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Leadership in Nursing EnvironmentResearch Paper

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¶ … Leadership and Management in nursing

The trends in the current healthcare system needs not only good management but also apt leadership that will help the new generations get interested in nursing as well as offer quality services to the people who need their service. It is a fact that the number of people interested in and pursuing nursing related courses is declining by the day, with more young people focused more on the information technology and computer science oriented courses. This will inevitably lead to a shortage of nurses in the next generation hence there is need for a stronger leadership that is palatable to the contemporary challenges and proper management and managerial structures put in place in order to achieve the revamping of number of nurses and arrest the rates of attrition within the profession.

In the current prevailing nursing environment hence, values-based leadership is known to have a positive change on the performance and the functioning of nursing and health care facilities in general. David M.B., (2000) quotes Burn's (1978) theoretical work on transformational leadership basing his argument on Kohlberg's moral development theory and Weber's (1947) theory of leadership and authority. In analysis, David, (2000) concurs with Burn that a moral value-based leader, is the one who emphasizes social exchange between leader and follower in the form of the psychological and mutual needs contract driven by charisma, individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation and inspirational motivation (Homrig, 2001).

Transformational leadership, hence, is an approach to nursing leadership that puts into perspective the consequences of the leadership, not just on the followers, but also on the patients and clients who will interact with the followers, an aspect that is central in nursing. The significant values of transformational leaders is that they have great impact in promoting performance beyond expectations and to institute significant changes on the operations of a department in a healthcare facility or a department therein since such leaders will gear towards liberty, justice, equality and collective well being for each member of the staff. This is fundamental quality in the nursing industry. Transformational leadership in the current nursing environment is one which seeks to exploit and develop the potential of individuals through meeting the needs of the greater member of the public as a whole, for instance and significantly so, the need for safety of the patients. This kind of leadership also holds moral values with the highest esteem and here, the safety of the patients is a central tenet of the nurses as they carry on with their daily commitments to help the sick.

Transformational leaders in nursing are those who consider it a virtue to encourage and inspire the followers in the pursuit of achieving their full potential and when they do this, the transformational leaders are trusted, admired and above all respected. The tam members cultivate a culture of self-worth and in most instances would like to take their leaders as role models. By providing meaning and challenging work to the nurses under him, such leaders often motivate the nurses working under them. Transformational leaders will pay attention to needs and perspectives of each nurse they work with, especially their need for achievement and growth. He will help them achieve this growth need by being a mentor and a trainer to the nurses and in the process making sure there are minimal conflicts between the nurses since conflict is catastrophic to performance (Homrig, 2001).

There are several measure that a transformational leader in the contemporary society needs to institute to encourage and help the nurses develop;

i. Have a regular feedback system; the transformational leader will seek information from the nurses on the current issues and assignments they have been entrusted to perform, and this he does on a regular basis. Open discussions of the daily operational challenges in patient care that the nurses encounter is encouraged by such a leader, he will also discuss the work environment, the work schedule and the feeling of the employees about it and any other issues that may casue distress to the employees. Any transformational leader will be quick to detect that issues that affect the nurses will inevitably affect the patients and the early handling of such stresses will go a long way in safeguarding the patient and the professional work environment.

ii. Inclusive leadership; a transformational leader will involve the nurses in leadership and this has proven to be one of the most successful approaches that transformational leaders will empower the nurses and in effect stop the attrition among the nurses and insecurity among the patients. Since the nurses will be involved in the leadership, safety will be assured within the healthcare facility. The transformational leader will allow the nurses the space and time to demonstrate their nursing experiences and leadership skills without suppressing them. The nurses will be allowed to exercise their leadership skills by being allowed to run and lead meetings within the departments and also be entrusted to deliver research reports to the relevant bodies on behalf of the department. The transformational leaders should also encourage the nurses to share with others and the new employees the significant topics like the policies guiding the health care facility, medical procedures in nursing as well as patient care on a peer-to-peer basis hence creating effective mentorship and sharing leadership.

iii. Inculcate mutual understanding; transformational leaders in nursing shall do their best to get the perspective of the employees and in effect lessening the tension and frustrations that may arise. This will also form a cooperative spirit among the nurses. The hidden frustrations often lead to attrition and lesser employees within the current health facilities. The instilling of team approach to issues and challenges should be a priority for the transformational leaders.

iv. Reinforce positive communication; in the fast changing and globalizing world, transformational leaders must establish a positive communication process with the nurses working under them. There is need for the leader to have open channels of communication and in times when the communication channels seem to have challenges, he needs to initiate the communication and make the employees open up.

Contemporary management in nursing

In nursing management, there are leadership functions like the decision making and governance issues that will need to be actualized on a regular basis. In order to actualize the various functions of management like planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling, there is need for the management team to be well versed with the contemporary issues and trends lest they implement decisions and measures that are outdated.

The operational planning in nursing is hinged on five major pillars as expressed by Huntington Hospital (2012) and these are quality, service, growth, people/professional development and finance. Each health facility needs to have a management team that has the technical know how to bring these five pillars to actualization. The management needs to have both the requisite training and experience to ensure that strategic plan for the health facility is at par with the others and applicable. The operational strategic plan can be achieved through the management coming up with goals and objectives, with the development of operational objectives, the new strategic plan will be formed accordingly.

Time management is yet another central aspect in effective management in nursing since in the contemporary times there is little time yet too much to do, this is made worse by the insufficient number of nurses as compared to the patients to be attended to. Drawing up activities to be handled and the schedule as well as the expected time frames that these need to be done is essential in ensuring that the time is well managed and utilized within the nursing facilities. Time can also be saved through the managers delegating activities to other nurses especially those that they do not have to do on their own, hence giving them more time to invest in other piling tasks that may need immediate attention. Planning ahead is also key to time management within the health care facility and the management needs to always have a plan or activities that needed to be done well in advance and allocate the responsibilities as opposed to last minute rush. A well trained and motivated workforce is yet another key measure for the management to ensure effective use of time (Swansburg R.C. & Swansburg R.J., 2002; Pp385).

The human resources issue is yet another central aspect in the current nursing environment. The organizational culture is usually influenced by the top management and actualized by the employees; hence the human resource plays a significant part in shaping the organization. The selection process has critical bearing on the organizational culture hence the need to select and employ those whose attitudes and focus is consistent with those of the organization. The health care facilities need to have nurses who share a common vision and direction with that set by the top management, otherwise, the employees will feel restricted and work under constraining environment which will not be productive for the health care… [END OF PREVIEW]

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