RNs came up with the idea of using labeled color-coated lines.
- Good to Go - Cheryl Bailey, RN and chief nursing officer at Cullman Regional Medical Center, let the hospital serve as a beta site for a mobile health platform. Nurses can use an iPod to upload and customize audio instructions, educational videos, pictures and documents for individual patients. After discharge, patients can retrieve and review the information on a smartphone, computer or tablet.
- NoNo Sleeve - RN Jill Drew invented a wearable warning sign for patients with a dialysis device in an arm. The sleeve alerts nurses to avoid the arm for IV hookups, blood pressure cuffs and blood tests.
- Senior Care Central - Dr. Kristen Mauk teaches gerontological nursing. She decided to help older adults age in their homes by pairing them with nursing students. The students gain valuable experience and the seniors receive end-of-life care.
Innovations result when nurses combine clinical expertise, creativity and critical thinking. The skills and expertise gained in an RN to BSN program enable nurses to devise innovations that mitigate risk factors and improve patient care.
Learn more about the University of South Carolina Aiken's online RN to BSN program.
Sources:The Daily Progress: UVa Nurse Invents a 'Hug' to Protect NICU Babies
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