Professionalism in Nursing 6: the nurse as an innovator

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Modern nursing has been based on the ‘gold standard’ of evidence-based practice (EBP). By using EBP as nurses we can provide a high standard of quality care to our patients, aligning with our ability to problem solve and provide rationale for interventions. Traditionally the nurse was often seen as task orientated, whereas now the focus is on person-centred care and the understanding that there is no ‘one size fits all’ model. Nurses are often best placed to identify areas whereby change would improve practice or patient care. This is how nurses become and should feel empowered to become innovators. Innovation often conjures up ideas of industry or medical devices but it can be small changes to an already existing method of care or framework that can have a great effect. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) code of conduct (2018) outlines the need to prioritise people and practise effectively, therefore innovation aligns with these standards. Famous innovators and innovations are embedded in nursing, with perhaps one of the most well-known being Florence Nightingale and her improvements in infection control. However, there have been many others; Anita Dorr (1967) invented the cardiac arrest trolley and Elise Sorenson (1953) created ostomy bags. These are innovations by nurses that to this day are integrated into our practice and provide benefit to our patient care. The recent pandemic has led to a wave of innovations led by empowered nurses in a time of uncertainty and change. Innovation should be encouraged, although our profession follows policies, frameworks and guidelines, we should avoid the attitude of ‘it has always been done that way’ if there is a potential to improve practice and update the care a patient can be provided. Change in practice can be challenging and there are many barriers. However, for each barrier that is overcome there is a sense of pride that comes with innovation and the boost of moral of being part of a creative and forward-thinking workforce.
Original languageEnglish
TypeJournal Club Article
Media of outputOnline
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 08 Aug 2022


  • Professionalism
  • Innovation
  • nurse education


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