Every nursing shift is different and unpredictable. On most days, you are crazy busy. No matter what setting you work in, your usually organized workflows become disrupted for several reasons. A lack of resources such as missing or broken equipment. Distractions and a heavy workload. The electronic charting system goes down. These situations leave you with more to do, less time, and problems to solve beyond your usual tasks required to provide excellent care and get your job done.

What do you do? You create workarounds. You must keep things moving. Nursing innovation: nature.

But workplace workarounds put everyone at risk, resulting in errors, adverse events and near misses for patients, families, you, your colleagues and the community.

While not the best option, the reality is workarounds are creativity in action. It is you inventing a different way to be productive in the best way possible and impact the timely care you need to provide in the moment. This is where opportunity emerges: to use creativity to invent permanent solutions that are better for everyone.

In workaround situations, stop and realize that you have discovered a problem that needs fixing, and you can be the inventive change agent to do it. Identifying these gaps and broken systems is an excellent starting point for you to begin to cultivate your nurse creativity. A chance to use Nurse Innovation to create different tools, policies, and processes that will improve your work setting.

Health Innovation is “the implementation of new or altered products, services, processes, systems, policies, organizational structures, or business models that aim to improve one or more domains of health care quality or reduce health care disparities” (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 2017).

Nurses are the protectors, promoters, and optimizers of health and abilities, who encourage prevention of illness and injury, facilitate healing, alleviate suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations (American Nurses Association (ANA), 2017).

Put the two together, and you get Nurse Innovation. Nurse Innovation: Nature.

Nurse Innovators have developed and implemented some of the best inventions in healthcare that improve productivity and safety, reduce waste and positively impact patient and clinician outcomes and experience. You can be one of them. Curiosity, awareness and the courage to disrupt current practice is what you need to get started.

Nurse innovation: Nature. You can find better ways to solve recurrent problems in your work environment that require workarounds today.

Problems = workarounds. Workarounds = opportunity. Opportunity = Creativity. Creativity = Evolution.

What to know more about how your creativity can guide you to change nursing practice in your work setting? Join the Evolution and get TDC and Evolving Nursing Practice – it will get you started to learn how tech, data, and creativity (TDC) concepts complement your natural instincts to innovate in nursing.