This paper will discuss the various ways in which the nurse acquires critical and sensitive knowledge in going about the roles and functions of Nursing Management. This paper will attempt to justify the schools of thoughts that compose the principles of nursing management beginning with the various nursing theories that defines and elaborates the nursing profession. Among the central paradigm that this paper purports is the qualities necessary in becoming effective as a nurse manager. This paper is however limited to presenting current situations that defines the actual practice, because hospital setting differs according to state. The overall idea that this paper suggest, is that nurse management is just among the various skills that nursing profession equips itself with.
According to Patricia Donahue (1996), the origin of the word nurse and nursing have shifted and evolved into a variety of perception according to roles and functions not only in the healthcare industry but to society in general. With its earliest form of Latin derivative nutrite meaning to nourish, or nutrix translated as a nursing mother, Donahue furthers that nursing is highly synonymous with an act of a mother feeding her infant. Over the years, the experiences we’ve encountered and received from a nurse have evolved into an integration of variety of discipline that makes this word more of an art and a science.
Relative to the evolution of the meaning of nursing from a perceived maternal care provider is the theory purported by Florence Nightingale (Kenworthy, Snowley & Gilling, 2002) back in the early 18th century, where she emphasizes the importance of theory and process in health care. The impetus of this theory has encourage many other theories to come up with their own schools of thoughts relative to what nursing ought to be, thus owing to several great modern perceptions of this as a profession and a career (Kenworthy, Snowley & Gilling, 2002).
For instances, UK currently requires their nurses to be well trained and efficient in clinical setting, to be equipped with updated knowledge on measures and advances applicable in the actual practice, one that is being advanced by Nightingale as the necessary tools that defines nursing as a method, theory and practice (NMC, 2004 & Aggleton & Chalmers, 2000).
Out of the necessity to define Nursing as a profession many imperative theories have been conceived and applied (Tierney, 1998) to distinguish nursing from its ideal medical orientation (Wimpenny, 2002). These theories promoted empowerment and autonomy of the nurse (Holland, 2003), providing a concrete purpose, defined roles within the multidisciplinary collaborative team (Colley, 2003). Notwithstanding specific model or theory set for nurses’ guidelines, certain essential ethical and code of professional conduct must define who a nurse should be in the work place.
These codes set the standards on matters such as patient respect, consent, teamwork, confidentiality, professional competence, trustworthiness, and risk mitigation (Alexander, Fawcett & Runciman, 1999). One pertinent yet highly critical role of a nurse in the health care industry is Nursing Management. The elaborations of such function in the succeeding paragraph is acquired through a compound ideas from an actual interview of a nurse manager as well as text book theories of what they are as defined by many authors. According to Allen (1998), an “effective nurse leader must be able to navigate successfully in the current turbulent health care environment” (p.15). A nurse manager is often tasked with more responsibilities than ordinary staff nurse where in that manager is expected to demonstrate the use of interpersonal relationship and communication skills, critical thinking, and organization skills.
Allen (1998) furthered that the “unique attributes of the healthcare industry make the work of nursing leadership challenging and complex, requiring diverse expertise and knowledge, superb critical thinking skills and exceptional interpersonal capabilities” (p.15). In a profession where health and well-being is of the essence and priority, the likelihood of errors and the probability of neglect due to various reasons are inevitable, especially when the staff is being run by a manager who is inept in looking for obvious signs of poor performance which requires immediate attention and solution.
As a professional, it must be considered that there are many obstacles arising from the provision of poor quality care to patient, and among which should highlight the capacity of the manager to lead motivate the group into the inherence of quality in their performance. The current deteriorating and unsafe staffing conditions in hospitals and other institutions prompted workplace advocacy to become the universally accepted concept for maintaining professional nursing standards.
The Arkansas Nurses Association and the Louisiana State Nurses Association define workplace advocacy as a planned, organized system of services and resources designed to support the professional nurse in the workplace (White Paper on Workplace Advocacy, 1997). Their definition provided the core foundation of the skills and strategies that ensure the involvement of nursing practice in workplace decision makings relative to health care provision. “The ethical norms of the profession, Standards of Clinical Nursing Practice, and nurse practice acts validate the nurse’s professional obligation to provide quality care and protect clients and families” as stated by the Arkansas Nurses Association and the Louisiana State Nurses Association in the White Paper on Workplace Advocacy (1997).
Workplace Advocacy educates and empowers nurses to effect changes in the workplace that will foster a high quality of performance as well as a healthy working environment, furthermore it intends to facilitate strategies for employers, nurses, and healthcare providers to work collectively toward high quality of health care and safeguard the standards of the health care industry. Its ultimate goal is the improvement and maintenance of quality and cost-effective client care. According to the Center for American Nurses (2006), in order to confront these issues, nurses must have a clear vision of their responsibilities in the workplace.
They must have the personal, professional, and legal background to ensure their own well-being as well as that of their patients. Workplace issues are of great concern to the professional nurse because of its direct impact to the kind of service rendered in the actual setting, which consequently reflects to the personality of the providers in general.
The dominant factor that determines the probability of this to happen lies in the manner with which nursing management takes place. In order for a manager to maintain cohesion and loyalty within the organization, he/she must employ the qualities of fairness and equality, treating everyone without prejudice, decreasing animosity amongst team members, boosts their morale and allows each one the opportunity to prove their best ability. Broad mindedness and acceptance to changes and diversity is likewise necessary in keeping the team together.
A good leader must accept the individual’s positive attributes, because “diversity has proven valuable in all types of organizations in generating innovative ideas; broadening the appeal of the organization; expanding its network of donors and volunteers; and making it more open, flexible, and responsible” (Leadership Advisory Commission, 2003). Not only should a good leader be equipped with excellent communication skills, motivation and academic proficiencies, he/she must acquire the confidence, trust and respect of his members since this is indicative of their belief in the manager’s/leader’s capacity to achieve their goals.
In conclusion, the Nursing indeed involves an intricate yet well defined characteristic that completes the ideals of what the profession should be. Like any other profession, a career can only be taken at face value if and when the services rendered are purely mechanical.
A career becomes an art when the mind and the heart gets involve in the action, as in the caring of a sick and wounded soldier during the Crimean war. It can also be a science when allied theories gets implemented to suppose and insure the wellness of a patient, as in the case of collaborative nursing which employs the techniques of various discipline. But most of all, the nursing profession can truly become an art when all the aspect of humanity is integrated into the practice thus becoming a lifestyle and devotion aimed at promoting over all wellness. “What might be an expectation in the future is that all study of human experience, as lived or as imagined, should include a specific link with art and the truth about lived experience that is embedded there” (Mitchelle & Cody. 2002. p.77).
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