Nurses at the forefront of innovation

Int Nurs Rev. 2006 Jun;53(2):94-101. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-7657.2006.00463.x.


Background: This paper is based on a presentation given by the author at the 23rd Quadrennial ICN Congress and 7th International Regulation Congress in Taipei in May 2005.

Aim: Nurses worldwide are engaged in innovative practice on a daily basis. In most health systems across the world, nurses provide up to 80% of primary health care and are therefore well positioned to provide critically needed innovative solutions to many global health challenges. The aim of this paper is to increase awareness of the importance and value of innovations in nursing; provide an improved understanding of the contribution nurses make to innovation in health care; and increase understanding of the importance of creating environments that inspire innovation and help shape practice in new and improved ways.

Design: This paper explores the concept of innovation, the inherent set of characteristics that need to be present in order for innovations to succeed, and the barriers that impede innovation from occurring.

Conclusion: There are numerous examples of successful innovations worldwide that are developed and implemented by nurses, some of which are described in this paper. The paper concludes that organizations need to have a support climate that encourages creativity and innovation to occur.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Creativity
  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Forecasting
  • Global Health
  • Health Facility Environment / organization & administration
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Nurse's Role* / psychology
  • Nursing Research / organization & administration
  • Organizational Culture
  • Organizational Policy
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration
  • Problem Solving
  • Reward
  • Social Support
  • Systems Analysis
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical
  • Time Management