Expert spotlight: Elevate your facility’s nursing culture

Nurse Leader Insider, October 20, 2008

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This week, expert Laura Cook Harrington, RC, RN, MHA, CPHQ, CHCQM, shares some insight on how managers can cultivate a professional culture of nursing at their facility.

Q: How can I promote a positive and professional nursing culture at my organization?

A: Each nursing unit has its own culture of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices, so the nursing department at your organization will have its own distinct culture. It is a worthwhile endeavor for nurse managers to take the time to define the current nursing culture within their organization.

  1. Start by defining the current positives and negatives of your facility's nursing culture. What are the things that you like and dislike within the nursing department and care delivery? What are things you need to change? What barriers could block progress?
  2. Next, identify the changes needed to enhance professional culture. Some changes take time, but there may be policies or changes in practice that can occur immediately. If you have a shared governance model with a professional practice council, get that group to work on the strategy.
  3. Create nursing vision and mission statements and then communicate them to the nursing staff. These documents will guide and provide structure to your staff.
  4. Implement change that you can effect. Some changes will need to occur over many years, but these begin with the changes you can make now. Review aspects of what you want to change and then make it happen.

Editor's note: Do you have a question for our experts? Email your queries to editor Keri Mucci at and see your name in print next week! In the meantime, head over to our Web site and view a growing collection of advice from our experts.

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