October 21, 2010
Because almost all of our Herman Miller Healthcare products are used by nurses, we believe it’s important to be aware of research that could affect their work.
As the largest segment of the healthcare workforce, nurses will continue to play a key role in overcoming challenges and fulfilling the promises of our rapidly changing healthcare system.
The latest research about the nursing comes from the Institute of Medicine in a report called The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.
Four key recommendations emerged from the report:
• Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.
• Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.
• Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.
• Effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and an improved information infrastructure.
Judging by the number of healthcare media references, The Future of Nursing report has started an important conversation about the role of nurses in providing care.
This report will also inform our conversations with customers about environments such as patient rooms and unit cores and how they will support nurses in the future.
May 26, 2010
Imagine the many changes in hospitals and patient care over the 39 years that I have been a registered nurse! Equally remarkable are the changes I’ve observed and experienced in nursing leadership, evolving from being a director in the mid-1980’s to “moving to the C Suite” in the 21st century.
As a director of nursing in the 1980’s, my role was limited to scheduling staff, staying within budget, having policies and procedures consistent with regulatory requirements, and supervision and direction of my direct-report head nurses. My role evolved over the years into that of leader, as did the role of most nurses in administration.
Leadership, so well outlined by Max De Pree in Leadership is an Art, is about relationships. Broad in scope and content, it involves the use of inspiration and influence to achieve a common goal, or shared purpose.
In the 21st century, the nursing leader, frequently titled Chief Nursing Officer, or CNO, inspires and influences the culture of nursing and the quality of patient care in the organization or system. He/she manages a highly complex environment and has a broad scope of responsibility and accountability for patient care departments, clinical quality, and patient and staff satisfaction. According to the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), nurse leaders “design, facilitate, and manage care.”
Given the breadth and depth of their leadership skills, knowledge, and experience, nurse leaders are in the best possible position to inspire and influence the delivery of care across the full healthcare continuum—never forgetting that their most important relationships are with the patients and families they serve.
May 12, 2010
Today is the birthday of Florence Nightingale. It’s also the last day of National Nurses Week. It seems like an appropriate opportunity to highlight the dedication and hard work of the nursing profession.
I recently had the opportunity to spend a week shadowing nurses in a hospital emergency department (ED) as part of a pre- and post-occupancy study Herman Miller Healthcare is conducting to compare the hospital’s existing facility to a new space that will be ready later this year.
It was a privilege and a humbling experience to spend 50 hours with the ED nurses. I expected the nurses to be caring and professional to all patients but I did not fully appreciate the difficult and stressful conditions under which ED nurses must maintain their professionalism. The tremendous respect I have for them and other health professionals has only grown.
Everyone who came through the door was treated with equality and received the same quality of care, whether it was someone with a sore throat who should not have been in the ED, or a frequent visitor to the ED hoping for a few pain relievers, or a chest pain sufferer who needed immediate attention. Large or small, frivolous or urgent, everyone was respected and cared for. The nurses certainly were frustrated with patients or worn down by a busy day in the ED but I never saw this come out during an interaction with the patient.
Thanks to all the nurses for their dedication to their patients. And special thanks to the nurses that allowed me to spend time with them. Florence Nightingale would be proud.