Elevating talent with the Nightingale Challenge

This blog was written by Capt Neelam Deshwal, Chief Nursing Officer, Fortis Healthcare Limited, Mohali Hospital, Punjab, India.

It has been a practice for many years now within our fraternity to first hire, then mentor, then let our early-career nurses grow with the flow of understanding the role. But we did not think of building, creating, and nurturing them from the very beginning. Thanks to the Nightingale Challenge we are able to support them in developing their leadership skills and create active young leaders to work in our team and think outside of the box to improve patient care.   

The Nightingale Challenge has supported us to elevate talent and help our young nurses to develop their expertise from the beginning of their careers.

The key benefits of the Nightingale Challenge to both participating nurses, as well as members of the senior leadership team involved in this initiative have been: 

  •  The partnership and the collaboration
  •  The lessons learned that focus on patient satisfaction 
  •  The support received to develop our Vision and Mission as well a core competency framework for our nurses

This was all possible because we actively engaged our senior leadership to be involved in this initiative and they too have benefitted from this experience.   

Since we joined the Nightingale Challenge in January 2020, we have focussed on the following activities: 

  •         Prevention of needlestick injuries
  •         Preparing patient for discharge
  •         Improvement in shift handover and transfer out
  •         Communication Audit – Improve the basics of AIDET (A= Acknowledge, I= Introduction, D= Duration, E= Explanation and T= Thank you)

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it some challenging times, but we have ensured that this learning programme is embedded in our system and so we have been able to continue, even at this difficult time. 

We have been able to do this thanks to:

  1. A new work culture, use of technology like virtual meetings, on-line learning, videos etc.
  2. Self-motivation and ownership by young nurses has added sustainability and success of this programme
  3. Peer support was overwhelming and that was a turning point for the success of the programme.

Whether or not we continue to implement our Nightingale Challenge programme beyond 2020 depends on how the situation with COVID-19 develops. It would be great to start afresh in 2021 with renewed energy and build many more young nurse leaders!