Nursing leadership and management are similar in many ways. Specifically, both nursing leadership and management entail influencing others, working with individuals, and effective goal management (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2015). In addition, these two areas often overlap, whereby, when managers are engaged in influencing employees to satisfy organizational goals, they are functioning under leadership.
In the issue of nursing shortages and turnover, nurse leaders and managers would vary in the manner in which they address it. Primarily, management is more task-oriented and applies to control and problem-solving approaches, and thus nurse managers would adopt strategies such as modifying factors within the working environment like better nurse-patient ratios to reduce turnover (Dahlkemper, 2017). Managers can adopt strategies such as delegating authority to other nurses, sufficient nurse recruitment, superior remuneration and shared work culture which will develop an inbuilt capacity to resist recurrent nursing turnovers and shortages (Staggs & He, 2013). On the other hand, leadership is predominantly inspirational and visionary and therefore, nurse leaders would seek ways of increasing motivational levels among nurses to ensure that they are more satisfied with their work, ultimately reducing the likelihood of leaving the institution.
Further, management results in order and consistency, which means that nurse managers will pursue practices that reduce occupational stress levels like petitioning the institution to hire more nurses or modifying shift schedules. Conversely, leadership aims to instigate change and movement whereby nurse leaders would employ advocacy at the highest level possible to facilitate the formulation of laws and policies that directly increase the nurse staffing levels (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2015). Nursing managers would use their skills in planning and budgeting to propose ways in which a hospital can hire more nurses, float nurses, or better remunerate current nurses. Staffing is also a core function of managers, and thus nurse managers would pursue strategies that will increase nurse-patient rations by hiring more nurses either on a temporary or permanent basis. Nurse leaders on their part would employ their skills in establishing a direction or creating a vision to develop large-scale safe staffing initiatives at the state and federal level such as mandated nurse-patient ratios and safe nurse staffing reporting (Dahlkemper, 2017).
Nurse leaders are concerned with aligning individuals and communicating goals and would, therefore, mobilize healthcare institutions to invest more in the training of more nurses, and prompting state actors to increase subsidies for healthcare institutions that are involved in efforts to promote safe nurse staffing (Kelly & Quesnelle, 2015). At the organization level, nursing leaders can champion the implementation of hospital practices like hiring support nursing staff to alleviate the care burden of current staff. Nurse leaders would also engage the key stakeholders within institutions, the government and Congress to formulate appropriate staffing plans and state staffing regulations that effectively address this problem. The nursing shortage is directly tied to a corresponding nursing faculty shortage, and therefore, the nurse leader can address this issue by engaging in advocacy efforts that aim to reduce attrition levels among nursing educators. The nurse leader can champion the creation of structured postgraduate training curricula for nurses which will allow nurses to continually build their skills and knowledge within the care setting.
As an individual, I believe that the best approach for addressing the issues of nursing shortages and turnover is advocating for better staffing plans while at the same time hiring additional nurses and improving job satisfaction at the institutional level. This approach is best suited to my philosophy of nursing which is to advocate for superior quality care for patients by ensuring that nurses have the opportunity to develop effective therapeutic relationships with their patients. I believe that the only way this can be accomplished within the clinical setting is by making sure that a nurse is at all times present at the patient's bedside, promptly attending to the evolving needs of the patient. This means that the nurse to patient ratios must be adequately allowing a nurse to be at a patient's bedside without exerting an additional burden on the nurse. Adequate patient-nurse ratios ensure that nurses can create therapeutically meaningful relationships with patients under their care which in turn guarantees that they can deliver optimal care for positive patient outcomes. I also believe that care quality and positive patient outcomes are driven by highly qualified and competent nurses who are satisfied with their work. This is only possible in work environments and positive work cultures that are characterized by teamwork, proper workloads, adequate support facilities and safe working environments. Adopting this approach means that I would be working to alleviate the inadequate staffing levels, creating a positive working environment and guaranteeing care quality and patient safety, both in the short term and long term.
Finally, it is evident that nursing shortages and turnovers can only be addressed by the creations of a culture or retention among nursing staff that is driven by higher profitability, lower turnover, diminished costs and improved patient outcomes (Staggs & He, 2013). These require the investment of additional funds into hospitals to enable them to create a new response capacity base and to invest in nursing to resolve the nurse staffing crisis. Some possible sources of funding I would pursue in this case are Federal grants as well as state grants. Specifically, I will proposition the CDC to fund the structured nursing postgraduate training program.
Dahlkemper, T. (2017). Nursing Leadership, Management, and Professional Practice for the LPN/LVN. New York, NY: FA Davis.
Kelly, P. & Quesnelle, H. (2015). Nursing Leadership and Management. New York, NY: Nelson Education Limited.
Staggs, V., & He, J. (2013). Recent trends in hospital nurse staffing in the United States. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(7/8), 388-393.
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