Operationalizing a Nursing Innovation Center Within a Health Care System

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In nursing, the terms “innovation” and “innovative” are used freely, especially when individuals or groups either develop something new or improve upon current practice. Innovation is often considered adjunct work, not part of foundational work that aims to meet the vision, mission, and values of the organization. Nurse leaders must include innovation as an important theme of this foundational work. Innovation must become a core expectation of all nurses and nursing team members. Team members can provide ideas that lead to innovations. They can also carry out roles that enhance or cultivate ideas, promote prototyping, ensure innovative ideas are efficacious and effective, and facilitate dissemination and diffusion into practice. To ensure that innovation is incorporated as part of nursing practice and then sustained over time, horizontal (elemental) and vertical (global) infrastructure and processes are needed. In this article, operationalization of a Nursing Innovation Center is described and rationale for specific horizontal and vertical services and features is discussed.

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