Change is never easy, especially when it involves organizational transformation. As hospitals continue to push for quality improvement, nurse leaders can use these four rules in order to engage direct-care nurses.
The 4 pillars of engaging direct-care nurses are:
1. Be transparent. When rolling out a new strategic initiative, transparency is the best way to get buy-in from your staff nursing team(s). The following are essential for transparent leadership:
- Operating and capital budgets, market share, and the role of labor cost in the budget
- Performance on key clinical business
- Strategic goals of their institution
- Market share
- Labor costs/margins
- Institutional strengths, new programs and plans
- Benchmarks with direct-care nurses1
2. Build accountability at the unit level. When it comes to quality improvement, it is up to nurse leaders to promote a culture of accountability where every nurse feels responsible for improving patient outcomes.
3. Provide your staff with the tools they need to succeed. It is crucial to provide bedside nurses with the quality improvement information along with practical examples that they need to apply to their day-to-day.
4. Give recognition where due. One of the best things clinical leaders can do to promote improved performance, especially when rolling out new initiatives, is to recognize high-achievers at every level. Whether that means taking time to recognize nurses at the unit or departmental level, public acknowledgment can be a great way for leaders recognize cultures of accountability.
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