Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Re-engage, Re-energize, Renew: The Three R’s for a Champions Network to Support Pressure Ulcer Prevention

Natalie Clark
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance

The focus of my fellowship was to re-engage, re-energize and renew the RNAO Best Practice Champions (BPCs) network at Chatham Kent Health Alliance (CKHA). This involved using a change management project to support BPCs throughout the organization with a focus on pressure ulcer reduction strategies as this aligns with CKHA’s Quality Improvement Plan (QIP).

The fellowship focus was challenging however necessary for our organization as a designated BPSO. Since CKHA’s 2009 designation the number of acting and engaged BPCs have declined due to leadership changes, staff turnover and a loss of interest. Aligning this overall organizational need with a focus of pressure ulcer reduction to compliment our QIP and patient outcomes was also a challenge.

With support from my mentoring team, particularly my primary mentor, I was able to work through these challenges and keep my overall focus on leadership development and gear that towards sustainability for a re-engaged Champions Network. Incorporating aspects from complexity leadership theory to adopt a new reality to sustaining a Champions Network and supporting pressure ulcer reduction had a great impact on my overall professional development and introduced me to nursing leadership styles that I would have not previously considered.

This fellowship provided an opportunity that I would not have experienced elsewhere. During the timeframe of my fellowship several significant changes/events within the organization occurred that had a direct impact on formal leadership and staff involvement. These included CNE leadership changes, announcement of bed cutbacks with possible staff layoffs and accreditation. This difficult time within the organization was not only a challenging time for the leadership team and affected front line staff, but a challenging one for myself and my leadership development. I believe that it has strengthened my leadership abilities as I learned how to navigate through an organization going through significant change and challenging events. The process of understanding how to initiate change, re-engage stakeholders and implement a sustainability plan has enhanced my nursing knowledge, professional development and leadership capabilities.

A deeper sense and appreciation for being a part of a BPSO, RNAO BPGs and an engaged champion’s network has also developed throughout the fellowship. I myself am now a BPC who participates on a UBC and will continue to rely on BPGs to support positive patient outcomes and be a mentor and resource to staff. This opportunity has solidified my interest in nursing leadership and change management initiatives, as I hope to progress to a formal leadership role within the organization.

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