Nurses often are known for their passionate stance on health care issues, and that is no different when it comes to health care design. Debbie Gregory, R.N., and design consultant with Smith Seckman Reid, says clinicians "have the knowledge and understanding of the health system culture and mission and can be a continuous thread" throughout the building of new health care projects.

This close contact with patients and the environment in which they work gives nurses a unique insight into several matters. Which is why the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design (NIHD) partnered with Herman Miller Healthcare to co-author a new book: Nurses as Leaders in Healthcare Design: A Resource for Nurses and Interprofessional Partners.

The book, which NIHD says is the first and only of its kind, is dedicated to helping leaders tap into one of the most unrealized resources in the planning and design of clinical environments: the nurses. It focuses on nurses' and other clinicians' roles in planning and designing health care environments to optimize organizational outcomes.

Intended for practitioners, architects, designers and other leaders in health care, the guide is filled with real-world, actionable insights from front-line clinicians and hopes to help shape the design of human-centered healing spaces.

Kathy Okland R.N., MPH, EDAC and Jaynelle Stichler DNS, R.N., NEA-BC, EDAC, FACHE, FAAN, served as co-executive editors. The primary authors of the book are all clinical leaders, most of whom are members of NIHD.

"The ethos of nursing practice and leadership is both art and science," Okland says. "Influencing the design of environments where the human experience is enhanced extends the impact that we alone as nurses can bring to the care alchemy. Yet, no ready resource exists that prepares nurses for a role that transcends from coordinating care to coordinating the complexities of a construction project — until this, until now."

Topics addressed in the book include:

  • Why Design Matters: Maslow's Hierarchy for Healthcare Design
  • Perspectives on the Foundation and History of Nursing in Healthcare Design
  • Nurse-led Innovation in Healthcare Design
  • Using Evidence to Guide Design Decisions
  • Structure to Achieve Outcomes: Leading the Design Process
  • Transition and Activation Planning
  • Nursing Influence on Post-occupancy Evaluations

A copy of "Nurses as Leaders in Healthcare Design" can be reserved through Herman Miller's website.