One of the primary challenges in nursing leadership is the managementof the nursing workforce (Allan and Jolley, 2013). Nursing teamscomprise of registered nurses, nursing assistants with various titlesand licensed practical (vocational) nurses (LP [V] Ns). Moreover,nursing students are also considered as part of the nursing teamsince they help in routine nursing duties. Some nursing units can besmall, comprising of two or three people while other teams can bequite large. Employee conflicts among nurses are a common factor inthe nursing profession due to factors such as differing ideologies.Leaders in the nursing profession seem to spend most of their timeaddressing employee conflicts. Mishandling of such conflicts by themanagers can lead to increased employee turnover, litigation claimsand it can also affect the morale of the nurses. Further, they canalso affect the overall wellbeing of the organization. Themanagement of the nursing workforce is a crucial issue in thehealthcare system negating the need to introduce a reliable frameworkthat guarantees efficiencies on the issue.
Leadership roles in nursing include evaluation of the organizationalstructure for quality delivery of patient care, inspiring the groupto work toward team effort and determines if adequate support andresources are available before making changes in the organization ofpatient care. Further, they also assure that the family and thepatient are the primary focus of patient care delivery and ensurethat the chosen nursing care delivery models enhance the practice ofprofessional nursing (Nagi et al., 2012).
Nurses in the leadership positions have the responsibility to makesure that the nursing operations work efficiently. Sometimes,managing a bigger team is quite challenging because each member ofthe nursing team has a role to play in ensuring that quality care isprovided to the patients. The integration of their functions andresponsibilities while ensuring synergism runs in a whole departmentis not an easy task if the team is quite large. Poor leadership andmanagement strategies by the managerial team negatively affect theentire organization and compromise the quality of patient care (Elenet al., 2012).
An Evidence-based Solution
Proper management of the nursing workforce is essential to theefficient working of an organization. The form of leadership used isimportant in tackling this challenge. The various types of leadershipstyles include servant, democratic, autocratic, laissez-faire andtransformational leadership (Frandsen, 2014). Various researchershave identified transformational leadership as the most active andinfluential form of leadership. Transformational leaders providevisions of what is to be accomplished and aid the nurses tounderstand that they are an integral part of the nursing team. Theyempower the nurses and delegate authority to them for effectivedecision-making and for helping find solutions to the encounteredproblems (Frandsen, 2014).
Also, in helping solve the management of the nursing workforce, atransformational leader should incorporate modular nursing in his/herleadership style. Modular nursing uses a mini-team where 2/3 memberswith at least one registered nurse are on the team. A small groupallows the team leader more time for planning and coordinating thenursing team. The team leader should construct bridges between nurseswho practice nursing and those who are in the management. Regardingavoiding and mitigating conflicts among the staff, the leaders needthe support of the clinical nurses, and they should be concerned withboth the issues of the patients and the nursing staff as well. Abalance should be established between the concerns of effectivemanagement and safe and acceptable standards for clinical practice.Finally, a transformational leader should accept the fact that theprocess of change should continue and for it to adjust in a positiveand developmental way, flexibility in thought is essential.
Teamwork and collaboration as a QSEN competency can help in thestrengthening of transformational leadership in supporting themanagement of the nursing workforce (AACN, 2013). A team is a groupof individuals working in synergy for a common goal. The nature ofhealth care needs the development of medical groups and collaborationamong all nurses caring for a particular patient or in a givensetting. Analyzing the strengths, values, and limitations of self andother team members by the transformational leader can help improveeveryone’s value and the overall effectiveness of the team.Understanding the different roles of each professional team memberwill enable the team work well in collaboration and provide thehighest level of care possible. The transformational leader shouldanalyze the impact of team-based practice and implement it in themanagement of the nursing workforce. The leader should act withintegrity and respect for the differing views of their nursingworkforce to avoid arising conflicts within the group. Thetransformational leader in his leadership style should describeproper handoff communication practices and use them to reduce risksassociated with authority gradients among the group members. Further,the solutions gotten through systematic intra and interprofessionalcollaborative efforts should be valued. Identification of systembarriers and elements that facilitate effective team function willhelp strengthen the nursing workforce. Finally, strategies forenhancing systems to support team functioning should be examined bythe team leader to help in the management of the nurses (AACN, 2013).State and national policy efforts to the health practice settingshould be applied to improve teamwork and collaboration.
Leadership is of contemporary significance as relates to theprovision of quality services to patients. Healthcare institutionsneed to have elaborate systems focusing on the encouragement ofappropriate leadership skills that aim at the achievement of the bestpatient outcomes. The management of nurses determines the manner inwhich patients are cared for. It is for the same reason thatappropriate systems must be enacted that aim at streamliningleadership in nursing. It would be possible to get the best outcomesof treatment for patients.
Allan, P., & Jolley, M. (2013). Current issues in nursing.Springer.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2012). Graduate-LevelQSEN Competencies Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes. Washington:American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Elena Losa Iglesias, M., & Becerro de Bengoa Vallejo, R. (2012).Conflict resolution styles in the nursing profession. ContemporaryNurse, 43(1), 73-80.
Frandsen, B. 2014. NursingLeadership, Management and Leadership Styles.Available
Nagi, C., Davies, J., Williams, M., Roberts, C., & Lewis, R.(2012). A Multidisciplinary Approach to Team Nursing Within a LowSecure Service: The Team Leader Role. Perspectives in psychiatriccare, 48(1), 56-61.