Health-care organizational structure has become the focus of significant changes. Reduced numbers of hospital beds necessitate new tactics to supply high-quality care despite financial restrictions. This shortage has prompted inquiries about leadership and attracted attention to nursing leadership issues. Nursing leadership issues affect leaders in addition to their staff and additional stakeholders.
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Sustaining Healthy Work Environments
In today's tumultuous health-care environment, much effort has gone into identifying what needs to occur in practice environments to increase the health and well-being of nurses. Attaining these strategic goals has proven difficult for numerous organisations. A healthy work environment requires that present and future nurses and nurse managers undergo training and mentoring to upgrade the leadership skills considered necessary to sustain healthy workplace development. Leaders can aid in creating a particularly rewarding organizational culture by involving the staff in promoting shared values in their work. A healthy work environment is impossible without nurse leaders who sanction its importance, truly live it and involve team members in its attainment.
Overworked and Understaffed Units
Nurses often become overwhelmed with heavier workloads, higher patient acuity, low morale, numerous instrument processing issues and nurse shortages. Consequently, scores of nurses suffer from burnout, which results in increased sick time taken or even the decision to leave the profession altogether. Poor staff performance and unsatisfactory patient care outcomes are the most damaging effects reflected by these issues. Failure of nursing leadership to address these issues results in increased frustration and excess stress on the nursing staff.
Managing the Business
Health care is a business that requires management even though it developed around relationships. Financial instability makes it difficult to foster healthy work environments in health-care settings. The U.S. health-care reform debates focused on the cost of care and increasing pressure on leaders to manage organisations more efficiently, while improving quality and patient outcomes. Although the system requires financially savvy health-care leaders, nurse leaders often do not possess fiscal skills. Novice leaders often do not understand the effect of nursing activities and staffing on the health-care organisation’s revenue. If nurses are incapable of grasping the financial implications and costs of decisions, they will have limited success in demanding the necessary resources to manage their units effectively.
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- "Journal of Nursing Management"; Presence and Availability: Staff Conceptions of Nursing Leadership On An Intensive Care Unit; Kristina Rosengren, Elsy Athlin and Kerstin Segesten; September 2007
- "Online Journal of Issues in Nursing"; Growing Future Nurse Leaders to Build and Sustain Healthy Work Environments at the Unit Level;Rose Sherman and Elizabeth Pross; January 2010
- "Canadian Operating Room Nursing Journal"; Mentoring New Nurses In Stressful Times; Lisa E. Young; June 2009