Clinical and business leaders value the innovation and clinical acumen
skills nurses bring to their organizations at most levels—just not at
the leadership level.
Both clinical and business leaders rank skills like the interface of
clinical innovation and technology and design-thinking for
process change, as well as excellent clinical acumen, in the
top four most valuable for nurse innovators in their organizations by
2025, according to Unleashing
Nurse-Led Innovation, a study released today by The BDO
Center for Healthcare Excellence & Innovation and the University of
Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
But most have not elevated nurses to the leadership levels needed to
fully transform care. Just 31 percent of clinical leaders today have a
designated nursing leader whose primary responsibility is innovation,
and less than half (46 percent) of business leaders say their C-suite
includes someone with a nursing background.
By 2025, though, both sides of the industry signal that they’re taking
steps to fully unleash nurse innovators at the leadership level. More
than three-fourths (81 percent) of clinical leaders say investing in placing
nurses as decisionmakers on all strategic planning teams will be
very important for health organizations. More than half (57 percent) of
business leaders, meanwhile, say advanced leadership is a skill
they’ll view as very important to nurse innovators within their
“Health stakeholders’ ability to thrive amid the new consumer-driven
health system depends on nurses claiming a seat at the table at the
leadership level,” said Antonia
M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN, Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing at
of Pennsylvania. “If true care transformation is to take shape to
improve patient outcomes at lower costs, health systems and businesses
must recognize that nursing can and must extend well beyond the bedside
and community—and into the boardroom.”
Today’s most perplexing health issues—caring for a growing aging
population, chronic care management and addressing mental health issues
like addiction—necessitate that shift. In fact, these critical areas are
where clinical and business leaders agree that nurses have the most
opportunity to transform and improve care by 2025, the study revealed.
“Nurses are already leading sweeping, research-driven innovations at
larger, systemic levels within clinical and business organizations.
They’re just having to navigate around certain roadblocks to do it,”
Meador, MD, MBA, Managing Director and Senior Physician Executive in The
BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence & Innovation. “Roadblocks
need to be removed, and systems must embrace nurses as leaders in
innovation. Unleashing nurse innovators is a care imperative and a
Read the full
study and tune into BDO’s Health & Life Sciences Rx Podcast
to hear how leaders from Penn Nursing, Becton Dickinson and the American
Nurses Association think nurse-led innovation can be fully unleashed.
About Unleashing Nurse-Led Innovation
Unleashing Nurse-Led Innovation surveyed two distinct
groups—104 clinical leaders and 172 business leaders—about the future of
nursing innovation and its role in their organizations. The survey of
clinical leaders was conducted by HealthLeaders Media and included
executives at hospitals and health systems, home health agencies,
skilled nursing facilities, physician organizations and hospice
providers. The survey of business leaders was conducted by FierceMarkets
and included executives at payers, pharmaceutical, biotech and medical
For more information about The BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence &
Innovation, visit the BDO
Health & Life Sciences Rx blog.
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About Penn Nursing
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is the #1 nursing
school in the world as ranked for four consecutive years by QS World
University, and is consistently ranked top-tier in the U.S. News & World
Report annual list of best graduate schools. Penn Nursing is currently
ranked #1 in funding from the National Institutes of Health, among other
schools of nursing, for the second consecutive year. Penn Nursing
prepares nurse scientists, leaders and clinicians to meet the health
needs of a global society through innovation in research, education and