Problem Solving Approach Not Working? Try Appreciative Inquiry in Nursing

Are you and your nursing colleagues butting your heads up against the wall when it comes to making change? Do you attend meeting after meeting, but feel when you leave that nothing was accomplished? Does the group have ideas about changes, but get stuck talking about the way things are not working anymore?

It may be time for you and your nursing colleagues to try something different. To think outside the box and look instead at solutions.

Nurses and the councils or committees that we form are great at holding meetings. We are exceptional at looking at the data and letting the numbers tell us what is wrong with our work. Where we often fall short is to creating solutions.

Solutions that work. That are sustainable. Solving problems with nursing staff buy-in.

Instead of asking what is wrong and how do we fix it, try asking what is right! Here is a video that outlines the appreciative inquiry process and gives examples how to use this problem-solving approach in nursing practice.

Have you ever experienced something wrong in your nursing career? What was the way that you and your nursing colleagues came up with a solution? Have you ever tried using the appreciative inquiry framework to look for solutions? Share below and thanks for watching!

p1050390About the Author: Keynote speaker and virtual conference host, Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, partners with hospitals, nursing schools, and nurse associations to transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the host of the Nurse’s Week program, The Art of Nursing, Elizabeth supports nursing organizations in celebrating and recognizing their staff in a meaningful way. Elizabeth received her dual master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a certified coach and Reiki Master Teacher. Elizabeth lives in Maryland with her supportive husband and playful pit bull.


  1. Something must be in the air! This was the topic dè jour when we went out to eat last night.
    I like the way you think.

  2. OMG! I plan to share this with my leadership team. They know about appreciative inquiry but just like everything else. When you get back from conferences and don’t use what you learned, you loose it. Thanks for this leadership video tool!

  3. Could I please have the link to this article? I need it for a discussion post in my nursing leadership class and it is asking me to pay.

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