Every aspect of the team is important in a hospital, but nurses fill a particular niche distinct from doctors, surgeons, and administration. Nurses are the main point of contact for patients, meaning they have a lot of power when it comes to driving patient satisfaction. Healthcare institutions value the patient immensely, and having qualified nurses at their side has been a key factor in fostering a positive hospital experience. With nurses being so integral to the team, their ability to thrive can directly benefit every other member of the team.
Considered the “rising tide that lifts all boats” in healthcare, a culture of nursing excellence promotes better engagement between the patient and the physician, raising overall clinical quality. Building upon this culture requires many different factors, with the development and advancement of strong nurse leaders being one of the most important. These leaders can then vouch for their patients and the other nurses in their workplace. A structure is required within the healthcare organization that allows for shared governance of the role, allowing nurses at every level to be involved in decision making as well as creating benchmarks for performance and promoting autonomy for nurses inside that framework. Other aspects such as patient experience, safety and, of course, overall satisfaction with the nursing role also play a large role in promoting a culture of nursing excellence.
The healthcare industry is constantly changing, adding new pressures to healthcare professionals each and every day. Regardless of these pressures, it’s still possible to foster nursing excellence and positively impact every other branch of a healthcare organization. For those who are just beginning to look into building a solid foundation for their nurses, it’s important they first start by looking at where they’re currently at in terms of competency in patient safety, the actual experience of their current nursing team, as well as clinical quality. Once these have been defined, healthcare organizations can begin working towards their goals. This usually involves figuring out your organization’s nursing professional practice model as well as making sure the CEO and board support that model. Making sure nursing leadership and chief nursing officials are involved in executive-level decision making at the C suite and board level is also of the utmost importance. By including both nurse managers and bedside nurses into this shared governance format, organizations can better build their accountability structure. Beyond this, it’s important that you’re able to disseminate information and initiatives to the organization as a whole. Find ways to talk about data to your personnel that demonstrates how these initiatives work.
In the end, all of these things must end with the optimization of the work environment. This means thinking about a leadership development plan as well as how you’re engaging and fostering development with the nurses in your organization. It’s also important that organizations look into how they’re making sure they have the appropriate resources and emotional support for those nurses so they can continue focusing their efforts on the patient. This all ends with tracking the data, making sure you can see how everything does or doesn’t work together, allowing you to make further improvements.
Of course, none of this will be possible without teamwork. Your entire organization must be dedicated to a culture of excellence and are willing to work together to make sure the patient is getting the best experience they can possibly have. The organizations that are truly committed to excellence are the ones that understand the healthcare sphere is a symbiotic relationship.