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Latest News & EventsNurses Leading Innovation

What the Year of the Nurse Means to 14 Nurse Leaders

In celebration and as a call to action related to the World Health Organization’s designation of 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we asked 14 nurse leaders and innovators across the US what the Year of the Nurse means to them today, and to the future of nursing.

At Johnson & Johnson, we believe the World Health Organization’s designation of 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife creates an exciting, timely opportunity to inspire more health systems, nursing schools, healthcare companies, media and decision makers to see nurses as we do - bold, patient-centered leaders, change makers and problem solvers, who serve as engines of innovation in transforming healthcare.

We also see 2020 as an incredible opportunity for healthcare leaders and organizations to come together to elevate and further empower the profession. We spoke to 14 nurse leaders to get their perspective on the Year of the Nurse and Midwife and what it means for the nursing profession. We encourage you to read on and get inspired!

Robyn Begley, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
Chief Executive Officer, American Organization for Nursing Leadership
Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, American Hospital Association

What would you like to see happen in the Year of the Nurse?
The Year of the Nurse is not only an opportunity to honor Florence Nightingale's legacy, but also to increase understanding and recognition of nursing as a distinct profession that cares for the sick and promotes and optimizes health and wellness for individuals, communities and populations. I would like the public to truly see nurses as experts in advancing health and for decision makers to seek nurses for leadership positions, board service and input on all matters involving health. By highlighting the contributions of nurses around the globe, I believe we can build a diverse and inclusive nursing workforce, reflective of the community and patients served.

What are you and your organization most excited for in 2020?
AONL is excited to elevate nursing’s influence in public policy during its annual advocacy day in Washington, D.C. on June 4. It is important that legislators recognize nursing’s vital role in increasing access, improving outcomes and enhancing patient safety. AONL invites all nurses to attend!

Lynda Benton
Senior Director of Corporate Equity & Partnerships and Johnson & Johnson Nursing Leader

What does the Year of the Nurse mean to you?
As the leader of Johnson & Johnson Nursing, I could not be more excited for the nursing profession and opportunities ahead in 2020! I have the opportunity to talk to many nurses and nursing organizations on a regular basis and can feel the positive energy and buzz. Designating 2020 as the Year of the Nurse provides a powerful global stage for nurses to be visibly supported and recognized for their innovative contributions to improving patient outcomes and transforming healthcare.

What are you and your organization most excited for in 2020?
This year provides an exciting opportunity for Johnson & Johnson to power-up our 120-year commitment to the nursing profession. We are advocating for and empowering nurses as innovative leaders by offering new platforms designed to enhance their skills and support nurse-led innovation. We have many exciting programs planned for this year, including launching SEE YOU NOW, a podcast series in partnership with the American Nurses Association that will spotlight innovative solutions driven by nurses addressing today’s most pressing healthcare challenges. We are also excited to partner with SONSIEL to host a second Nurse Hackathon in the fall and will be introducing a new Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge this year. Read more about our plans for 2020 here.

Shawna Butler, RN, MBA
Host, SEE YOU NOW
EntrepreNURSE-in-Residence, Radboudumc
Exponential Medicine Partnerships + Outreach, Singularity University

What does the Year of the Nurse and Midwife mean for nurse-led innovation?
Opportunity! The #YearOfTheNurseAndMidwife as a call to action is revealing and tapping into nurses’ expertise and talent to improve health and wellbeing on a global AND local, macro AND micro level. It’s a catalyzing jolt of interest, investment and activation. And a tipping point. As the understanding and portrayal of nurses as innovators, researchers and leaders increases, and nurses challenge assumptions driving the profession, the health ecosystem will better leverage and engage nurses’ enormous pool of insights, expertise and talent.

What are you most excited for in 2020?
The launch of SEE YOU NOW an entertaining and inspiring podcast that will open eyes (and ears) to the myriad challenges in healthcare and allow listeners to see nurses in a new and perhaps different light as leaders and innovators using their superpowers in solving complex challenges and improving health systems. Tune in and subscribe at SeeYouNowPodcast.com!

Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN
President, American Nurses Association

What does the Year of the Nurse mean to you?
Nurses comprise the largest group of healthcare providers and make the greatest contributions to our healthcare system, yet they are wholly underrepresented in the media and other critical areas. The Year of the Nurse is a launch pad for greater recognition and appreciation of the nursing profession in every segment of healthcare as they lead, excel and innovate wherever they practice or work.

What are you and your organization most excited for in 2020?
ANA is excited to partner with Johnson & Johnson to launch the new podcast series SEE YOU NOW. We are also excited to extend National Nurses Week to a month-long celebration in May, creating more opportunities to celebrate our noble profession. We want the public to know who we are and all that we do as nurses. Here’s to Year of the Nurse!

