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Nursing - Nursing Leadership in the 21st Century - Essay Example

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umass amhrest graduate school NURSING LEADERSHIP The 21st Century Jane Mwangi 4/13/2012 Abstract Nursing leadership in the 21st century is an area of considerable importance in clinical practices and healthcare sector. This paper discusses the importance of leadership for nurses…
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umass amhrest graduate school NURSING LEADERSHIP The 21st Century Jane Mwangi 4/13 Nursing leadership in the 21st century is an area of considerable importance in clinical practices and healthcare sector. This paper discusses the importance of leadership for nurses. First of all, an introductory paragraph has been given that introduces the importance of nursing leadership. Then, nursing leadership competencies have been described, that can also be considered as the recommendations regarding how nurses can develop better leadership skills. Essential competencies from Huston’s study have been described, which are important aspects of development of leadership skills in nursing. The report is summarized in a concluding paragraph. APA referencing style has been used properly. NURSING LEADERSHIP: THE 21ST CENTURY Introduction The nursing care delivery in the 21st century has been challenged by the complexity of the society and technology that has been growing at unprecedented pace in recent years. Research, in particular, has played an important role in propelling the understanding of efficacy of various clinical practices, treatment regimens and interventions (Nagle, as cited in McGonigle & Mastrian, 2011, p.147). In addition, extended and expanded access to clinical research findings and decisions to support tools has been significantly influenced by the advent of information and communication technology. The work environment in which nurses provide care to patients can determine the quality and safety of patient care (Institute of Medicine, 2004). As the largest health care workforce, nurses apply their knowledge, skills, and experience to care for the various and changing needs of patients. A large part of the demands of patient care is centred on the work of nurses. When care falls short of standards, whether because of resource allocation (e.g., workforce shortages and lack of needed medical equipment) or lack of appropriate policies and standards, nurses shoulder much of the responsibility (Hughes, n.d.). In addition, nurses are in a key position to improve the quality of health care through patient safety interventions and strategies. Nursing Leadership Competencies Working in environments of increasingly complex clinical care, and contending with the management of large volumes of information, nurses need to avail themselves of technologic tools that can support quality practice that is optimally safe, informed and knowledge based. Therefore, the nursing leadership programs should incorporate healthcare delivery systems, cultural and social competencies. In the 21st century, nurse managers and administrators must understand the competencies necessary to be successful in a changing health care environment. Leadership competencies have a significant impact on patient outcomes, and leads to cultivation of environment for continuous learning, interdepartmental and intradepartmental customer relationships within and across agencies, use of resources, strategic planning, and compliance with regulatory requirements (Ridenour, 1996). Huston (2008), in a study entitled ‘Preparing nurse leaders for 2020’, found eight essential competencies for nurse leaders, which include: (i) a global perspective or mindset regarding healthcare and professional nursing issues; (ii) technology skills which facilitate mobility and portability of relationships, interactions, and operational processes; (iii) expert decision-making skills rooted in empirical science; (iv) the ability to create organizational cultures that permeate quality healthcare and patient/worker safety; (v) understanding and appropriately intervening in political processes; (vi) highly developed collaborative and team building skills; (vii) the ability to balance authenticity and performance expectations; and, (viii) being able to envision and proactively adapt to a healthcare system characterized by rapid change and chaos. Therefore, there is need for nursing educational programmes and healthcare organizations to put systems in place to prepare nurse leaders. This will require formal education and training that are parts of most management development programmes, as well as development of appropriate attitudes through social learning (Houston, 2008). Training the nurses is also an important aspect of motivating them to learn leadership competencies. Training must be given in communication and interpersonal skills, to improve nurse-patient relationship. Conclusion To conclude, major milestones that have influenced the growth of information and communication technology have lead to the creation of the nursing informatics movement which, in today’s healthcare industry, summary the administrative, management, research and educational applications and initiatives. Nurses need to develop better competencies and leadership skills to provide efficient health care to patients. They should be able to deal with varying needs of the patients. They should be better informed with new tools and technologies with the help of which the quality of health care can be improved. They should be expert at decision-making and problem-solving. Most of all, they should be able to work on a collaborative platform with other nurses and patients, to be able to convey their messages properly. These competencies are a must-have for all nurses of the twenty-first century. References Hughes, R.G. (n.d.). Nurses at the “Sharp End” of Patient Care. Retrieved April 18, 2012, from http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/nurseshdbk/docs/HughesR_NSEPC.pdf Huston, C. (2008). Preparing nurse leaders for 2020. J Nurs Manag. 16(8): 905-911. Institute of Medicine. (2004). Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. McGonigle, D., & Matrian, K. (2011). Information and knowledge needs of nurses in the 21st century. Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge. USA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers. Ridenour, J.E. (1996). Nurse Leadership competencies for the 21st century. Semin Nurse Manag. 4(2): 93-97. Read More
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