Dr. Doris Grinspun

BPSO: Our social movement of science and compassion

Many years ago, I learned that when people are successful in the Chinese culture, they often contribute back through services that benefit the whole community. I learned this from an amazing woman who had a business making nursing uniforms in China and who approached RNAO to find ways to give back to the nursing community that had driven her business. The result was a partnership to provide leadership training for nurse executives in China – a beautiful relationship that is still going strong today, and that has propelled RNAO forward with its best practice guideline (BPG) work in that country. 

Our first training in China was in 2008, with then IABPG director Dr. Irmajean Bajnok. The visit was out of this world. We told our hosts that we could accommodate around 130 nurse executives for the leadership training – as they had requested – but we soon learned of a much larger need. Indeed, over three separate visits, we ended up training well over a thousand nurse executives, all eager to develop the competencies to become top leaders. 

Once RNAO had solidified its relationship with leading Chinese health-care organizations, we invited them to join our Best Practice Spotlight Organization® (BPSO®) program. That way, local leaders could take over and run with BPG implementation in their own context while keeping the fidelity of the program. Today, many of those early trainees are leading stellar Chinese BPSOs or helping scale up the program as BPSO Hosts.

These organizations embraced BPGs and the BPSO program right from the beginning, with tremendous results. And they are not alone. Read more about our international expansion and other triggers for growth – including work in Spain that has since opened the doors to the larger Spanish-speaking world – in our feature, A thriving global collective

As we work with BPSOs at home and abroad, the theory of scaling up (expansion), out (policy impact) and deep (sustainment) is at the core of the BPG and BPSO work we’ve been doing at RNAO for two decades.

The BPSO movement in China is an early example of RNAO mobilizing nurses for executive and clinical leadership through evidence-based practice. Relationship-building with our Chinese counterparts was a key point at which we saw – and leveraged – opportunities for growth. Using training based on RNAO’s BPGs as a foundation, we introduced Chinese nurses to the possibility of building change in the profession through a collective movement. This is action with identity – it powers nurses to assert evidence and passion in all they do, benefitting patients, families and communities. In turn, nurses who work in the Chinese BPSOs have gained the respect and esteem they were yearning for from the public and from funders. 

We’re inspired by the intense desire to always do better and the commitment to learning shown by our Chinese colleagues. These attributes are needed to fuel the BPSO work of more than 150,000 champions of change across many different countries and continents. They exemplify the BPSO credo: A social movement of science and compassion. 

And despite the growth of the BPSO movement, people often tell me they didn’t realize the extent of RNAO’s reach and success with BPGs until they heard first hand from BPSOs about the energy and impact of their work. Positive stories abound, whether shared at our annual BPSO Symposium or BPG Institute, at BPSO-hosted events around the world, or at global nursing congresses such as those hosted by the International Council of Nurses and Sigma. I invite you to read more about the work of our stellar BPSOs in our feature, Success stories and inspiration at annual symposium. I know their creativity, perseverance and compelling outcomes will inspire you as much as they inspire me. 

As we work with BPSOs at home and abroad, the theory of scaling up (expansion), out (policy impact) and deep (sustainment) is at the core of the BPG and BPSO work we’ve been doing at RNAO for two decades. In this special issue, we celebrate this formidable work, bringing you stories that illustrate the power of a collective group of knowledgeable providers coming together in the pursuit of better patient care. 

As we scale the program, we also want to create environments where care providers – nurses or other professionals – thrive, staying ahead of the curve, enjoying their work, learning from one another and feeling that their expertise makes a difference. Our BPSOs with their robust staff engagement – from the front lines to the executive team – achieve just that. 

Learn from our more than 1,500 BPSOs. Visit our website. Join as a BPSO. Become a champion (and meet some of them in our feature, Leading by example. Our BPSO champions are trailblazers – the most dedicated and fired-up change agents you will ever meet. They – and you – will take us through the next 20 years of this social movement of science and compassion. 

Fall 2023
Publish date