Nursing educators must infuse innovation into their school’s curriculum, say Penn nursing leaders

Authors of a new Journal of Professional Nursing The article provides strategic steps to build an infrastructure that supports innovation.

For nurses to be at the forefront of innovation in health and health care, nursing education must think strategically about the skills and knowledge required by the next generation of nurses, and then embrace those learning needs. innovation at all levels of research, education and practice, says a recently published article in the Journal of Professional Nursing, written by three leading nurses at University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing).

The item, Create an infrastructure for academic nursing innovationshares concrete steps to position nurses as leaders in this space and provides insight into how Penn Nursing has infused innovation into its mission and program.

Nurses are natural innovators in health care, and their understanding of patients, families, and communities provides a unique perspective on the use of technology and other innovative processes to promote health and well-being. , preventing disease and managing acute and chronic illnesses, the article states. .

Yet, he adds, nurses are absent or often silent partners in health and healthcare innovation initiatives.

Many schools of nursing are integrating innovation into their curricula and creating spaces for students and faculty to engage in the innovation process, but innovation must be a central driver of nursing education. nursing education being taught across the country, according to the article.

“We need to promote nurse-led innovation initiatives internally and externally, to amplify the work nurses do in education, research, policy and advocacy. practical,” says the lead author of the paper, Marion Leary, RN, MSN, MPH, FAHAChief Innovation Officer at Penn Nursing.

“If we do this, we’ll get a clear, consistent and unified message around nursing innovation and further strengthen the innovation ecosystem within the profession,” Leary said.

Make innovation part of the mission

Because innovation means different things to different disciplines, the key to integrating innovation into a school of nursing is to develop a common meaning of innovation within the academic and healthcare community, indicates the item.

“Developing a discipline-specific innovation perspective is a first step in guiding curriculum change and improvement,” says the paper’s co-author Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor and Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing.

“This perspective will communicate to interdisciplinary colleagues and the role and direction of public nursing in innovation, and can be used to forge partnerships to address specific issues and problems,” Villarruel said.

Once the definition of innovation has been adapted, the authors describe the strategic steps to build an infrastructure that supports innovation. These steps include:

  • Establish strategic goals to prioritize activities, align resources, communicate innovation, and serve as a benchmark for progress.
  • Build an innovation infrastructure to systematize and embed a culture of innovation within the school.
  • Train professors and professors who are champions of innovation.
  • Integrate innovation into administrative functions.
  • Build relationships between schools.
  • External marketing of innovation expertise.
  • Turning research findings into practice.
  • Enables students to develop and lead innovations.
  • Improve innovation education through active learning.
  • Position nurses to drive and inform innovations in health systems.

Penn Nursing as a case study

The authors explain how Penn Nursing took the recommended steps to define and successfully infuse innovation into the school’s curriculum. The first step was to align with the University of Pennsylvania’s core values, including innovation.

Infrastructure and relationship building across campuses soon followed, including engagement with other schools to develop and support faculty and student skills and innovation projects.

Penn Nursing then created initiatives to educate the wider community about nursing innovation. Translating research findings into practice remains an ongoing initiative.

The article further describes Penn Nursing’s emphasis on active learning to enhance innovation education and how the school of nursing leverages practice partners to position nurses to lead and to inform innovations in healthcare.

“The Future of Nursing 2020-2030 report highlights nurses as innovators and advocates for them to see themselves as such, while calling on health and healthcare leaders to support the ‘Innovative Nursing Aptitude,’ Says Paper Co-Author Therese S. Richmond, PhD, RN, FAANAndrea B. Laporte Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean for Research and Innovation.

“Therefore, as we move forward,” says Richmond, “it will be critical that we create a foundation of innovation for the next generation of nurse leaders.

Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.