When the average person thinks of a nurse, he or she may not readily recognize that nurse as an innovator. But in reality, nurses are indeed true innovators, and that power of innovation is our professional birthright.
Florence Nightingale, the true mother of our glorious profession, was an innovator of the highest caliber. Her theories and practices of proper hygiene and standards of care and cleanliness saved many lives. Her accomplishments ostensibly launched the profession of nurses, and her innovations in the use of statistics and their graphical representation remain a testament to how the founder of the nursing profession was steeped in the waters of innovative genius.
In the 21st century, nurses continue to innovate and create on myriad levels. Nurse researchers and thinkers deeply understand the power of our profession, and their scholarly work and forward thinking continue to propel the profession into the future.
Meanwhile, nurse entrepreneurs continue to expand the very boundaries and definition of what it even means to be a nurse. Nurses can "hang their shingle" as independent practitioners, or they can create new businesses that harness the depth and breadth of their nursing knowledge.
Nurse executives can hold positions of leadership in the boardroom, and nurses can lead innovative healthcare organizations in novel and exciting directions. Nurse writers expand the knowledge base and the body of nursing literature, and even us humble nurse bloggers expand the conversation on the tangled and multitudinous tentacles of the vast Internet.
There are nurses creating innovative products for use by other nurses while other nurses dig deeply into the world of informatics and digital technology.
The innovative power and influence of nurses has never been stronger or more apparent, and I have no doubt that this next generation of nurses will produce leaders and thinkers who will further drive our profession in exciting, unforeseen directions.
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