Linda Groah

Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN
CEO and Executive Director, Association of periOperative Registered Nurses

What does the Year of the Nurse mean for nurse innovation?
Nurses in their quest to care for patients are continuously looking for improved methods, new processes or new devices to meet the changing needs of the patient. The Year of the Nurse will give nurses an opportunity to reflect on these innovations, honor these contributions and create energy for nursing to continue to innovate as they care for patients. Nurses need to seize this opportunity bestowed on them this year to sustain this focus and must continue to demonstrate why they are one of the most respected and honored professions in the world.

What are you and your organization most excited for in 2020?
We’re excited to launch multiple contests, celebrations and recognitions throughout the Year of the Nurse to recognize the incredible impact of perioperative nursing professionals. We’re also excited to introduce the innovative stories of the awardees of the Johnson & Johnson QuickFire Challenge in Perioperative Care at our annual conference in the spring!

Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN
Senior Adviser for Nursing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Director, Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action
Senior Scholar-in-Residence and Senior Adviser, National Academy of Medicine

What would you like to see come out of 2020 as a result of this dedicated Year of the Nurse spotlight?
I would like policy-makers throughout the world to gain a greater understanding of the role that nurses can play in helping people to live healthier lives and to experience greater wellbeing. I would like to see that increased awareness result in the widespread dissemination of nurse-led innovations, more nurses leading efforts to improve health, more nurses being able to practice to the full extent of their training and improved reimbursement policies that better enable nurses to address the social determinants of health.

What are you and your organization most excited for in 2020?
At the end of 2020, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Academy of Medicine will release a consensus study, The Future of Nursing; 2020-2030. This report will share insights into how nurses can help to achieve healthier communities. For more information and to receive updates, visit here.

Mary Jo Jerde, MBA, BSN, RN, FAAN
Senior Vice President, Center for Clinician Advancement, UnitedHealth Group

What would you like to see come out of 2020 as a result of this dedicated Year of the Nurse spotlight?
In 2020, I expect significant progress for the nursing profession and the beginning of a tremendous transformation in the field. I would like to see increased awareness of the significant contributions nurses make to improve the delivery of healthcare and the diverse opportunities available to nurses throughout healthcare. At UnitedHealth Group, we have over 125 diverse clinical and business roles where 23,000 nurses serve in varying capacities across the healthcare system. The depth of nursing roles at UnitedHealth Group enables our nurses to impact patient care in meaningful ways and make profound difference in the lives of our patients.

What are you and your organization most excited for in 2020?
Two key initiatives that our Center for Clinician Advancement is driving in 2020 is our Joy in Practice and Business of Health Care initiatives. With our Joy in Practice efforts we have identified organizational factors that influence professional joy and contribute to burnout and we’re piloting solutions to prevent and mitigate burnout. Our Business of Health Care program is helping clinicians develop a greater understanding of the business of healthcare and equips clinicians with knowledge and tools to address the challenges and demands of our evolving health system.

Marion Leary, RN, MSN, MPH
Director of Innovation, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

What does the Year of the Nurse mean for nurse-led innovation?
As nurses begin to see themselves as leaders in health and healthcare innovation, so too will others, but for that to happen we need to commit to formally educating the current and future generation of nurses as innovators. I’m hopeful that the Year of the Nurse will be a conduit to beginning discussions about incorporating topics such as Design Thinking, which can be used to rigorously create innovative solutions to the problems we see in our practice, into the nursing curriculum.

What are you and your organization most excited for in 2020?
Penn Nursing has planned a roster of activities in 2020 to elevate and celebrate nurses and midwives in Philadelphia and across the region. We are focusing on using stories to reframe the public perception of who nurses are and their impact on health, including stories of the nurse heroes of the 1918 flu epidemic in Philadelphia, nurses working in the city’s health clinics, school nurses and the three nurse leaders who currently serve as CEOs of Philadelphia’s largest hospitals (HUP, CHOP and the VA), among others. We are also launching a new podcast called Amplify Nursing, which highlights nurses who are leading the way in nursing science, policy and innovation.

Rebecca Love, MSN, BA, RN, FIEL
President, SONSIEL: Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs & Leaders

What does the Year of the Nurse mean for nurse innovation?
I believe that the Year of the Nurse is the year that nurse-led innovation will take center stage in healthcare innovation. The conversation will come together, the support for the initiative will be solidified and for the first time in the history of nursing and medicine, there will be a collaborative effort by all healthcare professionals to recognize the unique value nurses play to advance the future of health. I believe this year will help nurses be welcomed openly into healthcare discussions and better position them to design the future of healthcare.

What are you and your organization most excited for in 2020?
Our organization is excited by the upcoming release of “The Rebel Nurse Handbook” in March 2020, which will portray over 40 personal stories of nurses who have challenged the status quo and created new paths in nursing. We look forward to launching SONSIEL Canada in April with the Triangle Health Innovation Challenge (THInC) and Nightingale Gala in Niagara Falls, as well as our second annual Nurse Hackathon with Johnson & Johnson in September in New Brunswick, New Jersey. We’re also launching monthly webinars with our Noah Hendler and Kelly Ayala on nurse innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. We’re thankful that the nursing profession has come so far in the past few years and for our opportunity to be a part of shaping its future.

Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer, National League for Nursing

What does the Year of the Nurse mean to you?
It’s a wonderful opportunity to simultaneously celebrate nursing and midwifery with Florence Nightingale’s 200th Birthday. This year is like no other, as countries all over the world will acknowledge the contributions of nurses and nursing to the health of their communities. Nurses will be acknowledged by the World Health Organization and their global representatives, and hopefully the recognition will transform the careers, work lives and educational opportunities of nurses around the world.

What are you and your organization most excited for in 2020?
In 2020, we’re planning to promote the value of nurse educators in the nation’s healthcare system, amplify the importance of nursing education in developing the next generation of nurses and highlight the National League for Nursing’s leadership in the field of nursing. During National Nurses Week and Month, we’ll be launching our National PSA Campaign, which will focus on highlighting the importance of nurse educators and encouraging those roles as a career path for nurses. We’re also excited for our 2020 Summit in September in Orlando, Florida, and hope to see you there!

Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN
Vice President for Health Promotion, University Chief Wellness Officer, Dean and Professor, The Ohio State University College of Nursing
Professor of Pediatrics & Psychiatry, The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Executive Director, The Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for EBP
Editor, Worldviews on Evidence-based Nursing

What does the Year of the Nurse mean to you?
It is a way to bring heightened visibility to nursing and all the positive impact that nurses, advanced practice nurses, nurse educators and nurse researchers have had on healthcare quality, safety, costs and population health outcomes across the world. I also believe the Year of the Nurse will accelerate nurse innovation if more stories about how innovation by nurses has had a positive impact across healthcare are spotlighted.

What are you and your organization most excited for in 2020?
We are sponsoring a state-wide invitation only forum in February at which time we are releasing an evidence-based health policy brief on nurse and clinician wellbeing and patient safety. We have invited healthcare and nursing executives, legislators, health professions’ organizational leaders, researchers and nurse leaders in hopes of catapulting major action to improve nurse and clinician wellbeing, population health outcomes and patient safety outcomes.

Brenda Nevidjon, MSN, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer, Oncology Nursing Society

What does the Year of the Nurse mean to you?
I have loved my 40+ years as a nurse and appreciate the diverse roles, settings and countries in which I have worked. How nurses practice globally varies, and in some countries, nursing may not be recognized as an independent profession but rather governed by physicians. Having WHO designate 2020 as the Year of the Nurse highlights the importance of nurses for the health of their communities and countries and will educate government officials on the value of investing in and developing their nursing workforce. I also hope more young people will choose nursing as a career as they learn about the breadth and depth of opportunities it brings.

What are you and your organization most excited for in 2020?
The Oncology Nursing Society is celebrating our 45th anniversary in 2020. At our annual meeting in May, we will integrate recognition of the Year of the Nurse with other celebration activities, including the announcement of the recipient of the Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge in Oncology!

Betty Jo Rocchio, MS, BSN, CRNA, CENP
Chief Nursing Optimization Officer, Mercy

What does the Year of the Nurse mean to you?
The Year of the Nurse is well-deserved recognition that nurses are there to serve consumers and patients in almost every situation and healthcare setting. Focused attention on the needs of today’s nursing profession is needed so that we remain a strong, vibrant workforce. Nurses enter the profession because they are passionate about helping to improve care and the lives we touch, and this gives us a year to focus on that.

What are you and your organization most excited for in 2020?
There are two things that Mercy is working on in 2020 that promises to bring value to frontline nurses and their working environments. One is the concept of a resource nurse that is an internal nurse that has expertise and experience in many areas of nursing that can work in several different specialty units and several Mercy hospitals. It offers flexibility and relief to those units that may experience temporary staffing shortages. The second is the development of professional practice teams which are frontline nurses that work collaboratively with our physician specialty councils to make decisions regarding clinical practice and care of patients. A truly interdisciplinary approach to improving patient outcomes!

Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN
President and Chief Executive Officer
American Association of Colleges of Nursing

What would you like to see come out of 2020 as a result of this dedicated Year of the Nurse spotlight?
I would like to see greater awareness among healthcare leaders and legislators that nurses are indispensable to the public’s health and must play a larger role in the national dialogue about the future of healthcare delivery and policy development. I would also like to see nurses at all levels commit to taking the next step in their education and leadership development, which will help to strengthen our ability to better advocate for new models of care and healthcare innovation.

What are you and your organization most excited for in 2020?
In 2020, AACN is looking forward to engaging more closely with nursing deans, faculty and students to expand opportunities to advance nursing education and practice innovations, promote diverse and inclusive learning environments and advocate for expanding support for nursing education on Capitol Hill. This year, we are particularly excited to continue our work to build consensus around re-envisioning AACN’s Essentials documents, which will be used to shape how future nurses are educated in undergraduate and graduate programs. This work is breaking new ground and would not be possible without energizing discussion and debate from the nation’s academic nursing and practice communities.

Disclaimer: The responses above were collected with the consent of each individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Johnson & Johnson.

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