National Nurses Week. May 6 through 12, 2013

Reflect on and Celebrate Your Contributions to Quality and Innovation

As nurses, our attitude is naturally to "do whatever it takes" to provide high-quality care for patients. With a laser-like focus on person-centered care, we may not even recognize when we are innovative in solving a problem or improving the quality of care. With demands from all directions to improve quality, increase efficiency, and reduce costs, it's time to appreciate our strengths as innovators and share our insights and discoveries broadly wherever health care practices and policies are determined and implemented.

This year's National Nurses Week theme, "Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care," emphasizes our role and influence in making the health care system work better for patients. Think about the many ways you innovate and improve care. Sometimes, it's a creative solution addressing a problematic symptom for one patient; other times, it's a novel approach to care delivery that could be applied to a whole class of patients with similar conditions.

To learn more about how innovations in processes, technologies and best practices lead to improved patient outcomes, I recommend you participate in ANA's free continuing education webinar, "Innovation in Nursing Practice: Are You Leading the Charge?" May 9 at 1 p.m. EST, and share the opportunity with your colleagues.

We're all concerned about quality improvement, whether we're researchers, administrators, or clinical nurses. You have ideas to offer, and the nursing profession and our patients need your contributions.

I encourage you to hone your instinct for curiosity and persist in your pursuit for answers. Keep asking fundamental questions: How can we improve? Would another way work better? Are we following the best practice, based on evidence? Our dedication to inquiry inevitably will produce innovations and raise quality.

Take a few moments this week to reflect on and celebrate your contributions to your patients, workplace and community. Let a nursing colleague know how much you appreciate their contributions and how they make a difference for others. We are members of a noble, trusted profession that is indispensable to our country. Take some time this week to recognize the difference we make.

Thank you for your advocacy, leadership, and commitment to patients, and for supporting your professional association. It makes me proud of the nursing profession. Together, we can create the environment where our innovative thinking and devotion to quality will flourish.

Enjoy the week!

With sincere appreciation,


Karen A. Daley, PhD, RN, FAAN
President, American Nurses Association




Measuring Quality, Improving Outcomes

One significant way in which nurses are improving care and patient outcomes is through ANA's quality improvement tool, the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators® (NDNQI®), the largest comprehensive database of nursing performance measures with 1,900 participating hospitals. Using data, nurses identify problems and design solutions within their unit teams to improve the quality of care and outcomes, such as reducing pressure ulcers, infections, and patient falls. Whether or not you work in an NDNQI hospital, you can lead in the same way.