National Nurses Week: Celebrating Agents of Transformational Change

Added on May 10, 2018

By Christina Dempsey, Chief Nursing Officer

logoWhiteAs we pause this week to recognize and celebrate nurses for the critical role they play in caring for patients, let’s also recognize and celebrate their role in the transformation of health care delivery.

In our 2018 Strategic Insights Report, we present a roadmap for achieving transformational change in health care based on the understanding that doing so requires an integrated approach for improving the safety, quality and experience of care, as well as the engagement of the professionals who deliver it. The report provides evidence-based validation of what nurses have long witnessed from the front lines of care: there is no light between these attributes. They are fully interdependent. In order for care to be high-quality, it must be safe. In order for care to be safe, it must be delivered by caregivers who are fully engaged in the mission to make it so. In order to be engaged in that mission, caregivers must themselves feel safe and believe the work they do contributes in a meaningful way to a positive patient experience. And in order for a patient experience to be positive, the care must be safe, high-quality and delivered by engaged providers.

Nurses, as the largest sector of the health care workforce, are more than a common denominator across each phase of this continuous cycle. They fuel the engine. Nurses are caregivers, of course, but they are also communicators, teachers, counselors, leaders, researchers, advocates, collaborators and facilitators. Along with clinical care, they dispense compassion, empathy, comfort and understanding. They listen to patients’ stories, hold their hands and touch their hearts. And in this era of health care disruption, they are the glue that keeps the health system intact.

Given the breadth and depth of nurses’ responsibilities and the extraordinary amount of time they spend with patients, the ability of health care systems to deliver on the promise of safe, high-quality, patient-centered care rests in large part on the shoulders of its nurses. And so it is the duty and responsibility of every health care system and leader to provide their nurses with the tools, resources and support they need to provide this gift that is our calling. The future of health care depends on it.

During National Nurses Week—and every week—we recognize and honor the work of nurses everywhere who, through their commitment to improving the safety, quality and experience of care, are helping to drive transformational change.