Driving Change Through Diversity: How new staff can make a difference

Miss Laura Wright1, Mr John Wright1

1Tennant Creek Hospital, Tennant Creek, Australia


Being a new staff member can be challenging and confronting, but can also provide an avenue to initiate and drive change. Good communication is crucial and recognition of shared responsibility is key to sustainable change.

We will share our experiences from the perspectives of a new nurse and a manager and mentor of new staff. We all know generally that diversity is important. Diversity of experience is vital in developing innovative healthcare teams, and it provides an avenue for newly qualified staff to enter and thrive in those teams.

New staff bring fresh perspectives for identifying areas for improvement and suggesting alternative approaches to ‘the way it has always been done’. However, fantastic ideas don’t work alone, as effective change requires the whole team. Unilateral decisions are unsustainable, whether made by anyone from the student to the manager. Success depends on balancing eagerness for change with respect for history and experience. Managers and leaders must unequivocally support the exploration of new ideas. Whether or not they turn out to be workable is not the point, a culture of continuous improvement is the goal.

Finally, we offer practice tips for both new staff and managers, to help them navigate the communication minefield of change.


Laura Wright RN, BN, MACN, Emergency Nurse, Tennant Creek Hospital. Laura is in her third year as an RN, graduating from CDU in early 2017. Having grown up in the bush, she is passionate about remote health and making a difference wherever she can.


John Wright RN, BN, MRHP (NP), MRHM, GCCE, MACN, Fellow CRANAplus, Fellow CENA, Nursing Education and Research Coordinator, Tennant Creek Hospital. John has 25 years of experience in emergency nursing, remote area nursing, management, and education. He has a strong focus on supporting change and building effective teams.