Leading Change: The Power of Vision and Collaborative-Partnership

Friday, 28 July 2017: 2:30 PM

Rita K. Adeniran, DrNP
Advanced Role M.S.N. Department, Division of Graduate Nursing, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19102, PA, USA
Sarah Hexem, JD
National Nurse-LED Care Consortium, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Elizabeth W. Gonzalez, PhD
College of Nursing & Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Healthcare organizations and clinicians recognize the importance of cultural competency as a safety and quality variable in healthcare; however, practice varies among health professionals, and across healthcare organizations (Douglas et al., 2014; Gill, Kuwahara, & Wilce, 2016). Factors that contribute to variations in the practice of culturally competent care include the degree of personal desire to deliver culturally competent services and clinicians’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes, along with an appreciation of the impact of cultural competency on optimizing health outcomes. Availability and limitations of organizational resources in the form of infrastructures, human resources, and policies also contribute to the variations in practice (Laskowski-Jones, 2012). Leadership is crucial to understanding and disentangling the complex reasons for these differences (Dauvrin & Lorant, 2015; Hisam et al., 2016). A systematic assessment of the state of cultural competency in the state of Pennsylvania was necessary to reveal opportunities and provide direction for advancing and standardizing cultural competence practices across the state of PA and beyond.

 As a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow with funding to complete an advanced leadership project of choice, along with the vision and passion for cultural competency, I sought the support of thought leaders across the nation, including members of the Pennsylvania Action Coalition’s Nursing Diversity Council (NDC). The project’s goal is to enhance the provision of culturally competent care across the state of Pennsylvania. Stakeholders who joined forces to work on this project included clinicians and non-clinicians; all shared a vision for Healthy Pennsylvania through Nursing. These leaders are primarily driven by a passion for quality healthcare for vulnerable populations. As a team, we set direction, created alignment and gained significant commitment to conduct the project. Also, the team adopted a gracious space philosophy. Team members worked collaboratively in a gracious space environment where differences, diversity of thoughts and ideas were welcomed and celebrated; members trusted enough to be vulnerable and sucessfully led the completion of the statewide cultural competence education and awareness survey of Pennsylvania Registered Nurses. Survey data was analyzed, and findings were used to guide development of education and training to address identified gaps. The outcome of the project underscores the value of visionary leadership in leading change by inspiring stakeholders to engage in meaningful ways for a greater cause!