Leadership is nursing is widely discussed and recognised as an important element in nursing services and indeed in health service development. Nurse leaders are in a prime position to facilitate and drive change within the healthcare setting. Nurse leaders can be role models within the workforce and integral in guiding and motivating teams to meet organisational goals. Whilst it often feels change within the clinical environment, occurs at a rapid rate or too frequently, resulting in a degree of change fatigue amongst nursing colleagues. Organisational change is often in response to advancements in medical knowledge, workforce demands or in this case, infrastructure change in response to increased demand upon a service. The authors work in a busy cancer centre, which delivers day case chemotherapy to approximately 130 patients a day. Delays resulting from patients attending day care in blocks of time resulted in bottle necks, meaning many faced long waits for their chemotherapy. A new scheduling system was implemented to focus booking patients based on chair availability and thus staggered more consistently across the day. The objective of the change was to improve patients’ attendance on our chemotherapy day unit, to prevent lengthy delays and streamline the process of delivering chemotherapy. The focus of this review, is how nursing leadership was instrumental in delivering change and how nurses are optimally positioned to drive change and manage projects in the healthcare setting.
A project was undertaken to implement a new electronic system for scheduling chemotherapy for a busy chemo day service. The project was led by oncology nurses within the service.
The project outcome to implement a new electronic scheduling system was achieved in a timely manner. The project drivers did encounter some reticence, when colleagues faced new ways of working. Open and constant dialogue was maintained to ensure all stakeholders were fully apprised of the rationale for the change, the timescale and outcomes.
The importance of steady, intelligent leadership from nurses cannot be overestimated. Solidarity amongst nursing colleagues and allied health professionals is essential to optimise organisational efficacy and quality of care.
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The author has declared no conflicts of interest.