1. Fitzpatrick, Joyce J.

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According to the author of the Objective Key Results (OKR) model of measuring outcomes, execution is everything (Doerr, 2018). Teams can aim high, move fast, and excel with the use of this model.

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In implementing the OKR model as a new company in 1999, Google turned to its mission statement, with the concomitant expectation that a focus on measuring key results had to start at the top and then permeate the entire organization (Klau, 2012). Other dimensions that were key to Google's success were communicating with clarity and leaders modeling the way. Google leaders believed that goals had to be clearly understood throughout the organization and that all participants in the organization should be held accountable for achieving the desired results. OKRs require attention to not only the what but also the how and the when. Clear-cut time frames with built-in deadlines are important.


Equally fascinating is the story of how the OKR model was applied to the Gates Foundation, an organization that had set out to change the world and had grown too quickly. The Foundation leaders knew that a structured approach was needed. So, they broke down their goals, which had been inclusive and all-encompassing, into manageable objectives and applied the OKR model successfully.


As I read of the challenges and ultimate successes of Google and the Gates Foundation, both of which had used the OKR model, I wondered how best to apply the model to best practices in nursing education. In the best of circumstances, shouldn't all faculty be certified nurse educators? After all, according to the National League for Nursing (n.d.), certification communicates to students, peers, and the academic and health care communities that the highest standards of excellence are being met.


Currently, we have no benchmarks for excellence in relation to the certification requirements for faculty, and as with other forms of professional specialty certification in nursing, we have not yet systematically tied the presence of certification to student or patient outcomes. Using the OKR model, outcomes of certification should be studied for their relation to student success according to standard markers, for example, state board pass rates, critical judgment of graduates to keep patients safe, or even retention of graduates in the profession.


Of course certification is not the only factor that we could study in improving our educational programs. Excellence programs of all types require our attention, as do the basic nursing education programs. As we move toward the baccalaureate degree in nursing as an expectation, a goal, using the OKR model we would measure every step of the way and modify our objectives if they are not helping us achieve the overall goal. There is no doubt we have made great strides in nursing education research. Our attention to detail requires us to do even more and to do so quickly, to continue to claim our place in health care delivery.




Doerr J. (2018). Measure what matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation rock the world with OKRs. New York, NY: Penguin Books. [Context Link]


Klau R. (2012, October 25). How Google sets goals. Retrieved from[Context Link]


National League for Nursing. (n.d.). The value of certification. Retrieved from[Context Link]