There was a time when the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) unilaterally made most decisions about the direction of the nursing service in a hospital. Working in conjunction with other nursing leaders, change initiatives would be devised and then handed to the frontline staff for implementation.
The problem was, this approach didn’t work. It’s taken roughly 150 years of experience for nursing to become the profession that it is. Only in the last 15 years or so has it been recognized that the frontline employees are crucial for setting and implementing the “Nursing Agenda” for the hospital. Now that experience and professionalism are appreciated and valued, and it is frequently the frontline clinical nurses who are sending innovations and programs to the CNO rather than the other way around.
Part of this change has involved a subtle shift in both healthcare and in nursing – there is now an environment of accountability that appropriately goes with recognition of nursing as a “profession” rather than merely a “craft”. As with every profession, we have recognized that a higher standard of accountability exists. We must now “do” rather than merely “respond” or “follow directions”. At CVMC in 2008, these changes were reflected through:
- Revision of the shared decision making structure
- Increase in the percentage of direct care nurse certification
- Upgrade of CVMC’s Model of Professional Nursing Practice
- Implementing new structures for setting global nursing priorities
- Adoption of a common approach for facilitating group – Facilitation for Action
- Increased emphasis and knowledge on Research and Evidenced Based Practice.
I’m honored to have the opportunity of a career that extends across the range of experiences and look forward to the changes that are forthcoming for our profession. As we prepare for our 3rd Magnet recertification next year, we have the opportunity to enculturate the newly revised Nursing Professional Model components that focus our actions toward even better care for our patients. Embodied within those components we will have the opportunity to allow transformational leadership and structural empowerment which will lead to both exemplary and satisfying professional practice and empirical outcomes that will allow us to quantify those changes which work to the benefit of our patients.
I thank you for the opportunity to work with such an outstanding group of professionals here at CVMC. I look forward to working with you to continue to meet the needs of our community in the coming year and invite you to work with me to embrace the ideals that have made our facility outstanding in not only the State but in the Nation.