Thursday August 21st 2014

National Nurses Week: Delivering quality and innovation in patient care

RNs are at the forefront of health care innovations every day and everywhere. And that’s why the American Nurses Association (ANA) has chosen the theme, “Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care,” for this year’s National Nurses Week.

National Nurses Week is celebrated annually, beginning May 6, designated as National Nurses Day, and ending May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, regarded as the founder of modern professional nursing.  The week provides an opportunity to highlight and appreciate RNs’ contributions to their patients, the profession and improving the nation’s health.

ANA has long recognized nurses’ contributions to quality and innovation.  In many different ways,  nurses are working together to improve the quality of nursing services and their  work environment. For example, nurses and staff at Rose Medical Center in Denver, CO, a 2012 NDNQI
Award for Outstanding Nursing Quality® recipient, significantly reduced ventilator-associated pneumonia, the leading cause of death resulting from hospital-acquired infections.

Nurse innovators have made lasting marks on the profession and the way care is provided. As “innovation advisors” to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, they are serving in leadership positions to explore questions and find evidence-based answers.  Barbara Blakeney, MS, RN, FNAP, a member of the Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses and innovations specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, worked to develop the role of the “attending” nurse to promote continuity over the patient’s stay. Another innovation advisor, Laura Beth Brown, MSN, RN, past president of the Tennessee Nurses Association, and her team, developed a predictive model and interventions to prevent hospital readmissions.

And yet another renowned nurse leader, Florida Nurses Association member Pat Quigley, PhD, MPH, ARNP, CRRN, FAAN, FAANP, has focused her career on ways to promote the independence and mobility of people living with disabilities and chronic diseases.  Her falls prevention work has impacted the lives of many nurses and patients through and beyond her current work at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, FL.

Research being conducted at nursing educational programs around the country also is leading to great progress on issues important to RNs. A study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, for example, found that Medicare patients treated in hospitals with a good work environment for nurses lowered the odds of readmissions by 10 percent.

Celebrate National Nurses Week

ANA encourages nursing organizations and health care facilities to participate and promote their National Nurses Week activities.  ANA has developed a media kit and resources such as celebration ideas, logos and promotional items. Plan to attend a complimentary National Nurses Week webinar on May 9, 1-2 pm ET. Visit ANA’s National Nurses Week web page for details at

Read the related story, “Nurses are natural innovators,” by ANA President Karen A. Daley in American Nurse Today.

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