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Nursing Intellectual Capital Theory

Intellectual capital is a theory that focuses on the collective knowledge of individuals and the structures that are present in a given organization (Stewart, 2001). This theory views the knowledge possessed by employees as an intangible asset that is critical to the success of a given entity. Additionally, this theory considers the structures of a given entity as the source of information that is critical in ensuring the set goals and objectives are achieved in an effective and efficient manner. The aim of this theory therefore is to ensure that knowledge and information are integrated and used effectively to achieve competitive advantage (Thompson, 2006).

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This theory is effective in implementing the proposed solution since it takes into consideration the input of employees (nurses) and the overall organizational structure and management of the health facility. In accordance to this theory, the stocks of knowledge present within this health facility originate from its nursing staff. It is the combination of the knowledge from the nurses with the structures of the health facility that determines the overall quality of care that is delivered. At the present moment, this combination is not effective hence the poor quality of health care delivery that the facility offers. However, through proper planning and management, the quality of health services offered by the facility can be improved especially after the implementation of the proposed solution.

Operation of the Theory

The proposed solution does not advocate for increased wages as a means of overcoming its main problem of shortage of nurses but advocates for the creation of a sustainable working environment through effective management as a means of attracting and retaining nurses. Based on this fact therefore, the first element that this theory focuses on is human capital. This theory defines human capital as the knowledge, skills, and experiences of an employee (Thomka, 2007). The knowledge and skills possessed by nurses is critical since it is used to provide specialized care for patients whose healthcare needs are critical and vary from one patient to the next. However, the management of human capital highly relies on the structural capital of a given entity. Structural capital is the information that is present within the structures, databases and systems that are present in a given entity (Thomka, 2007). This includes the overall organizational structure and management of the health facility. Thus, effective integration and management of these two elements will greatly enhance the overall success of the proposed solution.

Incorporation of the Theory to the Project

Effective management of the human capital and structural capital within the healthcare facility will result in the improvement of the health services offered. In accordance to this theory, an effective structure needs to be put in place to manage and control the staffing of nurses within the facility. Through this structure, the management will have the information with regards to the number of nurses it needs, their skills and qualification, and the roles that they will play within the facility. Through careful planning, nurses will operate effectively within the facility ensuring that the needs of their patients are met. Such planning will create a sustainable work environment encouraging the nurses to work at their optimumlevels. This will result in the development of an organization culture based on efficiency and positive outcomes, a move that will not only enhance the retention rates of nurses but also attract more nurses to work in the facility.


Stewart, T. (2001). Wealth of Knowledge: Intellectual Capital Theory in 21st Century Organizations. New York: Currency Double Bay

Thomka, L. (2007). Mentoring and its Impacts on Intellectual Capacity. Nursing Administration Quartely, 31(1), 22-26

Thompson, G. (2006). Classifying the Concepts of Knowledge Transfer: A Literature Review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 5(6), 691-701

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