1. Section Editor(s): Davis, Charlotte BSN, RN, CCRN

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As nursing continues to grow into an increasingly complex, specialized profession, we must ensure that we remain dedicated to maintaining clinical excellence-the expertise, efficiency, and adherence to evidenced-based practice (EBP) interventions that we incorporate into our clinical practice with the goal of exceeding personal, organizational, and national benchmarks. Do you have specific professional goals that you wish to achieve on your quest for clinical excellence?

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Consider advancing your education, attaining specialty certification, joining a professional organization, attending nursing seminars, resolving a system failure or knowledge deficit within your organization, or improving the collegiality among healthcare team members. You can initiate a mentorship program for new nurses, or start educational projects to enhance your work environment, improve clinical skills, and disperse EBP research to your work group. How about assisting your education department with staff development that's vital to your patients' safety? We must continue to meet the growing demand for clinical excellence by embracing opportunities for professional growth.


We should also assist our peers on their path to clinical excellence. If you notice that a peer has a knowledge deficit that may impact a patient's clinical outcome, consider conducting an impromptu in-service in a private area to alleviate the knowledge deficit without causing embarrassment to your peer. If your rapport with your peer doesn't facilitate an impromptu in-service, consult with your supervisor or unit manager to ensure that the knowledge deficit gets resolved in a proactive way. It's vital that we develop life-long learning skills and model positive attitudes in our mission to inspire others to do likewise.


When student nurses work within your clinical area, embrace the opportunity to nurture the next generation of nurses. We must all be committed to ensuring that students have the ideal chance to meet their first professional benchmark-successfully completing their nursing program. Make sure that all communication is warm and respectful, fostering an interactive learning experience for students to attain an optimal understanding of your patient population and the nursing skills required to successfully provide the best care to those patients. Although it does take additional time to explain your daily routine, clinical insight, and the EBP rationales behind your interventions, it's time well spent to encourage students' initial steps on their journey to clinical excellence. Don't forget: Today's nursing student may be your future coworker.


Each healthcare organization has specific goals to meet or exceed national benchmarks. Many organizations are attempting to attain Magnet(R) recognition to signify clinical excellence and superior performance. Assist your organization by participating on a committee to plan, implement, and evaluate interventions to meet specific benchmarks. Educate your colleagues about new programs to improve your organization's clinical excellence. In turn, your organization should provide mentoring opportunities to help enhance your clinical practice and leadership skills.


One thing is certain: Clinical excellence requires dedication, insight, and a continuous commitment to improving your personal professional growth, your healthcare facility, and the nursing profession. Rise to the challenge!