Embracing Innovation: Challenges Confronting Nurse Leaders in a Multigenerational Workforce

Advances in technology allow nurses to efficiently provide patient care while managing other growing responsibilities, especially those in leadership roles. However, adoption of new technology can meet resistance in a multigenerational workforce. At MedCity ENGAGE – a recent two-day event featuring some of the industry’s leading organizations and brightest minds – a panel of experts weighed in on the challenges nurse leaders face while trying to optimize patient engagement.

One of those experts, RightSourcing’s Chief Clinical Officer, Ellen Kuhnert DNP(c), MBA, RN, discussed these challenges in the multigenerational workforce. “Although the technology has brought a lot of great solutions, it has also created a lot of barriers that we were not prepared to deal with,” Kuhnert noted during the discussion. Due to this dynamic, a cookie-cutter approach to innovation and new technology will mostly lead to frustration on the part of the workforce. Kuhnert recommends a tailored approach appealing to all generations’ strengths to ensure that those who crave innovation and technology get it, and those who are slower to adopt and succeed with it receive the proper training and ramp up time they need before implementation.

Kuhnert adds that going forward, hospitals and health systems need to offer innovative ideas for the millennial generation of nurses who seek that in potential employers and work environments. Conversely, nurse leaders must offer varying degrees of training and support and plenty of time to assimilate for those generations who see some technology as a distractor from patient care. An article appearing in OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing touches on the value of team building for positive clinical workforce outcomes.

Kuhnert concludes, Take the time to get to know your workforce and customize their experience with innovation and technology so it becomes a win-win for both them and the organization.” For more information on the MedCity ENGAGE panel discussion, click here.