Nurse as researcher, educator and change agent

Concepts

In 1951, Kurt Lewin introduced the Change Theory which theorizes a three-stage model of change that the change agent must undergo for planned change to occur as unfreezing, movement, and refreezing (as cited in Marquis & Huston, 2008). Unfreezing is the first phase in which the change agent convinces group members and makes them aware that a change needs to be implemented (Marquis & Huston). This stage focuses on gathering pertinent data, identifying the issue, determine whether change is needed, and communicate the need for change to everybody involved. In the second stage, the movement, the change agent focuses on identifying, planning, and implementing appropriate strategies ensuring that driving forces exceed restraining forces. The last phase is refreezing (Marquis & Huston, p. 169). Two important elements of the change process are the change agent and the stakeholders. Moreover, Lewin’s Change Theory mentions the concept of driving and restraining forces.

Plan of Purpose Change Project

This segment of the paper will focus on strategies that address the development of needs assessment and avenues in educating the front-line staff focusing on the areas of knowledge gaps. The plan demonstrates the unfreezing stage of Lewis’s Change theory and consists of assessing the issue, reviewing the literature, and identifying eventual restraining and driving forces and the stakeholders.

Data collection: Literature review

After establishing the plan of action, there is a need for extensive research on the main components of a project. Relevant research topics focused on how to develop a needs assessment. According to Rattray and Jones (2005) in order assure content validity of a project, data can be gathered “from a number of sources including consultation with experts in the field, proposed respondents and review of associated literature” (p. 237).A needs assessment can be defined as a “formal, systematic attempt to determine and close the more important gaps between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’ (Kaufman and English, 1979, p. 8).

Identifying the Problem

Steps in Project Plan

Under mentor guidance, decide on a timeline and on how the elements of our projects will be carried out.

Stakeholders

Stakeholders are defined as entities that “play a role in the organization’s health and performance or that are affected by the organization” (Marquis & Huston, p. 276).

Nurse as researcher, educator, and change agent

The nurse’s role as a researcher is paramount in promoting and executing change. We, as nurses, need to understand the process of research. As nurse researchers, we must be capable of selecting the most relevant research data, and by critiquing, analyzing, and evaluating our findings we would are able to integrate them into our daily practice. This will help “anticipate and meet these constantly shifting challenges and maintain the profession’s societal relevance” (LoBiondo-Wood, Haber, Cameroon, and Singh, 2009, p. 5). By correlating evidence from research, clinical expertise, and client preferences we can build upon a sound principle of evidence-based nursing. Understood that the research findings and their application in practice is a major component of our job and by committing to this role we contribute to the “advancement of nursing science” (LoBiondo-Wood, et all, 2009, p.6).

The next step of our project is to disseminate our findings and data to the audience. Based on the results of the needs assessment we will develop a teaching plan which will be used as a tool for the agency to improve and implement change in needed areas. The nurse’s role as researcher should be complemented by their roles as educators. We should be able to not only teach our patients, their families and our colleagues but also “should act as a facilitator, creating an environment conducive to learning “(Bastable, 2008, p.14).

Nurses may play the role of change agent, through their vital role in driving improvement for health factors at individual, family, and community levels. A nurse can act as a change agent in any health-related setting, such as hospital, community or family settings, and healthcare educational institutions.

A nurse can become an effective change agent being motivated by making a difference in patients’ life, families, the workplace, and community. Nurses are natural change agents due to their unique position as the catalyst between patients and other health care workers. In their leadership position, nurses have the power to promote change and transform the environments they are working in. Managing a range of responsibilities, advocating for their patients, fostering effective interaction, acting as a change agent are some of the tools that allow nurses to make a difference in the lives of their patients, colleagues, and the community