1. Nurse Leader/Executive: General Responsibilities
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- Helps carry out the healthcare facility’s mission;
- Communicates with teams and encourages change;
- Provides educational courses for nurses;
- Participates in developing and integrating policies;
- Helps the staff to provide high-quality care.
Note: Nurse executives/leaders are responsible for managing and administering patient care services by planning and developing new procedures, policies, and strategies for the healthcare facility in which they work. The majority of nurse executives hold a Master’s degree in Nursing Administration that allowed them to develop effective management and leadership skills (e.g. critical thinking, communication, and decision-making skills). The primary goal of nurse executives/leaders in fulfilling the mission of their organization.
2. Nurse Leader’s Role in Communication
- Holds regular meetings with the nursing staff;
- Encouraged team feedback and exchange of ideas;
- Has a direct impact on employees’ communication;
- Helps resolve professional disputes.
3. Responsibility in Shaping Policies
- Examines the socio-political situation;
- Evaluates effective/ineffective policies within a facility;
- Collaborates with other nurse executives;
- Analyzes the impact on newly-integrated policies.
4. AACN Essentials Directly Related to Nurse Executive’s Role
- Essential II: Basic organizational and systems leadership;
- Essential V: Health care policy, finance, etc.;
- Essential VI: Interprofessional communication and collaboration;
- Essential VIII: Professionalism and values (AACN, 2011);
5. Application of Skills
- Using knowledge to improve quality of care;
- Integrating leadership into designing healthcare system policies;
- Collaborating with other health care professionals;
- Integrity and dignity for improving the nursing practice.
6. Further Learning Opportunities
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- Direct clinical experiences for enhancing knowledge;
- Using practice to improve patient outcomes;
- Refining the existing knowledge on healthcare;
- Use direct care opportunities to improve skills.
7. Using AACN in Practice: Leadership
- Helping nurses enhance their practice;
- Using critical thinking and exemplary care;
- Integrate reliable research into practice;
- Innovative approaches for creating a vibrant practice setting;
- Engaging the team into maximizing leadership potential.
8. Using AACN in Practice: Interprofessional Collaboration
- Organizing the work of the interprofessional team;
- Learning from professionals in different practice settings;
- Identifying common goals and collaborative efforts;
- Being involved in each collaborative process.
9. Using AACN in Practice: Healthcare Policies
- Considering what new policies would be beneficial;
- Assessing the success of other healthcare facilities;
- Getting feedback from teams and patients;
- Involving the community in policy development.
10. Empirical Evidence: Leadership
- Paying attention to ethical and critical decision-making;
- Establishing effective relationships with the staff;
- Integrating the systems perspective;
- Promoting quality patient care by example.
Note: Long-term nursing leaders are people who should develop cohesive relationships with the staff and be useful in establishing communications about their leadership roles and responsibilities (Dyess, Sherman, Pratt, & Chiang-Hanishko, 2016). By creating such communication, a nurse leader will be able to promote safe and high-quality patient care.
11. Empirical Evidence: Collaboration
- Accessing professionals not usually reachable;
- Gaining wisdom from the interprofessional team;
- Accessing new resources and developing new skills;
- Being able to develop lifelong relationships.
Note: Green and Johnson (2015) found evidence of nurse leaders participating in interprofessional collaborations to enhance the quality of care. Among them were the Cochrane Collaboration, National Clinical Guideline Center, and many others.
12. Empirical Evidence: Healthcare Policies
- Sharing interdisciplinary experience and knowledge;
- Working with bureaucrats for designing reliable healthcare;
- Helping shape patient-oriented healthcare;
- Going beyond the clinical practice.
Note: In their article, Clarke, Swider, and Bigley (2013) shared stories about their participation in the shaping of health care policies. The authors pointed at the importance of going beyond clinical practice to be further involved in the lives of their communities as well as the entire nation.
13. Conclusion: Leadership
- Requires the establishment of reliable relationships;
- Engaging the team is crucial;
- Integrating research into practice, leading by example;
- Take learning opportunities to improve.
Note: Nurse executives are those members of a healthcare team that is responsible for developing a trusting environment in the workplace where the staff will be focused on the provision of high-quality and patient-centered care. Nursing leadership requires executives to be integrated into the clinical environment to guide the team towards the improvement of patients’ health outcomes.
14. Conclusion: Collaboration
- Is essential for providing high-quality care;
- Can help learn from other professionals;
- Promotion of a trustworthy environment;
- Being involved in each process of collaboration.
Note: The job of a nurse executive will be impossible without effective collaboration within a healthcare facility and beyond it. Learning from professionals in different fields and collaborating to achieve common goals are crucial components of nurse executives’ roles. The usage of the AACN essential in practice will help nurse executives develop new skills of sharing knowledge with other professionals and reaching common goals of enhancing the quality and the orientation of health care.
15. Conclusion: Healthcare Policies
- Going beyond the clinical setting;
- Learning from other professionals;
- Collaborating with non-clinicians and policymakers;
- Analyzing the effectiveness of policies.
Note: the development of new healthcare policies is a step all nurse executives should make in order to reach a high level of the provided care and ensure that the current policies show their full potential. By collaborating with non-clinicians, nurse executives create new policies and update old ones for the sake of patients’ wellbeing and the benefit of their healthcare facilities.
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AACN. (2011). The essentials of baccalaureate education for professional nursing practice. Web.
Clarke, P., Swider, S., & Bigley, M. (2013). Nursing leadership and health policy: A dialogue with nurse leaders. Nursing Science Quarterly, 26(2), 136-142.
Dyess, S., Sherman, R., Pratt, B., & Chiang-Hanisko, L. (2016). Growing nurse leaders: Their perspectives on nursing leadership and today’s practice environment. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 21(1). Web.
Green, B., & Johnson, C. (2015). Interprofessional collaboration in research, education, and clinical practice: working together for a better future. The Journal of Chiropractic Education, 29(1), 1-10.