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To Jump Start Change, Look to Early Adopters

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, August 5, 2014

Forward-thinking nurse leaders who are at the forefront of unit-level changes can help lead change throughout the organization.

The idea of making huge, institution-wide changes can seem daunting, even to the most seasoned nurse leader. That's why when Linda Talley, MS, BSN, RN, NE-BC, Vice President and CNO at Children's National Health System in Washington, DC, wanted to pilot LEAN initiatives, she started with units that she already knew were helped by people whom she calls "change agents."

"You want to look for your early adopters so they can pilot," Talley told me. "We knew we needed to have a unit that was already successful."

Doing so not only ensures that the most forward-thinking nurse leaders are at the forefront of such changes, but also means that once the pilot is successfully completed, those forward-thinkers can help make institutional changes and "lead on behalf of the organization."

In the case of Children's National, some of those change agents are the nurses on its 7 East Medical Care Unit, which just received the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

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