The Article: Drenkard, K. (2012). Strategy as a solution: Developing a nursing strategic plan. Journal of Nursing Administration, 42(5): 242-243.
Big Idea: Drenkard, Executive Director of the American Nurses Credentialing Center, explains the importance of developing a strategic plan for nursing research and evidence-based practice within organizations.
Survey Says!: Nurse leaders can develop strategic plans through numerous methods. While developing a strategic plan, it is important to think long-term and dream big rather than focus on immediate nursing needs. However, once broad goals are created, the tactics and action steps should be more specific. Goals should be measurable and evaluated regularly to determine progress.
Quotable: “Strategic planning is a process ‘‘by which the guiding members of an organization envision its future and develop the necessary procedures and operations to achieve that future [reference]” (p. 242).
“A strategic plan for nursing is not a panacea for all of the tremendous pressures and challenges nurse leaders face today. But strategy can push us to dream bigger and reach higher as a profession. Strategic direction can integrate all parts of the care team, help to align scarce resources toward a common vision, can drive innovation, and can build excitement as milestones are met and positive change occurs. It moves us from reactive response to proactive high performance as nurses, and that is a preferred state that our patients expect” (p. 243).
So What?: This article is part of the lowest level of evidence within nursing. Still, it intrigued me because it is a basic overview of strategic planning and why it is important, appearing in a journal for nursing managers, executives, and leaders. I hope all nurse leaders are involved in strategic planning for the nursing profession within their organizations, however, this article leads me to believe otherwise. Even if you are not a formal nurse leader, know that you are a nurse leader – at any level of service. This article is very brief yet provides a succinct overview of strategic planning. Familiarize yourself with the process. Better yet, ask about the nursing strategic plan within your own institution. Go a step farther and develop a strategic plan for your nursing career. Strategic planning is a valuable tool, often underutilized within our profession.