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Chief Nursing Office Role in Nurses Everyday Duties

Available nursing scholarship demonstrates that Chief Nursing Officers (CNOs) have remained blurred in healthcare delivery systems despite their fundamental roles of enhancing patient outcomes and participating in decision-making processes (Salmon and Rambo 136). Although their roles and responsibilities seem unclear, CNOs are in a distinctive position to influence change in healthcare systems, enhance the quality of patient care, and advocate for favorable working environments for nursing professionals and other stakeholders (“The Nurse Executive” 1). The present paper discusses how the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) should impact nurses in their everyday duties.

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Many health institutions experience nurse shortages caused by a host of factors, including low retention, poor pay and benefits, unfavorable working environments, and high turnover (Elgie 285). As noted in the IOM report, the CNO can address nurse shortages in hospital settings by ensuring that they are adequately represented in an institution and hospital boards (“The Future of Nursing” 235-238). This seminal report notes that CNOs can positively impact nurses in normal work settings by using their expertise, knowledge, and responsiveness to demonstrate to the board the importance of implementing practices and processes that curtail staff shortages. This way, junior nurses will become more productive and satisfied with their jobs, which in turn will enhance patient care outcomes and reduce turnover intentions.

The CNO can also impact nurses in their everyday duties through “leading and influencing by example and constantly reinforcing the importance of clinical quality to all aspects of the business of healthcare” (“The Nurse Executive” 2). The IOM report is clear that CNOs have the needed skills and expertise to educate other members about quality and safety issues in healthcare settings (“The Future of Nursing” 235-238). These skills and expertise can be shared with other board members to ensure that challenges are adequately understood and more resources are availed to nurses to spearhead quality and safety interventions in various departments (Mastal, Joshi, and Schulke 323-324). Similarly, the skills and expertise can be shared with junior nurses to ensure that they have the necessary knowledge to deal will various quality and safety issues as they arise in healthcare settings.

Furthermore, the CNO can positively impact nurses in their everyday duties by promoting leadership activities among the professionals, encouraging nurses to become proactive and secure significant decision-making positions on nursing committees and boards, facilitating the delegation of duties to junior members to prepare them for future undertakings, and role-modeling appropriate behavior (Lavizzo-Mourey 544-545). These roles are instrumental in reinforcing confidence among junior members of staff, minimizing turnover intentions, increasing the quality of patient care, and preparing nurses for future leadership roles. According to available nursing scholarship, encouraging nurses to secure important leadership and decision-making positions not only increases their motivation to work productively but also enables them to collaborate effectively in multi-disciplinary teams (Illiffe 1).

Lastly, CNO can impact nurses in their everyday duties in terms of advocating for effective human resource initiatives (e.g., improved nurse orientation, mentoring programs, continuing education, staffing, pay, work environment, and work schedule) to ensure that nurses are facilitated to do their work under optimal conditions (Mastal, Joshi, and Schulke 327). These initiatives translate into positive healthcare outcomes in terms of having a motivated and satisfied workforce, ensuring the quality of care, reducing medical errors, and increasing nurse retention rates.

This paper has discussed how the CNO should impact nurses in their everyday duties. From the discussion, it can be concluded that the office is of immense importance in influencing nurses to perform optimally and also to guarantee the quality and safety of care in healthcare settings.

References

Elgie, Rob. “Politics, Economics, and Nursing Shortage: A Critical Look at United States Government Policies.” Nursing Economic$. 25.5 (2007): 285-292. Academic Search Premier. Web.

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Illiffe, Jill. “Chief Nursing Officer Makes Sense.” Australian Nursing Journal. 12.2 (2004): 1-2. MasterFILE Premier. Web.

Lavizzo-Mourey, Risa. “A Call to Action: The Future of Nursing Begins Now.” Vital Speeches of the Day. 76.12 (2010): 544-548. Academic Search Premier. Web.

Mastal, Margaret Fisk, Maulik Joshi and Kathryn Schulke. “Nursing Leadership: Championing Quality and Patient Safety in the Boardroom.” Nursing Economic$. 25.6 (2007): 323-330. Academic Search Premier. Web.

Salmon, Marla E. and Kirsten Rambo. “Government Chief Nursing Officers: A Study of the Key Issues they face and the Knowledge and Skills Required by Their Roles.” International Nursing Review. 49.3 (2002): 136-143. Academic Search Premier. Web.

The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health 2010. Web.

The Nurse Executive Role in Quality and High Performing Health Services: A Position Paper 2013. Web.

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