Strong leadership is essential, especially when the transformation of the healthcare system is achieved. Many nurses begin their careers without thinking that later they could be involved in the management process. Their profession, however, requires leaders who can spearhead activities to serve and collaborate with other partners in the health profession. Nurses need to have enough skills and competency to be qualified physicians and professionals to support healthcare specialists and reform the system’s efforts. They are the ones who can guide and direct changes in the healthcare system, thereby reinforcing it. The diffusion of innovation theory explains how, why, and the degree to which a process or service spreads in social networks or a population and supports adopting a new idea (Schub & Karakashian, 2017). It enables the quick adoption of technology and helps to build an overall better health care system.
The future of nursing gives future professionals an outline of their roles, responsibilities, and the areas that need to be changed significantly to meet the high demand for specialized treatment and care provision. It focuses on the improvements which come along with the increased complexity of healthcare across the globe. Nurses make the highest number in healthcare and spend most of their time giving care to various patients with different conditions, from expectant mothers to chronically ill people (ASNS, 2020). Caregivers provide insights and offer their valuable qualities by acting as partners through their professionalism. Therefore, the future of nursing makes sense if the system learns to accommodate changes and adopt them in their professionalism so that improvement is made for quality care as envisioned in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Nurses should assume leadership roles to ensure that the healthcare system is redesigned and transformed.
Innovation Diffusion Theory
The innovation diffusion theory (IDT) describes an individual’s proceeds from knowledge of innovation until the decision is confirmed for adoption or rejection. According to researchers, a case where the desired change was not achieved can be resuscitated in the future at a more opportune time and using the appropriate methods (Schub & Karakashian, 2017). The theory emphasizes engaging the right parties, such as the policymakers, with an interest in making the change happen, capitalizing on the strengths and factors impeding the process.
The Elements of Innovation Diffusion Theory
The stages of the theory involve knowledge of the information, although no knowledge about the innovation. Persuasion follows when the interested party seeks more details on the idea under the study. In the implementation stage, the concept is ready and adjusted depending on the situation. Besides, it is also determined how useful the invention would be to the medical field (Schub & Karakashian, 2017). Finally, the decision for using the innovation is confirmed and placed for organizations to adopt it. Such design is common in nursing as the world is engaged in technological activities happening in daily routine.
The need for new medical and nursing approaches is driven by a desire to have enhanced care to reduce costs in the healthcare system. Nurses’ developments using innovation diffusion theory have led to significant improvements in caring for patients, communities, and healthcare systems. When nurses take the leadership role, service provision is made better as staff will adapt to the changes faster and flexibly. According to Academic Support for Nursing Students (ASNS) (2020), 80% of the nurses are on the front line to provide primary care in hospitals and home-based supervision. It is because they are positioned in a way to create new forms and solutions to protect their patients, especially the aging groups.
The desire for innovation and better care enables a stable environment across the globe were equitable, safe, and excellent health services are given fairly to everyone. A successful nursing leader would strive for sustainable innovation, making the healthcare system better, especially for endangered communities such as minority groups and patients with chronic diseases (Udod & Wagner, 2018). More trained and talented staff are retained in an institution where changes are accommodated for better working standards and meaningful differences in service delivery.
The Rationale of Innovation Diffusion Theory in Nursing Leadership
In different aspects of businesses, they may not adopt a new service, idea, or product that may not be implemented immediately. Nevertheless, it will take time for people from different regions to accept it. Research shows that consumers who adapt to changes earlier tend to benefit more and attain some features than those who take it later (Udod & Wagner, 2018). For nursing leaders, flexibility is vital in adopting changes to support the healthcare system to achieve better results. The diffusion of innovative concepts helps develop an evidence-based culture that supports the research in trying new ideas. Researchers argue that diffusion is the process of communicating innovations through particular channels in a certain period in a social system (Schub & Karakashian, 2017). Transferring knowledge is critical, although due to the current diversity in managing a nursing environment, care providers have to control costs and quality and improve the outcome (Schub & Karakashian, 2017). Therefore, the adoption should be objective and sufficient, depending on the problem occurring and thus appropriate actions to be taken with the evidence’s guidance.
Outcomes for Use in Evaluation of Success or Failure of Change
Measuring the effectiveness of changes may be challenging in many organizations as the pressure grows in building a strategy to incorporate them into their management systems. The healthcare system faces administrative complexities, which force it to adopt innovations to improve nurses’ performance. The outcome of the adjustments may vary depending on the innovations embraced and the expected results. After the adoption of the change, the work should be evaluated to measure the level of success because the goal is to improve patient care and the general health of many people (Academic Support for Nursing Students (ASNS) (2020). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), measuring the outcome of changes is based on individual performance, groups, or a given population attributed to interventions.
The difference can be measured through the overall performance of an institution and the achievement of its desired goals. The organization should be able to respond to whether the changes adopted delivered the initial purpose and intentions. The general improvements should be clear, adhere to the project plan and the benefits of the modifications. Individual performance can be measured by analyzing whether a particular nurse has impacted the changes since they are the basic frontline units. Therefore, progress is a leading indicator of the project’s success. The measures help to identify whether the staff is progressing with the changes. The evaluation can be done through assessments, observation, surveys, or personal appraisals.
The management is essential in testing the success of the changes from how the organization is run through the actual activities based on how the resources are utilized and staff management. The leadership should ensure that the goals are met and that communication effectively ensures the innovation’s success. As innovation is diffused, the effectiveness of the activities improves, and with time, the performance of the nurses and the whole organization gets better (ASNS, 2020). However, if the components of the changes are not well organized, the diffusion may not be successful and thus lead to the project’s failure, decreasing the efficiency of the institution and its units.
Every individual in an organization is equally important in adopting changes and the success of projects. Everyone’s effort is critical in the project’s overall success or failure, whether it is the management team, senior personnel, or subordinate staff. Teamwork is essential to an institution because all the staff support every other person and understands the purpose of desired changes. Therefore, a successful leadership should encourage every staff level to ensure that desired changes are understood and adopted by everyone, from the nurse to the manager.
Changes in nursing and its leadership are essential since the field is complex and based on the current trends caused by difficult diseases that are to treat. Technology has been critical in healthcare since its advances have enabled improved healthcare, especially for nurses, as they can comprehend how to approach the diverse cases presented to them. The diffusion theory allows changes to be made known to all concerned individuals who have to embrace the innovation. They have to be evaluated to measure their performance and identify their success. Teamwork is essential since the effort of every individual plays a significant role in the overall performance.
Academic Support for Nursing Students (ASNS) (2020). Diffusion of innovation challenge for nurses. Web.
Schub, E, & Karakashian, A. (2016). Change management. Ipswich, MA: EBSCO Publishing.
Udod, S., & Wagner, J. (2018). Common change theories and application to different nursing situations. In J. Wagner (Ed.), Leadership and influencing change in nursing (pp. 155-173). Regina, SK: URPress.