Special Interest Groups: An Innovative Process Empowering Nurses to Create a Culture of Excellence

Wednesday, 1 August 2012: 1:50 PM

Susan D. Serfass, ADN
Same Day Surgery, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Dover, NH

Learning Objective 1: Describe one successful strategy which enables staff nurses to innovate, discover, critically think, and facilitate change regarding practice issues of concern to them.

Learning Objective 2: Identify successes and opportunities experienced in the development of a nurse-led Special Interest Group in our community hospital.

A vision starts as an idea.   Our staff-led group, a pilot Special Interest Group with a passion for excellence in intravenous therapy, began as a small spark and was fanned into flame with the quiet support of leadership.  Encouraging staff to reach for excellence, leaders watched patiently as small changes took place over the span of one year.  Their supportive involvement generated courage, excitement and hope through the obstacles and challenges faced by staff.  Successes have included winning over some who initially may have been uncertain about staff leading quality projects.  A gradual building of trust and respect has empowered staff nurses and has established solid collegial relationships.  The resulting improved communication, with a focus on patient care issues and concerns, has facilitated innovative approaches to complex patient care issues.  Building a bridge to the Nursing Practice Council, this group has become known for their expertise about all aspects of IV therapy at our hospital. Integrating the knowledge, talent, and passion of staff clinicians with educators and leaders has resulted in creative solutions and a hunger for Best Practices organization-wide.