CNO Roundtable

Exciting Innovations

Q: What is a new or upcoming practice change or technological innovation that you are especially excited about?

Linda Sarna, RN, Ph.D., FAAN

(above, with APRN students at their white coat ceremony)
Dean / Professor / Lulu Wolf Hassenplug Chair
UCLA School of Nursing

With California facing an urgent and growing shortage of mental health professionals, three schools of nursing within the University of California system — UCSF, UC Davis and UCLA —are launching a new online certificate program that will prepare 300 additional psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners by 2025. The need for more mental health providers in California is critical. Solutions that include online education along with traditional on-the-ground support are the wave of the future. This will allow nurses across the state to expand their education without requiring relocation.

Katie Hughes, RN, MSN, CRRN

Chief Nursing Officer
Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare

One of the most exciting innovations I have seen recently is a wound assessment app that can be loaded onto a nurse’s call phone and interfaces with most EMR systems. There are many challenges to good-quality wound assessment and documentation, including variations in wound measurement, the nurse’s knowledge and assessment skill and the difficulty of uploading images. This app takes detailed 3-D images of the wound; calculates its size, depth and volume; identifies basic wound bed tissue type; and uploads the information directly into the patient’s record. Using the app increases the accuracy of assessment and documentation while reducing the time nurses spend doing it.

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Patricia S. Matos, RN, DNP, NEA-BC

(pictured above)
Chief Nursing Officer
Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital (UCLA Health)

On our psychiatric units, patients are supposed to be checked on every 15 minutes. However, we occasionally saw that the checks (which were formerly recorded on paper) were not as timely as they should have been. Last year, we bought an electronic check system; the patient wears a band and the staff must get close enough to the patient for the programmed iPad to register the encounter. Reports are pulled weekly and sent to the manager. These reports document individual staff compliance and several other indicators. Since implementing this system, our compliance rates are now consistently high across the board.

Robyn M. Nelson, RN, Ph.D., MSN

Dean, College of Nursing
West Coast University

I thought SMART Boards in the classroom were high-tech, but they are almost extinct! The new norm includes roleplaying with gamification, iClickers, augmented reality for anatomy dissection, ebook textbooks that are always up to date, and instant access to new information. Technology has transformed learning and will continue to do so. A recent example is that following an exam, students are now provided a link to a 3-D review of the content they missed — not just text, but a 3-D visual!

Nursing Education

Lauren Spilsbury, RN, MSN

Vice President, Patient Care Services
Redlands Community Hospital

I am excited to watch our ICU nurses use ultrasound to noninvasively measure inferior vena cava (IVC) diameter. Nurses can use this small ultrasound device with septic patients to ensure that adequate fluids have been administered and determine when to transition to vasopressors. This is something that was not available in the past.

Another incredible evidence-based innovation is in our neonatal ICU: cue-based feeding. I am not a neonatal nurse, so this was something my staff taught me. In the past, neonatal patients were gavage-fed until a gestational age of 38 weeks; nurses now monitor the infant’s behavioral cues to assess when the infant is developmentally ready to begin feeding. This is bedside nursing at its best. Now, patients may begin feeding earlier, gain weight faster and hopefully go home more quickly. How great is that?

For more from the CNO Roundtable:

2020: The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

Your Path to Leadership

Lifelong Learning

Nurses in the Media

Staffing Challenges and the Silver Wave

CNO Reading List

New Grads at the Bedside

The COVID-19 Pandemic

Chief Nursing Officer Roundtable 2020 (homepage)


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