Nurses Lead Change to Transform Healthcare “Nurses have been called to lead change to advance the health of individuals, populations, and systems” (Nelson-Brantley & Ford, 2017, p. 834). Techniques, such as a SWOT analysis, force field analysis and gap analysis, assist nurse leaders with steering a health care delivery system in the right direction. The focus of this paper will be on the strategic planning that is used within a health care organization to transform the way that care is delivered. I will discuss how each of these techniques can set the stage for improving the performance and outcomes of a health care organization. Nurses are advancing into leaders by using these techniques to supplement strategic planning. SWOT Analysis In order for a health care organization to maintain optimal function, the promotion of change is continuously necessary. Within the health care delivery system, there are several techniques that nurses can use to determine where changes need to be made. A SWOT analysis is a technique that involves an assessment of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within an organization (Harrison, 2010). A strategic planning process is developed from a SWOT analysis (Harrison, 2010). When a nurse begins to plan strategically, this entails organization, adjustment and management to strengthen operations within the healthcare organization (Nelson-Brantley & Ford, 2017). Due to an ever-changing environment within a health care delivery system, a SWOT analysis is used to organize in-depth data findings into four categories: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A technique known as force field analysis can then be used to supplement the SWOT analysis findings (Harrison, 2010).Force Field AnalysisA force field analysis promotes change in a healthcare organization by taking a SWOT analysis a step further (Harrison, 2010). This technique works by identifying the forces that drive the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The first way that the force can be identified is as a positive driving force that is helpful at advancing a health care organization, toward goal achievement. The second way that a force can be identified is as a negative driving force that hinders change within an organization (Harrison, 2010). When the driving forces are identified as either positive or negative, a health care organization can begin the strategic planning process to promote change. According to Harrison (2010), strategies are developed to minimize the driving forces that hinder change, while strengthening the forces that help to promote positive changes (Harrison, 2010). Gap AnalysisIn order to refine the quality of health care services, another technique that is used to enhance the strategic planning process is a gap analysis (Harrison, 2010). This technique helps identify where problems exist within a health care delivery system. According to Harrison (2010), there is research that shows a significant number of gaps, such as weak communication skills, lack of resources and poor access to information. These gaps are the cause of low-quality health care delivery in today’s health care practice. A gap analysis can be used to identify a health care organization’s lack of financial resources. Deficiencies will be brought to the surface, such as the inability to purchase new equipment or hire additional staff. As a result of these deficiencies, patients may experience excessive waiting times and be diagnosed inaccurately, which can result in poor clinical outcomes. A gap analysis dictates the changes that need to be implemented in order to improve the quality of health care services (Harrison, 2010).SWOT Analysis and Career Growth In addition to promoting change within a health care organization, a SWOT analysis can be used to help nurses examine their nursing career. To advance your nursing career, a SWOT analysis can be applied by evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Nurses can use the SWOT analysis to determine how the current internal and external factors in their life are impacting their career advancement. The findings acquired with a SWOT analysis can be used to strategically plan ways to turn any weakness into strengths and any threats into opportunities (Pearce, 2007). Most importantly, a SWOT analysis can help nurses figure out where they are now and where they want to be in the future, in regards to their career.ConclusionAs mentioned in Nelson-Brantley & Ford (2017), “Organizational learning is the process of change in thought and action, embedded in and affected by the institutions of the organization” (p. 839). This process starts with a detailed analysis of the internal and external environment, as well as the organization’s readiness for change. In order to have successful change, the current attitudes of nursing leaders and staff need to be modified to emphasize the positive aspects of change (Nelson-Brantley & Ford, 2017). “After analysis, nurse leaders must use different styles of leadership to motivate, inspire and engage others in the process” (Nelson-Brantley & Ford, 2017, p. 836). It is up to nurse leaders to use a participative management style, using the input from all of the staff members within the organization to implement change (Nelson-Brantley & Ford, 2017). Strategic planning encourages consensus within work groups, which helps to incorporate these positive changes within the organization. The SWOT analysis, force field analysis and gap analysis techniques consider the concerns, needs, and goals of each participant, as well as the organizational standards (Harrison, 2010). With the use of these techniques, strategic planning is enhanced. Health care organizations can determine where changes need to be made to maintain optimal function, while continually making adjustments (Harrison, 2010).