Nursing Leadership and Management

Nursing leadership and management essay examples like this one will help you write your own excellent leadership in nursing essay. We recommend it to student nurses and other healthcare workers.

Leadership in Nursing Essay Introduction

In the past, nursing was an amorphous and unrecognized engagement that was often left at the discretion of close family members and relatives of patients. However, after the efforts of Florence Nightingale, it was recognized as a fully-fledged profession and was integrated into the healthcare system. As the profession grew in stature, concepts such as nurse leadership and nurse management emerged. A layperson may use the two concepts are interchangeable. However, within the healthcare context, these two concepts have some key differences that set them apart. This essay explores the similarities and differences between leadership and management in the nursing profession. It specifically focuses on how nurse leaders and managers perceive continuous quality improvement and patient satisfaction.

Continuous Quality Improvement & Patient Satisfaction

The quality of healthcare is a core concern of governments across the world. According to Heyrani et al. (2012), the concept of quality in the healthcare system is multifaceted. It entails resource management, personnel management, patient satisfaction, efficiency enhancement, and safety promotion, among other elements. Until recently, healthcare organizations underscored the importance of some of these elements and ignored others. This trend culminated in poorly performing healthcare systems that prompted the development of a comprehensive framework that incorporates all the tenets of quality in the healthcare system. The framework was named clinical governance. It requires every healthcare organization to commit itself to continuous quality improvement and accountability. Therefore, patient satisfaction is at the heart of this framework.

Nurse Leaders & Managers: Comparison of Perception

Stanley (2006) describes nurse leaders as individuals, who do not necessarily have delegated authority but empower, motivate, inspire, and influence their colleagues. A nurse manager, on the other hand, is an individual who is formally appointed to oversee the operations of a healthcare organization or a section within the organization (Swansburg, 2002). Essentially, the nurse manager plays a conventional managerial role, but in a healthcare context. Both leaders exhibit the following similarities in their perception of continuous quality improvement and patient satisfaction.

Firstly, both of them think on a long-term basis (Swansburg, 2002). In their leadership positions, both nurse leaders and managers think beyond the horizon because the nurses in their teams look unto them for direction and motivation. Their ability to think beyond the present makes them indispensable to the healthcare system, especially considering the fact that continuous improvement of quality in the healthcare system requires people who can envisage future trends and steer nurses towards the right direction. Without this kind of leadership, the nursing profession would not cope with the fast-changing quality standards in the healthcare system.

Secondly, both nurse leaders and managers look beyond their units to understand the relationships that exist between their units and the immediate external environment (Swansburg, 2002). For instance, within a healthcare organization, both nurse leaders and managers have a clear understanding of how their units affect or are affected by other departments. This knowledge helps them to provide leadership that enables their units to contribute positively to the objectives of the organization. This type of thinking is pertinent to the continuous improvement of quality and patient satisfaction because it is not possible to improve quality by simply focusing on one unit within a system (Heyrani et al., 2012). Rather, the head of each unit should clearly understand the role their unit plays in the quality improvement process and then lead it to discharge that role effectively.

Thirdly, nurse leaders, and managers both have the political skill to contain the conflicting requirements of the multiple constituencies that exist within the healthcare system (Swansburg, 2002). While every well-meaning nurse might want to make the health care system better, balancing the conflicts that occur between the different elements that constitute it often prove impossible. However, nurse leaders and managers demonstrate courage without necessarily being reckless as well as caution without being considered cowards (Coonan, 2007). This skill is closely tied to their ability to think beyond the present and to know what to do in any given circumstance. It helps them to show courage and determination when necessary and takes well-timed precautionary steps when certain measures prove to be counterproductive. This ability is invaluable to the continuous quality improvement process and patient satisfaction because they do require not only bold people but also diligent individuals who can detect and alter counterproductive measures (Kerridge, 2012).

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