1. Burke, Kathleen G. PhD, RN-BC, CENP, FAAN

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When I returned from this year's Association for Nurses in Professional Development conference in Phoenix, Arizona, I was invigorated and inspired by the leadership and innovation of the nursing professional development (NPD) practitioners. The presentations and the posters addressed many new evidence-based professional development solutions to improve patient care. Thank you to all the colleagues at the conference who shared with me the innovative work they are doing at their organizations. I hope you submit your work to the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development (JNPD). Prior to the start of the conference, the JNPD board held their annual in-person meeting where the board discussed innovative ideas for the future of JNPD. Stay tune for more details!


All these discussions have led me to think about the importance of innovation in the role of the NPD practitioner. One of the NPD leadership competencies includes "creating a culture in which innovation and risk-taking are promoted and expected" (Harper & Maloney, 2016, p. 51). In Chapter 9 of "Leadership in Professional Development: An Organizations and System Focus," by Smith and Harper (2016), Casao and Smith highlight the key role of the NPD practitioner in leading organizational innovation as leaders in program and project management (p. 218).


As I was finalizing my editorial for this issue, I was made aware of a recent survey published by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and BDO Center for Health Care Excellence (2019), "Unleashing Nurse-Led Innovation." The project surveyed two distinct groups, 104 clinical leaders and 172 business leaders, about the future of nursing innovation and its role in their organizations. The results of the survey found that both clinical and business leaders rank skills such as the interface of clinical innovation and technology, design-thinking for process change, and excellence in clinical acumen in the top four most valuable for nurse innovators in their organizations for 2025. But according to the survey, nursing innovation has not been fully unleashed. Less than 46% of business leaders say their C-suite included someone with a nursing background, and only 31% of clinical leaders indicated that they have a designated nursing leader whose primary responsibility is innovation. The survey also found that 81% of the clinical leaders said that placing nurses as decision makers on all strategic planning teams will be key for their organizations. According to Antonia M. Villarruel (2019), PhD, RN, FAAN, Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, "Nurses drive safety and quality, and therefore, it is critical that we invest in nurses and their ideas. Nurses are solving problems on the frontlines every day, and their ideas need to be recognized and promoted to healthcare leadership and beyond." According to Dean Villarruel, there are several ways an NPD practitioner can promote nursing innovation. They can (a) promote a culture of innovation where nurses are encouraged to identify clinical problems and design creative solutions and rewards innovation, (b) develop the skills to promote innovation such as incorporating design-thinking skills as part of the professional development of nurses, (c) conduct think tanks to help discover new ways to solve clinical problems, (d) partner with their academic colleagues to create joint programs and fellowships roles in innovation, and (e) create a plan for sustainability and spread by highlighting nurses' ideas and elevating their ideas to administration. If transformation in health care is going to take place, nursing innovation must be promoted. The importance of the NPD practitioner in engaging and promoting innovation cannot be overstated! I encourage all of you to continue innovating and advancing nursing innovation at all levels! I hope you have a wonderful summer.




Harper M. G., & Maloney P. (2016). Nursing professional development: Scope and standards of practice (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: Association for Nursing Professional Development. [Context Link]


Smith C. M., & Harper M. G. (2016). Leadership in nursing professional development: An organizational and system focus ( Chap. 9 ed., pp. 218-255). Chicago, IL: Association for Nursing Professional Development. [Context Link]


University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and BDO Center for Health Care Excellence. (2019). Unleashing nurse-led innovation. Retrieved from[Context Link]


Villarruel A. M. (2019, May 7), Interview with Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN, Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. [Context Link]