Nursing Management Roles
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Thefirst person I interviewed was Britney (pseudonym), a director ofnursing in a long-term care facility. Conducting the interview in abeautiful garden behind her office, the first question I askedBritney was the academic qualifications she had for her to hold theposition of director of nursing. She was swift to say: "I am aproud holder of a nursing degree. I am also a registered nurse with avalid practicing license I have CPR and first aid certifications,and a postgraduate diploma in leadership and management." Shecontinued to say: "I had six months of training experience in abusy restorative and rehabilitative facility which toughened me up bythe way." Before ascending to the position of director ofnursing, Britney had three months of professional nursing experiencein nursing administration, which fueled her interest in enrolling inthe leadership and management class.
Thesecond question I asked Britney was the type of skills set that werenecessary for the successful execution of her nursing managementrole. Echoing Hoare’s (2016) opinion, Britney said: "As thedirector of nursing, my tasks range from administrative, personnelfunctions, to nursing care function. In this regard, my positiondictates that I must possess and exhibit high levels ofcommunications skills, leadership skills, organizational skills, andproblem-solving skills." According to Britney, the efficientexecution of her duties significantly depended on her integration andclinical practice of all these skills at any given moment. I must saythat I was impressed by this particular answer because it made meimagine how weighty the roles of a director of nursing are.
Theother question I asked Britney was the challenges she faced on herway to becoming a director of nursing and how she overcame them. Shesaid: "My greatest hurdle was getting an education. I was notborn with a silver spoon in my mouth, and I candidly thank God I havecome this far. Since I was an A student, I got scholarships that sawme through my entire journey of learning." Asking her what hergreatest accomplishment was, she quickly answered: "Savingsomeone`s life when I was in training. That was the moment I feltproud of what I chose to do with my life. Deciding to become a nurseis the best choice I have ever made because it gives me the chance totouch the lives of others." I was elated by this answer too.
Theother individual I conversed with was Peter (pseudonym), a nursemanager in a local short-term care facility. Correspondingly, thefirst question I asked Peter was his academic qualifications thatsecured him the position of a nurse manager. Smiling, he said:"Considering that my role befits a mid-level managementposition, I have a degree in nursing science. I am licensed, and I amcurrently enrolled in a graduate program to expand my human resourcesand organizational behavior competencies." Reverberating wellwith Robertson’s (2016) argument, Peter went on to add: "Myroles include managing the human resources, finances, improvingcustomer experience, and aligning the interests of the independentnursing unit assigned to me with organizational goals." Peterhad a year of training in a comparable management position in anotherinstitution different from where he is currently employed.
WhenI asked Peter about the skills that were necessary to master for himto execute his professional roles efficiently, he was quick to say:"Human relation skills. In class, we are only taught thetheoretical concepts of communication and human relation skills. Inpractice, it is sometimes difficult to use the theoretical conceptsbecause of the complex nature of the human species. Therefore, as thenursing manager of a unit comprised of 10 nurses, I had to develophuman relation skills through which I could mobilize my team membersto be productive in their workstations”. Peter’s responseresonates with Robertson’s (2016) perspective that being a goodnurse manager requires more than academic qualification. This stunnedme because I always thought of academic qualification as the core ofmedical professions.
Ialso asked Peter what his challenges were and how he overcame them.He cackled and then said: "After securing this post, my greatestchallenge was getting to embrace the perception that I was the leaderof a team of 10 highly qualified nurses. I was more qualified thanthe nurses were, but I was always nervous and used to double-checkeverything I did for fear of being corrected by my team members."Peter was quick to say that his greatest achievement was when heovercame the “someone is watching my back” syndrome. When I askedPeter how he overcame the anxiety, he said: "It was all in mymind. I realized that I was doing myself great injustice when Inoticed that I feared positive corrections. Presently, I don`t fearbeing corrected because it has improved me as a nursing manager.Since then, I encouraged the cultures of openness and honesty amongmy team members."
AsEllis and Abbott (2015) observe, both the roles of a nursing managerand a director of nursing are indispensable for the delivery ofquality health care. However, the nursing management role I wouldselect as a career goal is that of a director of nursing. Accordingto Hoare (2016), directors of nursing are the most significantplayers in any health care value chain because their duties coveradministrative, personnel, and nursing functions. Secondly, I wouldchoose to be a director of nursing over a nursing manager because, inhis article, Robertson (2016) draws attention to the fact that anurse manager has to be social, outspoken, and authoritative tomobilize their team members effectively. Since I am a naturallyreserved person, the role of nursing manager will not suit mypersonality. Besides, as a director of nursing, I will be exposed theadministrative, personnel, and nursing aspects of nursing managementwhich will go a long way in extensively broadening my professionalcompetence.
Ellis,P., & Abbott, J. (2015). Exploring the differences betweenleaders and managers. Journalof Renal Nursing,7(2),96-97. doi:10.12968/jorn.2015.7.2.96
Hoare,D. (2016). 408 hours as Associate Director of Nursing. BritishJournal of Nursing,25(18),1002-1002. doi:10.12968/bjon.2016.25.18.1002
Robertson,C. A. (2016). Nursing Today: A New Graduate`s Perspective. NurseLeader,14(5),330-332. doi:10.1016/j.mnl.2016.07.008
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