1. Beauchamp, Joan M. BSN, RN, CAN
  2. Glessner, Theresa M. MSN, RN, NP, BC, CCRN

Article Content


The purpose of this project is to apply the principles of appreciative inquiry (AI) to an acute care nursing unit in an effort to promote positive change and to focus on positive solutions from the past that can be applied to future issues.



The definition of AI is the act of exploring and recognizing the best. AI theory suggests that in every organization there is something good, something that works. The result of the inquiry process is a series of statements that describes where the organization wants to be, based on the positive moments of where they have been. AI statements are grounded in reality, real experiences within an organization, successes that can be repeated.



The nursing profession is in great transition. Nurses face challenges such as 24/7 scheduling, increasing customer expectations, changing technology, and complex cultural and morale issues. Nurses become entangled in a changing environment and commonly grow to be disengaged, indifferent, and angry. This whirlwind effect creates a nursing culture focused on problems and problem solving.



AI engages nurses in the change process and allows them to discover and design solutions to pressing cultural issues.



The AI process changes the method of interaction between nurses and peers, providers, and patients, thereby changing the culture from a problem-focused unit to a positivistic, future-focused team.



AI allows nurses to discover why they do what they do, and has a positive impact on the nursing culture of a nursing unit.