Surveys show that a significant number of staff nurses feel powerless in their jobs and are unable to act autonomously or even speak up about concerns or suggestions. This feeling of powerlessness or lack of nursing leadership creates job dissatisfaction, stress and burnout, and can lead to ineffective nursing that compromises patient safety or the nurse’s role as patient advocate.

That’s why Dr. Catherine Garner wrote a compelling new paper, “Powerlessness is Bad Practice: Any Nurse Can Be a Facilitator of Change,” which outlines why it is important for nurses to learn to step up and become facilitators of change and how they can do so.

Powerlessness is Bad Practice: Any Nurse Can Be a Facilitator of Change is a must-read for staff nurses who want to empower themselves to effect change and improve patient outcomes – even for nurses who are not in a management position. The paper also serves as an excellent tool for nurse managers to use with their teams to encourage leadership skill-building as a means for improved quality of care.

Readers will gain insight about the following topics:

  • Why nurses must speak up
  • How to build leadership skills at any level
  • How to start effecting change at the bedside
  • Why education plays a significant role

“There’s a positive trend toward workplace practices that empower nurses and plays an important role on multi-disciplinary care teams, where collaboration is key,” says Catherine Garner, DrPH, RN, an innovator in the field of nursing research, leadership and academics. Most importantly, Dr. Garner says nurses should become facilitators of change by not only learning how to address other nurses and managers, but also other valuable multi-disciplinary care team members such as physicians, administration, finance, IT and pharmacists.

Click here to watch Dr. Garner speak about why nurses need to know how to implement change in a positive fashion.


The no-cost, 8-page paper, Powerlessness is Bad Practice: Any Nurse Can Be a Facilitator of Change, is now available for download at It offers insightful thought-starters about how nursing leadership at any level can positively affect change in nursing careers and improve patient outcomes.

“American Sentinel University produced this paper because we firmly believe that the voice of the nurse is important. Bedside nurses are the most knowledgeable about what is going on with patients and families and they have an ethical duty to take that knowledge to improve a patient’s care,” adds Dr. Garner.

In order to meet the quality and safety issues that are a huge challenge in healthcare today, American Sentinel University is developing programs that foster leadership skills and change management, even at the Bachelor’s level. American Sentinel University’s Capstone Project course in its RN to BSN program is a major change initiative that is designed and implemented by students and helps reinforce the concept that one person can in fact make a difference in an institution and that they are not powerless.


Click here for more information about American Sentinel University’s RN to BSN program.