Website spotlight: Nurses urged to examine their changing roles

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, November 11, 2011

The three topics on everyone's lips at last week's Nursing Management Congress were transforming care delivery, the changing role of nursing, and which show to go to that night.

While the Las Vegas setting provided some much-needed fun for the approximately 1,000 nurse managers and leaders who gathered for education and networking, it was the chance to discuss the pressing issues of healthcare reform and nursing's role that truly electrified the audience.

Keynote speaker Tim Porter-O'Grady said it's time for nursing to unbundle its work and decide what it will no longer do so that nurses are able to focus on what's most important in the changing face of care delivery.

"We've been too addicted to our protocols and our rituals," said Porter-O'Grady. Nursing can't keep doing what it's been doing in the new world of healthcare reform and value-based purchasing. Instead, it's time to embrace meaningful changes.

Here are the key strategies Porter-O'Grady outlined.

1. Change the new graduate nurse experience

"When millennials first graduate and get into preceptorships, we kill them," said Porter-O'Grady. How? Because we ask the oldest and most experienced nurses to serve as preceptors. Too often these preceptors cannot relate to the younger new grads. "We need to stop precepting and start mentoring," said Porter-O'Grady.

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